Press Conferences

25. 2. 2008 9:42

Press Conference after the Meeting of the Government, Held on Monday 25th February 2008

Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference, which is held in the course of the meeting of the government. The meeting has not finished yet; we hold this press conference at 13:00 because of further programme of the Prime Minister. I welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Mirek Topolánek and the Minister of Interior, Mr. Ivan Langer. I ask the Prime Minister for his introductory speech.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: As an introduction I would like to mention one matter, which has connection rather with this day than with today's meeting of the government. We opened the exhibition "People like Us" at the Office of the Government, and today a book was published, which documents those faces, which you know from the exhibition. It documents those victims, heroes of the third resistance movement and people who had been fighting all their life against the communist totality. It is rather symptomatic that just today, just this book was published; I recommend it you warmly. The second matter I would like to mention, in spite of the fact that it is not totally beyond the framework of the meeting of the government – I am looking for the right paper – you certainly remember that the Russian Federation nominated a Czech representative for the President of the IMF. I want to announce today that the Czech Republic and the Czech government decided to nominate a Czech representative to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The election period of the current President of the bank, Jean Lemmiere will be finished and we declared at the session of ministers, at Ecofin our intention to nominate our candidate. It is Zdeněk Tůma who is that candidate, reigning Governor of the Czech National Bank. With regard to his professional career, professional experience and thanks to his work in important positions of the EBRD, he is a strong candidate who is supported by number of countries of the EU. We are dispatching the official nomination this week. The time schedule is quite clear. On 4th March 2008 at the Ecofin session the EU should agree on its candidate, so that we could put his through against interests of the USA, Japan, Australia and other countries. I remind you that Germany and Hungary have already nominated their candidates. The decision on the new President of the EBRD might be made in Kiev in May 2008. I want this information to be announced officially, as it deserves it. The third thing I want to give preference to the meeting of the government, and that is why the Minister of Interior is here, concerns the Memorandum of Understanding, about which I have been reading incredible speculation recently. It will be signed tomorrow in Washington and it concerns waiver of visa requirements for Czech citizens in the framework of the Visa Waiver Program. I am honoured to have an opportunity to announce that those negotiations continued until late hours yesterday and we reached rather unique result, I mean the approval of the EC, Directorate of the EC, and the commissioner Fratinni. During last hours of negotiations we reached number of positive changes and the material is prepared for approval and for signature at tomorrow's negotiation in Washington. Ivan Langer will explain some details, as information in the media is often rather of a doubtful character. As to the meeting of the government – it reverted to the issues that had been suspended and in the framework of the Committee for the EU on the governmental level we debated two issues. Both of them were approved following a long debate, as these points had influence on the Czech Republic. The first one concerned the framework position of the Czech Republic to the draft Regulation of the European Commission and the Council on Reduction of CO2 Emissions from Light Commercial Vehicles and I would like to indicate that a compromise was reached following the cooperation of the Minister of Industry and Trade and the Minister for Environment. The second issue concerned the framework position of the Czech Republic to the climatic-energy package, where a compromise was also reached. Therefore, we will have common position regarding those negotiations of the Council for Competitiveness, the Council for Energy and the Council for Environment. As to issues debated in the framework of the meeting of the government, Ivan Langer will inform you on an essential set of laws, on the Bill on the Police of the Czech Republic and all those connecting laws, which were approved by the government, and which will be passed to the Chamber of Deputies. We approved the Civil Procedure Code, which also solves the issue of delivery of consignements. We approved both bills submitted by Minister Gandalovič together with the Chairman of the Czech Geodesic and Cadastral Office. We approved a bill, which meant absolute breakthrough; it was the Bill amending the Act on Accountancy, which would enable, after its implementation, what we had promised – to introduce accounting system of the state. We approved points, which amended remuneration for performance of functions to members of representative councils; Ivan Langer may add information on this issue again. As to controversial issues that had been suspended last time, we finally approved implementation of various orders both for the National Allocation Plan for Emission Limits Trading for 2008-2012, the Draft Government Order Stipulating Financial Limits for the Purpose of Franchise Act, the Draft Government Order on Stipulation of Financial Limits, on Conversion Rates of Account Priced in Public Procurement Act, which was forced order with regard to amendments to laws approved before. We approved the Proposal of Deputies Mirek Topolánek, Michal Doktor and others for promulgation of the Act on Income Tax, through which meal vouchers would be abolished. There are about six items remaining for the debated and I have a feeling that neither implementation of the REACH, nor the Act on Chemical Substances and Chemical Preparation are not controversial legal norms and they are going to be approved by the government. This is all as an introduction and I ask Ivan Langer to inform you of his issues, which I regard as key issues of today's debate.
