PM Petr Nečas (Civic Democrat, ODS) made a critical mistake by not immediately firing Environment Minister Pavel Drobil after evidence surfaced that the now ex-minister had tried to cover up a trail of corruption. By waiting for his fellow ODS party member to resign, Nečas has undermined his assumed role of champion against corruption.
Former Senator Alexandr Novák was found guilty of accepting a bribe back in 2000 when he was Mayor of Chomutov. The money wound up in his personal bank account by way of a Cypriot firm that the court said was a money laundering operation. Novák claims it was just a loan, and he intends to appeal.
Tatra supervisory board head and ex-US Ambassador William J. Cabaniss sent letters in 2008 to then-Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and two Czech ministers complaining about an alleged attempt to solicit a bribe from Tatra, AmCham’s cheif executive Weston Stacey tells Czech Position in an exclusive interview. Topolánek calls the changes “slanderous” and part of a media campaign by Tatra’s “obviously corrupt management.”
The Barták affair is putting PM Petr Nečas’ pledge to tackle corruption to the test, but Transparency International’s David Ondráčka says it will take systemic change to kill the ‘Octopus’ — the opaque procurement and acquisitions system within the Defense Ministry that lines the pockets of corrupt politicians and shady middlemen. And Defense Minister ‘Saša’ Vondra’s ‘White Paper’ aims to do just that.
Protesters were both in and outside Prague City Hall as the Assembly convened to confirm Civic Democrat (ODS) local boss Bohuslav Svoboda as the new mayor, even though the ODS came in second in the municipal elections. Many have voiced the opinion that the “grand coalition” of left and right parties is against the will of the people and will simply further corruption.
The perception that dealings in the public sector are corrupt is not improving in the Czech Republic, which scored 21st out of 27 EU countries and 53nd in the world. The Czech Republic was one of the world’s few countries to show a confirmable deterioration over the previous year. According to Transparency International, one reason is the lack of a coherent government anti-corruption policy.