Snag in replacing Czech Environment Minister amid EU Presidency

When Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková (KDU-ČSL, EPP) resigned due to health reasons, she expected to be quickly replaced by her co-partisan Petr Hladík, but his nomination soon became complicated after he came under police scrutiny.

The police are investigating Hladík due to a corruption scandal revealed in Brno, where he serves as deputy mayor.

The case concerns the privatisation of houses in Brno City, and seven people are already in custody following a police raid.

“On Tuesday, with my cooperation, the police searched my office, and on Wednesday morning, I went to the police to give an explanation in person. I support the police to uncover any criminal activity, and I am ready to cooperate,” Hladík said, adding that he did nothing wrong and had nothing to hide.

“I have not been arrested or charged,” Hladík noted.

The KDU-ČSL party, which should nominate the new environment minister, discussed the issue on Thursday and endorsed the nomination of Hladík for the ministerial position.

The country has to replace the environmental minister as soon as possible, as the Czech Republic holds the Council of the EU Presidency.

Until the official nomination of Hladík and his approval by the president, the ministry will be led by Deputy Prime Minister Marian Jurečka, currently serving as a labour affairs minister.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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