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: Good afternoon. Let me express my opinion on two issues, which were subjects of the debate of the government this morning. I mean the issue of memorandum of understanding, which is opening the way towards waiver of visa requirements for Czech citizens travelling to the USA, and the reform of the Police. I will start with the first issue. I regard as absolutely correct that after long years of waiting for equal position in the sphere of the visa policy of the USA within the European Union, we took our fate into our own hands. What had been prepared, what had been negotiated, and what was based on the commitment of President Busch during his last year's visit to the Czech Republic, is included in the memorandum of understanding, which opens way towards visa requirement waiver for Czech citizens travelling to the USA. I want to emphasize one matter here. We have been fighting for Czech citizens, but simultaneously we realized that it was a breakthrough in respect of other countries of the EU. I am very pleased that the hard attitude of the Czech side, great willingness of the American side finally led to the agreement, which may be a basis for similar documents, which will be concluded by other countries of the EU. In this sense, I regard it as further success of the Czech government in the course of destroying barriers for Czech citizens; this process began at the end of the last year entering the Schengen area and I believe that it would be crowned by visa requirement waiver for Czech citizens travelling to the USA. As to the reform of the Police, the government approved it today. The reform of the Police was started by extensive analytical document in autumn 2006. Last year was the year of preparations and implementation of the legislative parts of the reform. Today the government approved the new Act on the Police and amendments to about 60 legal norms, which form legal basis for the Police reform. The reform of the Police does not mean anything else than that we change state, which has been unchanged for about 50 years. The reform is historically the most extensive, most consistent, and the most sophisticated change done in last 50 years. The purpose of the reform is on the one hand to remove unnecessary activities from the police work, and on the other hand to give it new competences, which are naturally necessary for its effective performance. We do not want to make postmen from our policemen or co-drivers who transport drunkards; but we do want to have such competences, which would enable the Police to fight better against neo-Nazism, extremism, prostitution or illegal employment. The reform of the Police means deep structural changes. We count on establishment and performance of 14 regional directorates, and we simultaneously want to reduce number of commanding positions. We are changing economic model of police performance, we deal with the issue of human potential within the Police and also with control. I would like to emphasize one matter in this respect. The reform of the Police itself is incredibly wide-ranging project and it is not possible to implement all issues at a time. In this sense, in particular in the sphere of the control of the Police, the government took the first step in strengthening of independence of the Inspection of the Ministry of Interior. The Minister of Interior is got rid of direct personnel powers relating to the Director of the Inspection. The Inspection of Minister of Interior is subordinated to the Parliament. The reform also enhances powers of the Inspection of Minister of Interior in muckraking crimes within the Police. Nevertheless, the government wants to go farther, towards greater independence of that control body and towards extension of its powers not only towards the Police, but also towards customers and the Prison service. The government assigned me with a task to submit, in cooperation with the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Justice, a bill on the General Inspection of Security Corps, which would be absolutely out of competences of the Ministry of Interior. I would also like to emphasize that the reform of the Police is accompanied by the greatest amount of investment means for technology equipment, for working background of policemen. It is at the amount of 5 billion crowns, which are allocated to modernization of police stations in the Czech Republic and this year we will start the greatest modernization of vehicles in the new history of the Police. For the first project 3,6 billion crowns are earmarked and for the second project 1.4 billion crowns. I would like to thank all those who were involved in preparation of these laws. I believe that we will be successful in persuading deputies and senators on necessity of those changes, on their sophisticated character, their interconnection, and I believe that the legislative framework will come into force starting from 1st January 2009.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: I thank the Minister of Interior, and now there is time for your questions. First of all the government agenda, please. The TV Prima.
Tomáš Drahoňovský, TV Prima: I would revert to your proposal of deputies. I would like to know if you can describe why it was submitted as a proposal of deputies and not in the framework of the entire reform. And then, is the influence on the state budget already calculated? What revenue could be brought in the state treasury?
