Hidden interests in camouflage uniform order? Or mere incompetence? The Ministry of Defense has ordered military uniforms that don’t meet army standards. The issuer of the tender worth over Kč 40 million failed to specify the requirements stipulated by Czech Defense Standard (ČOS) 108001, the technical specifications of which specify the shades and dimensions of military camouflage.
The first 23 Czechs have been recognized for their role in the so-called “third resistance” against the communist regime that seized power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948 under a new law which took effect at the end of last year.
Czech Minister of Defense Alexandr Vondra has spoken of the vast arms sales and cooperation opportunities in Vietnam for Czech producers on a trip to the country as part of an Asian sales drive. He reportedly does not see any problems in making available the highly prized VERA aircraft detection system to Vietnam although export to China was previously banned. Vietnam and China have not been the best of friends for some time.
In theory, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates all trips made by government ministers; in practice, things are a bit different. Thus within a week of one another, the Czech foreign and defense ministers will touch down in Vietnam to court bemused local officials. Coordination is often sacrificed because of coalition jealousies, officials says.
Charges will be filed against representatives of ProMoPro, which in 2009 provided audio-visual and interpreting services to the Czech government during the EU Presidency, and an official in the Czech Government Office, Hospodářské noviny (HN) reported Friday. The news come following an investigation lasting over a year; according to the daily, then-EU affairs minster Alexandr Vondra will not face charges.
Jan Fischer, a European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) vice president who served as an interim Czech prime minister in a caretaker government, announced at the end of January that if direct presidential elections are held in 2013 he intends to stand as a nonaffiliated candidate. Recent opinion polls show Fischer is the clear favorite among Czech voters; his record isn’t as rosy as many think, and few know where he stands on major issues.
Last November, Minister of Defense Alexandr Vondra said that Spanish aviation manufacturer EADS and the Czech arms trading firm Omnipol must deliver the four CASA planes purchased by the Czech defense ministry in full working order, including functional anti-rocket defense system, by end of May, or the order would be cancelled. On Friday, Vondra announced that EADS and Omnipol had agreed to the deadline.
Arriving in Washington for talks with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra (Civic Democrats, ODS), says he intends to propose extending the Czech military mission in Afghanistan by two years to coincide with the planned withdrawal date of American forces. At the same time, Vondra hopes to seal an agreement to open access to US military orders for Czech firms.
The Czech Ministry of Defense is hoping talks on Jan. 23 – 24 with Iraqi government and military representatives will produce a breakthrough for a Czech offer of twenty L-159 fighter planes produced by Aero Vodochody. The manufacturer, which is heading talks on the Czech side, is less concerned about the deal going through: last year it received Kč 25.2 million for simply storing the planes.
It appears Minister of Defense Alexandr Vondra (Civic Democrats, ODS) has at the last minute managed to avoid yet another scandal over military orders. Czech military intelligence planned to buy three Jackal armored cars reportedly for service in Afghanistan. Vondra cancelled the order on the grounds of the planned withdrawal of Czech troops from Afghanistan.