Junior coalition parties step up pressure on defence minister over suspect EU contract


The two junior parties in the Czech government coalition have stepped up the pressure on Minister of Defence Alexandr Vondra to explain an inflated contract when he was previously in government. The contract relates to audiovisual aids contracted for the Czech EU presidency in 2009 which Mr. Vondra was largely responsible for as deputy prime minister for European Affairs. Mr. Vondra has blamed a junior official for the contract placed without the required tender and which according to some estimates cost 10 times what it should have. Representatives of the TOP 09 party and Public Affairs called for the police to be brought in to investigate on Tuesday. Mr. Vondra has said he will step down if he is found responsible for any wrongdoing.