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: Well, this proposal was included in the government package, and you know it well. It was removed based on a compromise under pressure of trade unions and employers, under pressure of number of groups. It was a kind of a test, because it was quite apparent that if we wanted to decrease taxes, and to simplify tax paperwork and the entire tax legislation, it would be impossible without a discussion on number of tax deductible items, tax relieves and similar advantages; meal vouchers were a kind of a symbol of it. I must say that I was deeply hurt by those accusations, which were published by the media without asking me or Michal Doctor about reasons for submission of that separate proposal. We will submit it again to the Chamber of Deputies, to assure whether there is the will to simplify the tax legislation, because it is a symbol of that simplification. A question is what the final wording will be like; we are prepared for number of negotiations. It may result in revenue amounted up to 5 billion crowns, but it is not important how much it will bring to the state budget, but if there is the will in the Chamber of Deputies to really simplify the tax system in the Czech Republic, as not only citizen but also businessmen deserve it. I do not want to say anything else about it.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, further question. Czech TV.
Zina Plchová, Czech TV: Good afternoon. I want to ask, Mr. Prime Minister – can you express your standpoint to the AP agency according to which that negotiations on the American radar will be concluded this week.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I do not know if it is news of the AP agency; I granted an interview in the morning and said that the agenda had already been prepared let alone certain details, which would be discussed in Washington; I did not say that it would be signed. I am of the opinion it will take some time, but the two agreements are prepared in fact; both agreements, the great one and the SOFA agreement are prepared and those controversial points will be discussed during my visit to Washington.
Zina Plchová, Czech TV: Then I have further question concerning different topic, I mean visa. Can you say in detail what conditions we are ready to accept beyond the basic framework?

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I do not understand your question. I think that many generations of people in this country have desired for free travelling. The entire after-November political representation has tried to waive visa requirements of the USA, and this state, which was negotiated and which could come into force at the end of this year is markedly better than the existing state; therefore I do not understand your question.
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: Conditions are defined in such a way that our Memorandum of Understanding will probably become a model document for other countries of the EU. In this sense, I would say that these conditions are precious good..
Zina Plchová, Czech TV: One more question concerning health care to the Prime Minister – can you say whether you expect a coalition meeting concerning issue of the health care. Representative of the Green Party at the Republic Council said yesterday that they agreed neither with fees nor with privatization of hospitals. Do you plan any meeting and when?
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I am not going to respond to any media news. We held already two meetings on the health care issues. It is true that the individual law will be debated at the Chamber of Deputies and there will be number of political negotiations held, but I am not willing to debated basic direction, basic elements of the reform. I think that there are more myths relating to those fees. We said clearly that after half a year we would make a real analysis of impacts, as recent analyses were made only based on statistical data and further surveys of the sample of one thousand people. So, we are willing to make any changes after that half-a-year time period, which will show whether changes are really necessary. As to the privatization – I do not know where the origin of that information is – I know about denationalization of certain state-owned health insurance companies; let us rather speak about denationalization of the VZP (state-owned health insurance company) than about its privatization. I do not understand that question; I find these attitudes rather strange. Such things are not included in those laws.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, Mladá fronta.
Jan Gazdík, MfD: Good afternoon, Mr. Prime Minister, I have a question regarding that radar. If it is true that you discussed also health impacts of the radar operation, I suppose that everything is all right, as you want just to adapt the agreement more precisely in Washington.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: First, I am convinced that everything is all right, we did not discuss that material; it was a material just for information. It will be included in the agenda of the next meeting of the government or the next but one meeting of the government as the item to be considered in the course of the debate. It means that ministers were formally informed of the material. I think that it is the last problem which would bother me in connection with the construction of the radar base in the Czech territory. I am of the opinion that is clearly proved that all those speculations and myths, which are being created regarding the radar, are created artificially. I would not like my visit to the USA and Canada to be viewed only from the radar point of view. I do not think it is the most important problem, I think that the most important issue is the visa issue. The purpose of the visit is also the fight against communism, fight against terrorism, fight for human rights, as I will meet dissidents from Burma, Belarus and Cuba. I suppose these issues to be more important than that you have mentioned. By the way, in a very advanced stage is the preparation of the document, which is absolutely crucial for our acceptance of the radar base; it is the framework agreement on exchange of scientific information in the army industry; not only missile defence. Number of framework agreements on a lower level has already been signed. I think that this is crucial for my visit and it also includes leave-taking with the outgoing administration, and I am very glad that this visit has been organized.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, the TV Prima.
