Monday, 22 October 2018

Defence Ministry unable to spend 4.4 billion

9 January 2018

Prague, Jan 8 (CTK) - The Czech Defence Ministry did not spend 4.4 billion crowns of its budget last year, which has taken new Defence Minister Karla Slechtova (ANO) by surprise at the high sum, Defence Ministry spokeswoman Jana Zechmeisterova told journalists on Monday.

The military will transfer the money and spend it this year, Zechmeisterova said.

Slechtova is of the view this bears witness of a wrongly set system of gaining money, which affects individual contracts.

She said she wanted to change the system.

The Defence Ministry also faced problems with its failure to spend the money in past years, too, for which former defence minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) was often blamed.

Last year, the military had at its disposal 52.5 billion crowns, but if all money, including that from outside the budget and from previous budgets is added, it had 57.3 billion. Of the sum, it spent 52.9 billion or 92.3 percent.

"In 2017, the Defence Minister spent 7.2 billion crowns crowns more than in 2016," Zechmeisterova said.

The military will use the remaining 4.4 billion crowns this year.

Slechtova said she was set to change the system so that in the future "all the allotted means are spent efficiently and in time."

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