Press Conferences

29. 1. 2007 12:47

Press conference of the Prime Minister of the CR, Mirek Topolánek after the meeting of the government on Monday, 29th January, 2007

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first press conference after the meeting of the government of the CR. First of all I would like to say that the Prime Minister will have to attend further meeting, which in fact is beginning now, it means he will not be able to stay with us long and he will answer only those questions, which will concern the meeting of the government.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: Thank you. We reverted to our habit to hold meetings of the government on Mondays in case the Chamber of Deputies has its session. Today's meeting of the government was relatively short. Three points out of eight that were considered in the course of the debate have been withdrawn, as they should be debated more thoroughly. One of them concerned the project of the partnership of the private and public sector, one concerned the Act on Air Protection and the last one, which we withdrew concerned so called "smart operation" – the integrated operational programme, which deserves longer debate. Regarding points that we have approved, we approved the Act on Feedstuffs, Government Order on settlement of compensations for loss on earnings of soldiers called up to military exercises. A very important point was the point submitted by the minister Svoboda, it was the Report on assignment of powers and implementation of legislative commitments resulting from our membership in the EU; there we were solving also the problem, which inherited the Julínek´s ministry after the previous minister, it concerned non-fulfilment of certain tasks and threats of sanctions resulting from this fact. That was all, in fact. We were informed on the state of emergency in connection with forests damaged by windstorms. We are not going to extend the state of emergency after 5th February. When all contracts concerning exploitation of wood are concluded, when all roads and paths are cleaned and secured, tourism will be possible. We informed the government on the meeting with Angela Merkel and were also debated the issue of necessity for an American visa. That is broadly all.

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Ladies and gentlemen, are there any questions? TV Prima.

Tomáš Drahoňovský, TV Prima: Good afternoon. I would revert to the meeting with Mrs. Merkel. Certain information occurred that Mr. Zahradil is to be member of the expert group on the constitution and further information that the Green Party has some reservation regarding membership of Mr. Zahradil in this group. Do you also have such information?

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: Such information does not exist, as it is not true. There is no expert group, there are just so called focal points, confidential negotiations of representatives of the German presidency on the one hand and representatives of member states on the other hand; in this case the positions are similar to a commissioner of the Prime Minister. We have two of them – the first one is existing deputy of the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Jiří Šedivý and the second is Jan Zahradil. It is not any official group, they are people who are to hear intention of the German presidency, and they become middlemen between the government or the Prime Minister and the German presidency. So, their competences are not very broad, in this sense.

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Are there any further question concerning the meeting of the government? The ČTK.

Alice Blažková, ČTK: Prime Minister, you mentioned that you had been debating the visa requirements. Could you specify whether the government is going to do something about it.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: I could not. Nevertheless, I will be more concrete, after all. The Deputy Minister for Internal Security of the USA visited me last week and discussion was opened on the issue of our necessity for a visa. Of course, it is connected with number of technical problems, which also concern old countries of the EU, which already do not face visa requirements. In this sense, negotiations with our partners in the EU will be opened.

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Mr. Drahoňovský, does it concern the meeting of the government? Well, one more question to complete the issue, but the last one if it concerns Mrs. Merkel.

Tomáš Drahoňovský, TV Prima: Exactly so. I would like to ask you if names of these commissioners are already definite or if there will be a discussion at the meeting of the government. Because as far as I know, Mr. Zahradil minds the Green Party, as I have heard.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: I do not think he mind the Green Party, I have not heard such official information I am not interested in underhand information. These names are definite, as I myself appointed them.

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Are there any further questions? Česká televize.

