PM unveils plans for new government quarter on outskirts of Prague

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has unveiled plans for a new government quarter to be created on the outskirts of Prague which would bring together over eleven thousand public service employees and allow the sell-off of lucrative real estate in the centre of the city.

Illustrative photo: Filip JandourekIllustrative photo: Filip Jandourek Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is planning a major overhaul in the workings of the state administration system. His new cabinet ministers have been ordered to look into past contracts and assess the possibility of dispensing with excessive public service employees.

His promise to run the country as he would his own firm may even see the country’s public service officials and various support agencies moving to a new address.

Unveiling the government’s policy program on Monday, Mr. Babiš said a government quarter would have more than just financial benefits by cutting operation costs. It would have enormous synergies in terms of cooperation and management and members of the public needing to get rubber stamps from various authorities would only have to go to one address, the prime minister pointed out.

Mr. Babiš said that operation costs for the various ministries are unnecessarily high – with ministries located in historical buildings in the city centre paying commercial rents of around 400 million crowns a year. He said Paris –with its ministerial skyscraper - had served as an inspiration for him and his idea was to move as many ministries and agencies as possible under one roof –in the Holešovice, Bubny or Letnany districts on the outskirts of Prague. Taxpayers money would be saved and the attractive historical buildings in the city centre could serve as museums or galleries, Babiš pointed out.

While the idea is likely to go down well with members of the public, the country’s public service officials, who are used to working in some of the most attractive historical buildings and palaces in the city centre are likely gnashing their teeth.