Czech Position has obtained a detailed price offer from November 2005 addressed to the Ministry of Defense’s armament section that supports allegations that the Czech Army got a raw deal on the purchase of four CASA C-295 transport planes. The document is part of the file upon which the police are charging ex-defense minister Vlasta Parkanová for allegedly violating her fiduciary duties in signing off on a 2009 deal.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas (ODS) told a news conference on Wednesday he had ousted Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil he had lost confidence in his fellow party member’s ability to manage his ministry and its finances, over a request for an extra Kč 1 billion for the Prison Service at a time of belt-tightening. But sources say it was Pospíšil’s shake-up of the judiciary system and failure to quickly appoint a top prosecutor to Nečas’ liking that led to his sacking.
Czech economist Vladimír Dlouhý, the nation’s very first minister of industry and trade under then Prime Minister Václav Klaus (now serving his final term as head of state), will run for the presidency as an independent. But the advisor to Goldman Sachs in Central Europe must know there is no chance of a sudden wave of public support sending him to Prague Castle. So why has Dlouhý, a former communist, tossed his hat in the proverbial ring?
Not even three months into his post as head of the Northwest Regional Cohesion Council, Leo Steiner reached a clear conclusion: the distribution of EU funds in the Ústí nad Labem and Karlovy Vary regions was riddled with corruption. The reaction was not long in coming. The Council is preparing to submit a criminal complaint against Steiner for defamation, but others in the region are rallying to his defense.
The draft budget proposed by the Ministry of Finance envisions reducing allocations to the state intelligence service (BIS) by Kč 250 million over the next two years — a drastic reduction that former interior minister MP František Bublan (Social Democrats, ČSSD) warns could lead to the spy service’s liquidation.
Former head of the Czech anti-corruption police (ÚOKFK), Petr Vincenz, was in at the start of the long investigation that this week culminated by reeling in top Social Democrat (ČSSD) politician David Rath and seven other suspects in what appears to be a high-profile graft case. Now out of the force, he talks about the preconditions that helped pave the way for such an outcome and his fears and foreboding for how the special police squad that piloted the probe might end up.
Former Social Democrat (ČSSD) health minister and shadow spokesman David Rath has been held by police who are apparently probing the case of a suspected Kč 12 million paid in bribes. The case could damage the fortunes of the party which has been riding high in the polls.
The allocation of EU grants in Northern Bohemia was not carried out in line with requirements, according to an audit by the consultancy Deloitte ordered by the Czech FinMin and EU executive. Problems were found in 34 of the 35 projects examined — and calculations of the evaluation criteria were riddled with systemic mathematical errors. What’s more, sources say the winning firms are secretly owned by regional ‘godfather’ Patrick Oulický.
Czech police numbers must be maintained above the level of 40,000, if not Police President Petr Lessy is prepared to resign in September, he said in a recent interview on Czech Television (ČT). Lessy is considered as a protégé of former ruling coalition partner Public Affairs (VV), and his ultimatum is similar to that delivered by the party’s ex education minister, Josef Dobeš, over budget cuts. Regardless, he no longer has political protection — and could be forced out.
The Czech government has repeatedly declared the upmost importance and policy priority of supporting Czech exports to countries outside the EU. It is apparently concerned about the quality of services provided by the state to Czech exporters attempting to penetrate into new world markets. The reality is, however, somewhat different: it appears the prime concern is securing lucrative jobs in the state sphere and control of billions of crowns.
Reporter for ČESKÁ POZICE. He specializes in diplomacy, security policy, European integrations and politics in the Czech Republic. He studied at the Philosophical Faculty and the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University, later working in the European Commission for the foundation Ano pro Evropu (Yes for Europe) and as a reporter for the weekly Euro.