Pavla Renčínová, ČT: Good afternoon. I would like to ask a question concerning the report on assignment of powers and commitments of the CR in relation to the EU and if some matters occurred, about which you would like to speak, something what should be solved immediately.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: Immediately, that was my task assignment, too, which is not written, it is not a part of resolution, but the task was like this, of course, to pay attention first, in the framework of the individual ministries, to issues where the delay is greatest, where sanctions threatens or where a decision has been made on them, for example in case of medical professions. So it is an absolute priority. Of course, great debate was on so called "Eurospeak"; what means "to incorporate", what means "to transpose", what means "to approximate". Of course, we want to help both commissioner Verheugen and the European Commission regarding what is necessary to revoke, i.e. it concerns the obligation of the European Commission regarding simplification, deregulation. We will want to meet our obligations resulting from directives, but on the other hand will want to be initiators of revocation of what is obsolete and non-purposive. So, these were two tasks that ministers were assigned with.

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Are there any further questions? If it is not so, I make an exception for Polish television TVN, which would liker to have an answer for a question that the Prime Minister had already answered, but they could not be here.

Szarski J. Jerzy, Polish television TVN 24: Good afternoon, Prime Minister. We would like to ask a question about the antimissile base; this is an issue, which is very controversial in Poland. Citizens are usually afraid of the placement. I have two questions, in fact – what is the atmosphere among Czech citizens regarding placement of radars and the second question, whether you, as a Prime Minister and the entire government are absolutely sure that it is a good and safety thing.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: Well, I am not going to impinge on the internal political discussion by no means; therefore I am not going to express my opinions regarding antimissile base in Poland and I hope you understand me. The fact that in both countries will be both public a professional discussion on this issue, it is all right, of course, as the decision-making process is only opening. Neither of countries has replied, in fact, to the note of the U.S.A, it means it has not confirmed opening of those negotiations. It can be done only on the basis of the note. Only after that the negotiation process of experts, lawyers, can be opened, so that the agreement would be advantageous for also from the economic point of view and so on, not only from the security point of view. We expect to finish the process of approval in our country within one year, so it is not issue, which would require acceleration of the discussion and the decision itself. As to security issues, I am deeply convinced that if the decision-making process would have been made after some five years, your question would seem to the public as groundless; in this sense this issue is a kind of a pioneer project, a pilot project. Threat of ballistic missiles with carriers, either from the side of states, which do not want to respect international agreements or from the side of non-state organizations, which could seize such ballistic missiles, will be increasing and it is quite evident that such countries, Europe, the EU, the USA and the democratic world must protect themselves. In this sense, such facilities, both on the Polish and the Czech side will increase security of citizens of the two countries and they will also increase security of citizens of the European continent.

Szarski J. Jerzy, Polish television TVN 24: Can I ask a question regarding atmosphere among Czech citizens? Are you going to take their opinion into consideration?

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: In our country, there are certain waves, which mostly respond to certain media presentation or rather to number of myths. Of course, before beginning or before the American note, the support was higher than 60%; now, after publishing delusions, the atmosphere has changed. In this sense, both the government and the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be holding a dialogue with the general public, they will be trying to highlight that enlightenment and explanatory campaign. And we will certainly deal with citizens of those communities, which are situated near to expected facilities. We will be trying to explain number of myths, which are presented in media and we will try to involve citizens, in the framework of the programme of coexistence, in a positive attitude regarding this issue. It is a normal work; nobody wants to have a dumpsite, nuclear waste deposit or a chemical factory in his neighbourhood. It means that the work is similar to work in every similar case and it is necessary to speak to the public in similar cases and to provide it with absolutely exact and correct information.

Szarski J. Jerzy, Polish television TVN 24: My last question. How long may the entire process last? When the radar may be constructed?

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: The time schedule is, of course conditioned by length of procedure of approval. We expect that during one year these matters should be either approve or rejected and the standard process of planning should begin; it concerns an impact on the environment, the Building Act, planning permission, as it is common procedure in the individual countries. The project or the implementation is to be put into practice in 2008 – 2010 and we expect, according that modified time schedule, that some time around 2001 or 2012 at a maximum, the entire facility may be put in operation. But they are absolutely preliminary indicating data, indicating schedule, and it will be influenced, of course, by number of matters; therefore I cannot specify any exact date of putting the facility in operation.

Martin Schmarcz, head of the press unit of the Office of the Government: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.

Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the CR: Thank you.

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