Tomáš Drahoňovský, TV Prima: Once more. I would like to ask, Mr. Prime Minister, a question which is a bit out of the agenda of the meeting of the government. The ČEZ (electric energy supplier) announced today its record profit, and added that price of the electric energy would grow by 10% at a minimum. I would like to know and it is a logical question I think, whether you can do anything about it, so that the price remain at the existing level, because the ČEZ is a company with a half-share of the state.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: If you want me, as a power engineering specialist, to deliver a two-hour lecture, I will deliver it. I think it would be a great aid for many journalists, especially those of the sphere of economy. There is no connection between the ČEZ profit and the price of electric energy, especially in the Czech Republic. The government has no influence on the price, as it is determined by the market of the EU. Besides, the smaller part of this price, especially in case of power electricity, is determined by the Regulatory Office. The Regulatory Office raises prices recently in case of distribution, and system and auxiliary services; this is what the government can influence, but far less than it is real price growth of this sphere. The price of electricity is influenced by the pressure of neighbour countries, in particular Germany. It means that electric energy growth is caused by a very ambitious plan of the EU in the sphere of the fight against climatic changes and all those measures connecting with this sphere, because the electricity price nowadays, in the framework of the internalization of externalities is being pushing up artificially. It also influences prices of electricity in our country, which remain still the lowest ones. So, if I could recommend, I would recommend to create real electric energy market, to take easy certain measures, and to construct those two blocks of the nuclear power station Temelín. I am of the opinion that it would a great help in out fight against climatic changes and in maintenance of electric energy prices for next 20 or 30 years. The fact that the ČEZ is profitable is very satisfying for me, as a representative of the state, which has 70% share in this company, because it is the golden egg, which will bring us dividends that will enable us to implement number of other programmes and other projects. We are not able to influence electric energy prices.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, the ČTK.
Jiří Šťastný, Czech News Agency: Good afternoon. I have a question – can you concretely say what is included in that memorandum? For example that summary of information on our citizens that will be passed to the USA?
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: The greatest changes took place in this respect. Ivan Langer will describe them.
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: I must apologize, but I cannot inform you today, on the eve of signing the memorandum, of its complete text, because, first, it is a thing, which will be published after the signature. And second, the memorandum stipulates number of areas. The first and the key text concerns the exception for the Czech Republic, those 3% limit of refused requirements for visa. Furthermore, it stipulates the issue of airport security and the issue of security of escorts. It stipulates problems regarding repatriation of former citizens of the Czech Republic, it stipulates passport issues, and it clearly defines that only citizens with so called e-passports, which are optically readable, will be able to travel in the framework of the Visa Waiver Programme. As to all other citizens, if they have old passports, a methodology and the way of sharing information on them is stipulated in the framework of that ETA system, which is electronic system of data exchange – the same as the system of other countries like Australia. For us there is a limit, which is the same as the limit of existing information which is passed by airlines and following the PNR, which is a document approved on the level of the EU and the USA and which is subjected to the approval of the individual member countries. In other words, we do not undertake to do anything, which would be unacceptable for the rest of Europe. What I regard as a breakthrough is that reciprocity which has been reached in the framework of that memorandum, which is absolutely new thing that was not included in the original proposal of the American side. The important matter is that part of the memorandum forms statement stating that the Czech Republic is bound by its contracting commitments within the EU, and these commitments are unbreakable. I apologize, but I cannot say more at the moment, but I am convinced that I have said a lot, so that you know what is included in the memorandum.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I must express my opinion. I understand that you are trying to find fault with something that is absolutely positive. Last week I had an opportunity to travel through Europe freely. I crossed Czech-German borders for the first time by car and I must say that I got thrill out of it, as we and I myself, have been waiting for it for 52 years. The accession of the Czech Republic to the Schengen Area and waiver of US visa are symbols for me; even in case the government did anything else, I would be proud of it.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, further question, please.
Petra Vosrčilová, Reuters: Mr. Prime Minister, I have a question regarding the issue of the radar. Could you tell us what those controversial points are, which you would like to negotiate with the American side and when the signature of these agreements may be expected.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I will not disclose any detailed data on it; you certainly understand me, excuse me. I do not think I am able to set a deadline in advance. We are saying clearly that we will act in accord with the Polish side. Poles are negotiating with Washington autonomously. I will have a telephonic conversation with them. I will support their interests in Washington, but to tell you the deadline, it would be unprofessional or unfair from my side. But we will have these basic matter concluded by the Bucharest summit, anyway. We are in accord concerning this with Donald Tusek. The reason is that the Bucharest summit should significantly strengthen process of so called "natoization" and that Euro-Atlantic relationships in the anti-missile defence concerning short-range, medium-range and long-range missiles. It means that I want these issues negotiated by the Bucharest summit, and it is not important when we will sign it. We want to harmonize the procedure with the Polish Republic.
