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Deputy minister Havlíček to be new industry minister

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Prague, March 23 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) proposed to President Milos Zeman the deputy industry and trade minister, Jiri Havlicek (CSSD), 40, to be new minister, he told journalists after a meeting with Zeman at Prague Castle.

Sobotka said he supposes that Zeman will meet Havlicek now and that he expects Havlicek to be appointed within a matter of days.

Zeman will appoint Havlicek “almost certainly,” he told Barrandov TV channel. He said he would talk to Havlicek next week and appoint him in two weeks.

Zeman said he is glad that Sobotka has proposed Havlicek for the post because Havlicek, having been deputy minister, is well acquainted with the operation of the Industry and Trade Ministry.

Sobotka also said Havlicek does not need time to get to know the ministry, which is important because a general election will be held in October.

His task will be to push through what is needed for a bill on electronic communication. Further priorities include drawing European money, preparation of the construction of a new unit at the nuclear power plant in Dukovany, south Moravia, and a change to investment incentives, Sobotka said.

Havlicek will replace Jan Mladek (CSSD), whom Sobotka dismissed as from February 28. He explained the dismissal by Mladek’s procedure on mobile data tariffs, which are among the highest in Europe.

Sobotka has headed the ministry since Mladek’s departure.

Havlicek is the seventh minister joining Sobotka’s coalition government during its term.

The government which is comprised of the CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) was appointed in January 2014.

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