President to name Jan Mladek new agriculture minister


On Wednesday the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, will name MP Jan Mladek, a member of Parliament's budget committee, the new agriculture minister. Mr Mladek is to fill the post following Petr Zgarba's decision to resign over the Land Fund property scandal. A member of the Social Democrats, the incoming minister is regarded as liberal in terms of economic policy. Once named, he plans to implement reforms in the Land Fund to prevent a repeat scandal. In the case, allegations have been made that state officials - including the former minister - passed on inside information to speculators who cheaply bought-up property now worth millions more than the original price.