Petr Vajkrt, Good afternoon, I would like to ask whether the return of Jiří Čunek to the cabinet is realistic. Have you solved the issue of possible resignation of Mr. Schwarzenberg in case of Jiří Čunek's return? Thank you.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I regard this matter as unnecessarily exaggerated. Jiří Čunek left the cabinet as it was his will in a situation, when his case was opening again. All those cases are already closed, and in this sense there is nothing what hinders him from his returning to the cabinet. I asked both smaller coalition parties to reach basic agreement and I still insist on this requirement of mine. Therefore I hope that Jiří Čunek together with Karel Schwarzenberg will find a common approach. But from the technical point of view, there is nothing what would hinder him from returning.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, further question, please.
Veronika Jakubcová, I would like to ask you, Mr. Minister, whether the text of the memorandum has been changed since 6th February, when you stated that the American and the Czech side reached a final wording. And the second matter – why it was necessary to negotiate with Mr. Fratinni and the EC until late night, when Mr. Vondra said last week that the European Commission agreed to our signature.
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: First, and now I will be rather emotional – where the solidarity of the EU was in last several years? That is why we decided to take the fate into our own hands and we began to negotiate. We managed to negotiate excellent conditions for Czech citizens and for citizens of the EU. That is why they consider them as a basis for similar texts. Besides, we are convinced that it was bilateral text and it was a matter of our decision what to sign. But we are solidary and we realize that all the others will proceed in a similar way. And we were negotiating with them, so that they would have enough information. I share the opinion of the Prime Minister. If it were nothing, but the Schengen and visa waiver, then it was worth our efforts.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I regarded as shameless when the former presidency countries, including Slovenia, to which visa requirements are not applied, were constantly visiting Washington and thwarting our interests. In this respect, I am pleased that we managed to persuade both the EC and the EC Directorate, and especially Commissioner Fratinni that our way was the right one.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, further question.
Vojtěch Blažek, Hospodářské noviny: I have a question to Mr. Minister. You mentioned establishment of a new body – General Inspection. I would like to know how it will operate, who will control it. And the second question concerns competences of policemen. Will they be higher or lower? What activities will they be got rid of?
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: As to the general inspection - as we wanted to subordinate to external independent control relevant security corps, not only the Police, we decided to submit a special law and to establish the General Inspection of Security Corps. The Police of the Czech Republic, the Custom Services and the Prison Service will be within the competences of the General Inspection. It will be a free-standing security corps, which will be subordinated to the government and controlled by the Parliament. The task for the Minister of Interior is to submit, in cooperation with the Minister of Finance, the Bill on General Inspection of Security Corps by the end of the year. It is such an extensive institutional and structural change that it is not possible to manage it in the framework of the standard agenda of the police reform and that is why the task was assigned like this. As to activities, the Police should be got rid of duty of judicial consignment delivery, escort of excessive freight, free of charge assistance in case of sport or cultural events, delivery of drunks to sobering-up stations, and so on. In other words, we want policemen to be real policemen. But we also want to extend competences for example in the fight against terrorism, restricted possibility to jam electronic communication, so that we would be able to avert a bomb explosion through remote control. We extend competences of the Police in case of admission to business premises, so that policemen would be able to stop for example a concert of Nazis in a pub, so that they would be able to fight better against white slave trade, drugs, extortion, and prostitution. We want the Police to have possibility to enter brothels, so that they would chance to control these premises in case there is a suspicion of illegal employment of persons, slave labour, and such like. These were the most important changes of police competences.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, further question.
Oldřich Janeba, Deník: Good afternoon. Mr. Prime Minister, I was surprised at a sentence of yours – you said that it would be great aid for the Czech Republic to build two new blocks of the nuclear power station in Temelín. It is not included in the coalition agreement, only energy conservation has always been mentioned. Is it a change of your policy?
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I do not know who mentioned energy conservation. There are three or four ways how to achieve effective energy industry and not to pollute environment. These comprise issues of energy intensity reduction, consumption reduction, construction of such power sources, which do not produce CO2. From this point of view, the nuclear energy is among priorities of the entire EU. The fact that we do not have this issue included in the coalition agreement does not prevent me from having my own opinion. Or, if you think that I should have such an opinion, then there is question whether I will be able to promote it or not. At present, thanks to the coalition agreement, I am not able to guarantee rapid construction of nuclear blocks in spite of the fact that Czech citizens would deserve it. I think it is complicated to explain it to you if you do not see the difference between what is possible within coalition and my own opinion.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you.
