Archive: Domestic affairs | Politics Politics

Anti-corruption watchdog says government has disappointed over action to tackle graft

05-01-2011 15:48 | Chris Johnstone

Measures to tackle corruption were one of the centerpieces of the coalition agreement that paved the way for the current government. But with an anti-corruption strategy now on the government table and creating rifts between the political partners, what have been the results so far? We asked the director of the Czech branch of corruption watchdog Transparency International, David Ondráčka, how he evaluated the government’s performance so far.  More

President tells Czechs to grit their teeth and support pro-reform government

03-01-2011 16:06 | Daniela Lazarová

Václav Klaus, photo: CTK In his traditional New Year’s address to the nation President Václav Klaus gave his full backing to the country’s pro-reform government telling Czechs they had been living beyond their means for years and it was time to pay their dues. Mr. Klaus said it was essential that everyone pull their weight and indicated he had little patience with those who wanted out or grumbled.  More

Czech Republic braces for mass departures of doctors

27-12-2010 15:39 | Jan Richter

Disgruntled Czech hospital doctors on Monday began handing in their resignations in an attempt to force the government to increase their salaries. Some 3,800 of the country’s 16,000 physicians are expected to hand in notices by the end of the week, which is when the hospitals will get a clearer picture of what will happen in March, when the resignations take effect. But Heath Minister Leoš Heger has come up with one idea for the hospitals that might face crisis due to understaffing.  More

Tension within ruling coalition will mount, says commentator Jiří Pehe

22-12-2010 16:23 | Jan Richter

Václav Klaus, Petr Nečas, finance minister Miroslav Kalousek, photo: CTK The key to the survival of the Czech coalition government was a deal between the coalition parties brokered by President Václav Klaus at Prague Castle. No details of the last-minute accord have been released but it apparently involves the demise of the police president, Oldřich Martinů, which has already materialized, as well as the reinstatement of whistleblower, Libor Michálek, to the State Environment Fund, where the corruption scandal broke out. Whatever the details, the agreement was enough for the MPs of the junior coalition party, Public Affairs, to support the government in Tuesday’s vote of no confidence. But commentator Jiří Pehe believes the issues that have come to light in the recent cabinet crisis have not been settled, and will emerge again.  More

Centre-right coalition government weathers first serious crisis

22-12-2010 16:23 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: CTK The centre-right coalition government weathered its first serious crisis on Tuesday surviving a no-confidence motion tabled by the opposition in the wake of a massive corruption scandal at the Environment Ministry. Although the ruling parties opposed the no-confidence motion as one man, the scandal has further undermined coalition unity and tarnished the image of a government that has upheld a strict anti-corruption stance.  More

Czech coalition government faces vote of no confidence

21-12-2010 16:30 | Jan Richter

Radek John, Petr Nečas, Miroslav Kalousek (left to right), photo: CTK The centre-right Czech government is going through its first major crisis since it took office in July. The coalition cabinet is facing a vote of no confidence over a corruption scandal at the Environment Ministry. Ahead of the vote, one of the coalition parties, Public Affairs, refused to pledge support for the cabinet, and walked out of Monday’s talks with its partners in the power-sharing deal. In a last-minute attempt to ensure backing for the government in the lower house, President Václav Klaus weighed in and met with coalition leaders.  More

Czech politicians are better at denying corruption than media are at exposing it, says pundit

16-12-2010 16:14 | Jan Richter

Pavel Drobil (left), Petr Nečas, photo: CTK Czech Environment Minister Pavel Drobil stepped down on Wednesday. His announcement followed the release of recordings made by the head of a department at his ministry, Libor Michálek, purporting to show Mr Drobil’s advisor pressuring him into corruption aimed at funding the minister’s political career. Another tape appeared to show Mr Drobil offering Mr Michálek a promotion – if he destroyed the original evidence. Pavel Drobil’s Civic Democrat party boss, Prime Minister Petr Necas, is standing by him – and both argue that his only mistake was a poor choice of subordinates. Radio Prague spoke to the commentator Erik Best about the implications of the latest Czech corruption scandal.  More

Environment minister steps down amidst corruption scandal

15-12-2010 16:20 | Jan Richter

Pavel Drobil The Czech environment minister, Civic Democrat Pavel Drobil, has announced his resignation over a corruption scandal at the ministry. Mr Drobil’s decision came hours after the daily Mladá fronta Dnes exposed practices aimed at channelling money from the ministry-controlled State Environmental Fund.  More

Junior party warns it will push through priorities or leave government

13-12-2010 15:55 | Jan Velinger

Photo: CTK Public Affairs – the junior partner in the government coalition – held a policy conference at the weekend seen largely as a litmus test on the party’s future direction. After rising to the forefront of Czech politics in May, the party lost much of its lustre almost as quickly, finding all too little room to manoeuvre next to its right-of-centre partners. At the weekend, party members, including leader Radek John, pledged to push more strongly their top priorities such as their anti-corruption package or a new softer approach on a number of previously agreed reforms.  More

Confidential material from US embassy in Prague included in WikiLeaks release

29-11-2010 15:50 | Chris Johnstone

Czech-US relations have been caught up in the massive release of secret US diplomatic cables by the WikiLeaks server. One of more than a thousand cables from the US embassy in Prague already put up on the whistle blower’s server provides a snapshot of how Czech and US diplomats began to recast their relations after the US dumped its plans for an anti-missile base in the Czech Republic.  More

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