Corruption is undermining economic stability in Europe, the anticorruption watchdog Transparency International said in a report issued this week. The Czech Republic has shown a worrying “rollback” since joining the EU, it said, with public procurement and political-party funding areas of particular concern. But no European country received a clean bill of health in the watchdog’s so-called corruption integrity check.
The Czech Republic’s reputation has been tarnished by the judiciary branch’s failure to cooperate with the Swiss investigation into the massive asset-stripping of mining group MUS (now Czech Coal) in the late 1990s. Czech Position has learned that, from the Swiss perspective, judicial authorities here also appeared to have been deliberately uncooperative in the Gripen jet fighter probe.
The Czech Police have reportedly completed their investigation into the alleged payment of cash bribes by Vít Bárta, de facto leader of the Public Affairs (VV), to now-former party members and serving MPs, Jaroslav Škárka and Kristýna Kočí, and will recommend the state prosecution service to prosecute Bárta, the server aktualne.cz reported Tuesday.
The Czech public at large takes an overall dim view of what motivates politicians in their decision making and feels that they should be held to a high standard. When it comes to making politicians step down, the public is willing to overlook marital infidelities and minor offenses, but criminal convictions are frowned upon greatly, a CVVM poll reveals.
Lost in translation — that’s how former Czech ambassador to the United States Petr Kolář explains allegations that back in February 2008 Deputy FM Martin Barták offered a bribe to Tatra supervisory board head William J. Cabannis, himself a former US ambassador to Prague .