Former Prime Minister Petr Nečas married his girlfriend and former chief-of-staff Jana Nagyová on Saturday, Czech news servers reported. A number of corruption cases involving Ms. Nagyová, became the reason for the Mr. Nečas’ resignation and the fall of his government in June. Ms. Nagyová was arrested by the anti-corruption police and accused of ordering unauthorized spying by the military intelligence service of Mr. Nečas’s former wife Radka as well as being involved in the trading of lucrative positions in exchange for supporting the government with three MPs at the end of last year.
Former deputy prime minister Karolina Peake was questioned by the corruption police on Thursday in connection with the spying scandal that brought down the centre-right government of prime minister Petr Nečas. Mrs. Peake, said the questioning had largely focussed on her brief time in office as defence minister and reiterated that she had no knowledge of the fact that the then PM’s chief-of-staff Jana Nagyová had ordered the military intelligence service to shadow his wife. She confirmed Mrs. Nagyová’s seemingly unlimited influence at the time, by telling journalists that she herself had been sacked as defence minister after just eight days in office because she had failed to consult her decisions with the prime minister’s chief-of-staff.
The former prime minister, Petr Necas, has employed his former chief of staff Jana Nagyova, as his personal assistant, according to Saturday’s edition of the daily Mlada fronta Dnes. Although the spying and corruption scandal in which she is alleged to have played a central role brought down his centre-right government Mr. Necas has stood firmly by his chief of staff with whom he is now in an open relationship. The Office of the Government terminated Jana Nagyova’s work contract on Friday. She will not be receiving any severance pay.
In one of its major decisions since assuming office in July, the Czech government has decided to end support for most renewable sources of energy. The draft legislation, triggered by relatively high electricity prices, would scrap state support for new solar and biogas plants as of 2014. It would also cap the subsidies paid by consumers in support of renewable energy sources. More
The interim government on Wednesday rejected draft legislation which would have allowed clients to withdraw from the recently-established “second pillar” of pension reforms (that is savings in private pension funds) at a later date if they so wished. The prime minister made clear for the government that such changes were anti-systemic. The draft amendment was proposed by former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek, who spearheaded the second pillar under the previous government. A final decision on the matter will be up to the Chamber of Deputies. Far fewer clients signed up for the second pillar before a key deadline earlier this year than previously expected; it is thought that the raising of restrictions could make the package more attractive to potential clients.
President Miloš Zeman has met with Olomouc High State Attorney Ivo Ištvan to publicly voice support for his crusade against corruption. Mr. Ištvan is supervising the high profile case of alleged spying and corruption that brought down the centre-right government of former prime minister Petr Nečas. Thursday’s meeting between the president and high state attorney came in the wake of an angry statement from the former prime minister who accused state attorneys of “harassing politicians and trying to run the country”. President Zeman assured Mr. Ištan that he had his full support in conducting a thorough and independent investigation into the affair.
It currently looks unlikely that Czech MPs will approve the Rusnok cabinet in a vote in the lower house in two weeks’ time. President Miloš Zeman has hinted that if it fails, he could give the former centre-right coalition a chance to form the next cabinet. But the president has laid down a condition: before he even considers that, he wants to see notarized signatures of a majority of MPs pledging to back such a cabinet. I asked commentator Erik Best for his reading of Mr Zeman’s latest move. More
The cabinet has decided to withdraw a bill on state prosecutors, which was approved by the previous government of Petr Nečas and went through a first reading in the lower house earlier this year. Justice Minister Marie Benešová said that she wants to revise the bill and resubmit it. Specifically, Mrs. Benešová wants state prosecutors to have their own budget, to give them greater independence, and, for example, to debate the length of the term for the highest state prosecutor. According to the current bill, the high state prosecutors’ offices in Prague and Olomouc would be abolished and a new anti-corruption division created. Former justice minister Pavel Blažek, Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman and Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová have criticized Mrs. Benešová’s move as counterproductive.
The former centre-right government of ex-PMPetr Nečas handed out a record 250 million crowns in bonuses to ministerial staff shortly before leaving office, the daily Lidové noviny writes. The sum is reported to be three and a half times bigger than that which government employees received in the same period last year. Former ministers have dismissed the idea that the bonuses could be interpreted as a golden handshake at the end of their three-year-term in office, saying there had been more work for everyone following a streamlining of the administration. The Rusnok cabinet which was appointed to office earlier this month has already replaced public officials at key posts in several ministries.
One plank of a major police investigation that led to the recent fall of the government of Petr Nečas has ground to a halt. Following a Supreme Court ruling that their actions were covered by parliamentary immunity, three former MPs from Mr. Nečas’s Civic Democrats will not now stand trial for bribe taking. But where does the ruling leave the former prime minister himself? More