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Czech News in English » News » Politics » Industry Minister Mládek ends in late February

Industry Minister Mládek ends in late February

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Prague, Feb 20 (CTK) – Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek (Social Democrats, CSSD), 56, will leave the post as of the end of February, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) told reporters yesterday.
He said he would submit his proposal for Mladek’s dismissal to President Milos Zeman and tell him the name of the minister’s successor on Thursday.
Mladek has been criticised of late for his statements in the debate on the prices of mobile data and part of the amendment to the telecommunication law.
Sobotka said he was not satisfied with Mladek’s way of tackling the issue.
Sobotka said his priority was a functioning market with mobile services prices.
“I am striving for lowering the prices of mobile data. However, I have not received sufficient support from the ministry. Unfortunately, the ministry has been sending very contradictory signals in the past weeks. Some of its statements have directly offended the public,” Sobotka told reporters.
Sobotka is to meet Zeman to submit the proposal for Mladek’s dismissal to him at Prague Castle on Thursday afternoon, Presidential Office spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK.
He refused to anticipate Zeman’s reaction. He only said Sobotka must justify the dismissal and proposal for a new minister to Zeman.
“The constitution is valid and so are constitutional conventions. One of them is that the president meets the prime minister’s proposal for a government member’s dismissal,” Sobotka said, adding that he bears responsibility for the government lineup.
Mladek’s departure was speculated about several times before.
Last year, Mladek offered his resignation in reaction to his failure in the Senate elections, but Sobotka decided to keep him in office.
The media speculated about state secretary for European affairs Tomas Prouza (CSSD) to head the Industry and Trade Ministry.
Prouza refused to comment on the speculation yesterday.
The Aktualne.cz Server reports yesterday that Prouza has withdrawn his request for security vetting necessary for this position.
Prouza also occupies the post of government commissioner for digitisation.
Mladek is the third CSSD minister to leave in the past several months
Last November, Miloslav Ludvik replaced Svatopluk Nemecek at the Health Ministry’s helm and Jan Chvojka became a new human rights and legislation minister instead of Jiri Dienstbier.
Sobotka justified their replacement by the need to “increase the government’s dynamics.”
In 2015, Sobotka dismissed education minister Marcel Chladek and replaced him with Katerina Valachova.
Mladek did a great job during the three years in the post, Sobotka said yesterday.
“I want to clearly thank him for this. He has done a lot of work as far as support for investments and export is concerned. However, as the head of government I was not satisfied with the Industry Ministry’s work lately,” Sobotka said.
On Friday, Sobotka said in an interview with daily Hospodarske noviny that he would not dismiss Mladek despite the criticism.
Yesterday, he said he would like to propose the appointment of a new industry and trade minister as of the beginning of March.
“The sphere of mobile communication and mobile data will be one of the priorities of the new government member,” Sobotka said, adding that no fundamental changes can be expected, but some things can be influenced.
hol/dr/ms

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