Jurecka May Remain Acting Environment Minister Until End of 2022

The Christian Democrats insist on naming Hladik as the new environment minister. Photo credit: vlada.cz.

Prague, Nov 28 (CTK) – Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) will ask Deputy Prime Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) to stay in the post of environment minister until the end of the year, Fiala told Czech Television yesterday.

Fiala said if no unforeseen circumstances occur by that time, he was ready to propose Christian Democrat nominee Petr Hladik to the post.

Fiala said on Thursday after meeting President Milos Zeman that he would take some more time to present the proposal. He said he wanted to be sure that all uncertainties around Hladik were explained.

The Christian Democrats insist on naming Hladik as the new environment minister.

Hladik, a former deputy mayor in Brno, was to become the environment minister after Anna Hubackova left the post. However, his appointment was complicated by a criminal investigation in Brno, which saw his office raided by police.

Jurecka has been the acting head of the office until the case is resolved.

“I respect Fiala’s decision,” Jurecka told Czech Television. “Due to the ongoing Czech EU presidency in particular, it is necessary to maintain continuity. I am glad that Fiala is ready to name Hladik as the environment minister as of the New Year.”

The Czech presidency will last until the end of the year.

According to iDNES.cz, the police suspected Hladik of influencing the privatisation of municipal properties in Brno and having unclear connections with businessman Michal Horky, who helped push through some dubious privatisation deals. Horky has been remanded in custody.

During the raid on 4 October, the police questioned 30 people and searched 28 residences and other premises. In October, the police also raided Hladik’s office. Hladik has denied all allegations, arguing that he is cooperating with the police and no charges have been filed against him.

“I want to propose the candidate who will be fully able to control this vital office, wasting no time with explaining any irregularities,” said Fiala.

After meeting Zeman on Wednesday, Jurecka said Zeman only wanted to meet Hladik after he received the official request to nominate him. Jurecka guessed this would be a matter of days or weeks.

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