Archive: Domestic affairs | Politics Politics

Public Affairs put themselves and the government on the edge of collapse

04-04-2012 15:41 | Christian Falvey

Radek John, photo: CTK The Czech government is teetering on collapse as the junior coalition party, Public Affairs, has said it will pull out unless a number of major concessions are met. Reactions to the demands from its coalition partners were no less than furious, and even if the party backs down - as it has on similar occasions – it seems that either the coalition or Public Affairs itself will soon collapse under the tension. Christian Falvey has this report:  More

Analyst: early elections not to advantage of any of the coalition parties

04-04-2012 15:41 | Jan Velinger

The latest flare-up between Public Affairs and the two senior parties Civic Democrats and TOP 09 appears to have taken the continued existence of the centre-right cabinet to the very brink. Are we close to early elections or did the smallest party in government, in trying to gain concessions, simply overplay its hand?  More

Public Affairs: new education minister will need manoeuvring room in face of difficult tasks

29-03-2012 16:21 | Jan Velinger

Josef Dobeš, photo: CTK Finding a successor to outgoing Education Minister Josef Dobeš, who resigned over planned budget cuts at the ministry, is seeing delays and most definitely will not be sorted by the end of the month. The Public Affairs party, headed by Radek John, wants assurances that Dobeš’ successor won’t be without options – arguing that extra funds should be found so that teacher salaries are untouched. By contrast, others within the centre-right coalition charge there is plenty of room within the Education Ministry to save; in their view, slashing teachers’ salaries should be far from necessary.  More

Czech government pays lip service to referendum calls

28-03-2012 15:49 | Jan Richter

The Czech government on Wednesday approved a bill on automatic referenda, something the public as well as politicians from across the board have been calling for for years. Under the draft legislation, it would take 250,000 signatures and an approval by the country’s Parliament to call a plebiscite. But critics say the bill is so restrictive that it makes it nearly impossible to launch the process, and that it stand very small chances of being approved by the legislature.  More

Embattled former mayor suspends party membership

27-03-2012 15:32 | Jan Velinger

Pavel Bém, photo: Tomáš Adamec Former Prague mayor and MP Pavel Bém, of the Civic Democratic Party, has heeded calls from fellow members to suspend his party membership. In a written statement issued on Monday evening, Mr Bém confirmed he would take the step in the wake of the on-going “lobbying scandal” that has raised serious questions about his tenure.  More

Controversial Prague lobbyist charged with bodily harm; may face further charges connected to wire tap scandal

26-03-2012 15:28 | Sarah Borufka

Roman Janoušek, photo: TV Nova Prague police have charged the controversial lobbyist Roman Janoušek with menacing behaviour due to intoxication as well as grievous bodily harm. On Friday, Mr Janoušek crashed his Porsche into another car in Prague 4, then hit its driver as he attempted to flee. The news came as the construction tycoon already found himself in the headlines due to scandal over leaked wire taps of conversations between him and former mayor of Prague Pavel Bém.  More

Education Minister Josef Dobeš resigns “over budget cuts”

22-03-2012 15:15 | Jan Richter

Josef Dobeš The embattled Czech education minister, Josef Dobeš, has announced he will step down. Mr Dobeš, who has come under severe pressure over a number of issues including EU funds and his planned university reform, cited further austerity measures as the reason. But observers point out that the minister just seized the opportunity to resign before he would be forced out of office.  More

Pundit: Citizens’ initiative calling for resignation of government indicates a new level of public frustration

19-03-2012 14:26 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK Thousands of people gathered for anti-government protests following a call from the heterogeneous protest group Holešovská výzva, or Holešovská appeal. Among their main demands is the resignation of the current government – as well a new law that would introduce automatic referenda. Analysts say that the demonstrations, which last week were held not only in Prague, but also in cities across the country, could herald a new era of escalating public frustration with the government’s policies and harsh austerity measures. Political pundit Jiří Pehe speaks about the aims of the new protest movement and its significance.  More

Bárta trial adjourns after an ugly week

09-03-2012 16:50 | Christian Falvey

Vít Bárta, photo: CTK The first round of the trial of leading Public Affairs member and former transport minister Vít Bárta comes to a close on Friday. Over the course of the week no less than six past and present government ministers have taken the stand to give testimony in the biggest corruption case in recent memory, which will be adjourned on Friday while the court goes over the evidence.  More

Trade union group fears that government cuts will weaken stagnant Czech economy

06-03-2012 14:53 | Dominik Jůn

The Czech government is debating continued austerity measures, hoping to save 23 billion crowns in 2012, 42.4 billion in 2013 and a whopping 84.4 billion in 2014. But the plans have been met with opposition from trade unions, who are highlighting that the cuts could lead to as many as 24,000 public sector job losses and include layoffs of as many as 17,000 teachers as well as 3,500 police officers within the next two years. Jaroslav Zavadil, head of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions recently called this “a path to hell, which will destroy the public sector.”  More

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