published: 14.03.2013, 12:46 | updated: 14.03.2013 12:57:01
Prague - Vlastimil Picek, former chief-of-staff and present first deputy defence minister, will be appointed to the post of Czech defence minister that has been vacant since Christmas, according to information CTK received today.
Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) and Deputy Prime Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) have allegedly agreed on Picek´s appointment. Picek will meet Necas before the prime minister´s departure for a Brussels summit this afternoon, a source from the government coalition told CTK.
Necas has temporarily headed the ministry since the end of last year when he sacked Liberal Democrats (LIDEM) chairwoman Karolina Peake after eight days in the post defence minister.
Necas said then he lost trust in Peake after she made personnel changes immediately after her appointment, especially after she sacked Picek as first deputy defence minister. Necas reinstalled Picek in the post.
Peake inidicated that she was against the appointment of Picek as minister.
"But I and LIDEM have unfortunately got used to agreements not being respected," Peake said.
LIDEM is the smallest coalition partner.
Necas said he wants to find an unaffiliated expert who would be competent in the defence area but would also be acceptable for the ODS's coalition partners, TOP 09 and LIDEM.
Picek is a widely respected expert. He led negotiations about a lease contract extension for Gripen fighter planes with Sweden, among others.
Not only soldiers but also other politicians started complaining about the fact that the Defence Ministry is without a proper head. Schwarzenberg said earlier this week he would discuss the issue with Necas on Wednesday. Their talks probably produced the agreement on Picek.
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