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Defence Minister to hire law office to prepare big contract

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Prague, May 9 (CTK) – Czech Defence Minister Karla Slechtova (ANO) will hire a law office to draft the documentation for the purchase of combat vehicles worth 53 billion crowns, the biggest state commission, which no ministry could handle without consultation, she said on Wednesday before the cabinet meeting.

“I will not risk it. I will want a law office to take care of this,” she said, referring to legal disputes that have followed after some previous military contracts.

PM Andrej Babis (ANO) told reporters after the cabinet meeting that he was generally not in favour of external workers since the state had its own resources of managers, great legal experts and lawyers. He said he could not assess this case as military purchases were specific.

Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO), who headed the Defence Ministr before Slechtova, said the military no longer needed to use mediators for procurements and would only consult the law office.

Slechtova, whose post is debated in the current coalition negotiations of ANO with the Social Democrats (CSSD), wants to completely re-equip the infantry. She is planning, along with the recently appointed Chief-of-Staff Ales Opata, to prepare the respective tender still this year and to put it up by the end of 2019.

The Czech military is to purchase over 200 infantry fighting vehicles. Overall, the military command wants to spend over 150 billion crowns on military modernisation projects until 2026.

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