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22. 8. 2010 14:31

Czech PM confirms Hodac is among candidates for secretary for EU

Prague - Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) today confirmed that the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) head Ivan Hodac ranks among the three most serious candidates for the post of Czech state secretary for the EU.

Necas said in a discussion programme on Czech Television (CT) that he would make the definitive choice in a few weeks, after completing the Government Office´s reorganisation.

"He ranks among the priority candidates," Necas said, referring to Hodac, 64.

The state secretary will take over the agenda of which the deputy prime minister for European affairs was in charge in the previous governments.

Necas admitted that "a partial misunderstanding" has arisen between the government and the Foreign Ministry over the choice of the state secretary for the EU.

Most European issues are no longer a matter for foreign policy but involve internal affairs. It would be meaningless for issues such as transport, industry etc to be supervised by Czech diplomacy, Necas pointed out.

Hodac earlier said he would accept the post of the state secretary if offered to him.

Foreign Minister and Deputy PM Karel Schwarzenberg, chairman of the junior government TOP 09, recently did not hide his disappointment at the nomination of Hodac.

"The prime minister told me the name, I objected nothing to it. If the ODS wants a pro-automobile lobbyist in the post, it is a matter of the ODS and the prime minister," Schwarzenberg told daily Lidove noviny earlier this week.

Necas today said he wants the post to be filled with an expert who is not affiliated with any political party.

"It happens to everyone, now and then, that one makes a slip of the tongue and utters something silly. It happened to the foreign minister now, I´m not angry with him," Necas, ODS chairman, said in reaction to Schwarzenberg.

Necas´s center-right government was established on July 13. Of its 15 seats, the ODS holds six, TOP 09 five and Public Affairs (VV) four.

Author: ČTK

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