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: Just a small remark. I would emphasize the balance between this attitude and the pressure on energy conservation. The Police of the Czech Republic are now being subjected to the energy audit and we want to draw European means for reduction of energy consumption. So it is also a way how to solve these problems.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I must cast my mind back and say that the firm I managed was doing such audits in mid-1990´s. It is one of ways, nevertheless, I cannot influence Czech exporters and manufacturers, and to order them what to produce, so that it would consume less energy. It is apparent that the structure of the Czech industry is changing, but our GNP is still dependant on production which is very demanding from the point of view of the energy consumption. I do not mean just steel works. The entire procedure must be logical, must be realistic, must be gradual and in this sense I must say that we have the same opinion as the Green party.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, the last two questions, please.

Petr Vašek, HN: Mr. Prime Minister, I would revert to the issue of Jiří Čunek. You said that the Green Party and the KDU-ČSL would have to agree on his return. I would like to ask what you will do if they do not reach an agreement. Are you decided to recall Jiří Čunek?
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I wish them to reach an agreement. I am convinced that they will agree on it in the end.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you, the last question, Mladá fronta.
Jan Gazdík, MfD: Good afternoon. When might visa requirements be waived? And further question, I know that you do not like speculations of journalists, but let me speculate a bit – does not that helpfulness of the UA towards the Czech Republic regarding visa requirements have connection with their wish to have radar? Are not they more willing in relation to the Czech Republic because of this reason?
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: I would like to ask you, Mr. Gazdík – do you feel pleasure as to the visa requirement waiver? As to visa, I said in the introduction that several political representations had been attempting to reach visa waiver, vainly. After the appointment of Alexandr Vondra to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs an alliance of countries with visa requirements was formed, and relevant lobbying took place in the Congress. I do not know if you have information on the fact that I will open the Czech Caucus in Washington. So, we managed to form a group of congressmen, in the framework of our fight for visa requirement waiver, who would continue in their support of the Czech Republic. We have been working on that visa issue for several years. I think that significant shift in opinions took place in Riga, where President Bush , without any connection with radar, said for the first time that he knew about that problem and that he wanted to solve it by the end of his term of office. With regard to the fact that the term of his office is finishing, and because I know George W. Bush, he surely wants to meet his commitments. I cannot agree with a connection of Visa Waiver Programme for the Czech Republic with placement of a radar base in the Czech Republic. The fact that it is being introduces simultaneously, at the same time, it is rather a coincidence, as those previous political representations might have been consistent enough in their efforts to implement that Visa Waiver Programme and the programme might have been accomplished several years ago. There is not connection here.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: Thank you. Now really the last question.
Marek Pokorný, Deník: I would like to ask about something. First, the bill on the Police Reform is now passed to the Chamber of Deputies. Second, it should also include delivery of consignments and such like. When will the system be started and what will be the procedure like? Will people receive electronic subpoenas? What will be economies like? When I spoke to your deputy sometime, he said that it was intended only for entrepreneurs, for firms, but not for citizens.
Ivan Langer, Minister of Interior: Excuse me, but you are connecting two issues together. We really agreed that, according to the Rules of Civil Procedure, the Police will not be the institution which delivers subpoenas. In the sphere of the criminal proceedings, the Police will be the last institution which delivers, and only in case it is not possible to deliver subpoenas in a different way. I regard it as logical. The police lose hundreds of hours every year just because policemen act like postmen and travel with envelopes throughout the Czech Republic. They are too expensive postmen. The bill which was debated now, so that we it could be debated in the first reading at the Chamber of Deputies. The issue you were talking about concerns delivery according the Act on e-Government. It concerns duty of counties to communicate in an electronic way. The duty of state organs is to establish data boxes. There will be duty of legal entities to have such data boxes for delivery and it will be recommendation for natural persons, including me or you. Nevertheless, it is an issue, which does not have direct connection with the police reform. There is certain linkage to it and these legal norm form a broader package. Moreover, is a bill which we will submit to the government in a minute together with Mr. Pospíšil.
Jana Bartošová, government spokesperson: I thank the Minister of Interior; I thank you for your attention. Good-bye.

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