Press Conferences

4. 5. 2007 9:18

Press conference of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek after the meeting of the government held on Wednesday, 2nd May, 2007

Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the press conference after the night meeting of the Czech government. I welcome the Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, I welcome the Minister of Justice, Jiří Pospíšil, I welcome the Minister of Agriculture, Petr Gandalovič and I welcome here the Deputy Minister of Health, Marek Šnajdr. As an introduction I give the floor to the Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek who will inform you briefly on the agenda of the meeting.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: Good evening once more. Based on the experience of the last week, when we got home as late as at two o'clock in the morning, we intentionally included fewer points in the agenda and therefore we finishes much sooner. As every week, we dealt in the introduction with a topical and very useful issue; it concerned the negotiation on the National Strategic and Reference Framework. I must state and I believe that the increased effort will mean a success and that we will succeed in concluding that reference framework by May and thus we will be able to open our opportunities regarding using financial means for the individual operational programmes. It will be Marek Šnajdr who will inform you on the Bill on Medicinal Products. We debated today relatively thoroughly one proposal of deputies, which concerned financial control in public administration and apart from other things, audits of funds using. Finally we approved that proposal. We discussed the point, which was not concluded today, however it was a point that is key one for the work of the government. It was the Draft Government Legislative Work Plan for the rest of 2007 and Outlook for 2008 to 2010, which reflects requirements of the individual ministries and in particular the Programme Declaration of the Government, which is projected into these legislative norms planned for the respective years. The debate will be finished at the meeting of the government on 16th May. Jiří Pospíšil will inform you on great progress and on the material, which was submitted together with Minister Ivan Langer. It is a material on eJustice and its linkage to the eGovernment. We approved establishment of border crossing at the non-public international airport České Budějovice. We discussed the material on expenditures for research and development today, but we did not conclude it. We agreed on the increase of the framework, but we will still debate allocation to the respective headings and sub-headings. We proposed change in the Council for Research and Development and we submitted a proposal for appointment of a general, who could be appointed by the President on 8th May. The issue, regarding which Petr Gandalovič is present here, is relatively fundamental. The government approved today the proposal for solution concerning claims of the Supporting Guarantee Farming and Forestry Fund concerning company of Setuza. We are of the opinion you should be acquainted with this information.
Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: I was looking at the Prime Minister and saw that he listed the individual points in the order of the debate. Therefore I suppose that as the first one the Deputy Minister of Health will be speaking and then the Minister of Justice and then the Minister of Agriculture.
Mirek Topolánek, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic: He lip-reads.
Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: Deputy Minister, you have the floor.
Marek Šnajdr, Deputy Minister of Health: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, the government approved further significant law of the health sphere. Thus we dispose further arrears of the past by this law. As you know, there are several actions brought against the Czech Republic from the side of the European Commission in the sphere of medicinal products. Let me inform you on some principal matters, which concern this law. This law increases significantly requirements for registered medicinal products, in particular from the safety point of view. Concurrently, it enables supervisory organ, which is the State Institute for Medicinal Product Control, to deal with existing medicinal products and to assess their effect and safety on the basis of new information. Concurrently, this law standardizes and implements new trends like legislative form of mail-order service, or the sale over the Internet, if you like; it is the first pillar – introduction of electronic proscription for citizens of the Czech Republic. Through this law the Czech Republic joins principles of intellectual property protection that are enforced in Europe. The same protection period is provided for original producers of medicinal products and concurrently it enables to producers of generics faster procedure in the course of registration of substances. Last but not least, I would say that adoption of this law enables easier access of Czech producers of medicinal products to the markets of the EU.
Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: I thank the Deputy Minister Šnajdr and now the Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil has the floor.
Jiří Pospíšil, Minister of Justice: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, the government approved today a material, which concerns electronization of the Czech justice. It is further of materials, which has already concrete form and which is a part of a great project of the government, so called eGovernment. I do not want to specify here all the matters that concern the material, I will just say that the material does not concern only general issues; it concerns matters, which are being prepared and implemented. Therefore, just briefly – we suppose that in the course of this spring we will introduce further system of electronic registers at Czech courts, we will prepare the Czech justice for the electronic form of the insolvent register during this year and we will start its operation from 1st January 2008 together with the new Bankruptcy Act. Furthermore, we are working on such things like it is the electronic judicial files, electronic official board of the court, and electronic form of information for participants of proceedings on the stage of the proceedings. In other words, the project has been successfully started and the government supposes that it will cost 570 million crowns by 2010. It is really significant investment and we suppose that it will influence the speed of proceedings in the Czech Republic.
Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: I thank the Minister of Justice and now the Minister of Agriculture Petr Gandalovič has the floor.
Petr Gandalovič, Minister of Agriculture: Ladies and gentlemen, I will repeat several facts. As you know the company of Setuza has been a long-term problem, which the previous government were not able to solve. In last summer the government of Jiří Paroubek opened a tender for purchase of claims, which concerned this company. The highest offer amounted to 815 million crowns. The tender was later cancelled because of certain legal problems. The government of Mirek Topolánek decided in the mid-November to follow the way of execution of the claim, it means that it asked the regional Court in Ústí nad Labem for approving the execution. The court granted the application. Then, the execution was confirmed and it has been in the progress up to now. It was shown that it had been the right decision, because it enabled the government, as the creditor, to gain certain control over its own claim at least. In the course of the execution process negotiation were held with new owners of the joint stock company of Setuza, i.e. the group, which is also an owner of the Spolek pro Chemickou a Hutní Výrobu in Ústí nad Labem together with the PPF. The result of negotiations was a proposal for settlement and the Ministry of Agriculture, or rather the PGRLF (Supporting Guarantee Farming and Forestry Fund) have assessed this settlement by the reputable auditor firm KPMG. The conclusion of the assessment is that the settlement is more advantageous for the Czech Republic, than to wait for the result of execution or for the result of a bankruptcy, which might be a final result of the execution. The settlement involves three things, it is payment of the amount of 1,01 billion crowns as the settlement of the claim, second, payment of 100 million crowns as a settlement of purchase price for sale of 38% of shares of the company and consequently a guarantee that the company of Setuza will not be jeopardized by disputable claims, or claims of third parties in the future. It means that the company of Setuza will be able to operate as a stabilized company and to maintain employment rate in the region, on the other hand it will be able to buy rape production as one of its main activities. Therefore I proposed to the government this settlement, which has been assessed by the reputable firm and reputable legal offices. The government approved the proposal for the settlement with the group of owners of the company of Setuza a.s. Thank you.
Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: I thank the Minister of Agriculture and now I ask for your questions suitable for this evening. Has anybody raised his hand? If not, we can go home. Unfortunately, somebody raised her hand. Český rozhlas.
Soňa Vařeková, Český rozhlas: Good evening I have a question to Minister Pospíšil. How will the possibility to communicate with courts in an electronic form influence personnel policy of justice? So that our listeners could have an idea – who will put data on the Internet, will they be some higher officials or some lower officers? What will be the routine in practice? Jiří Pospíšil, Minister of Justice: The entire process will lead in the long-term period to the decrease of number of employees of the Czech justice. We have 3063 judges now and it is for our government the maximum number and we suppose that this number should decrease down to 2500 during three years. It is an average figure corresponding to other countries of the EU. We suppose that also reduction of administrative work will occur, as today they are really a lot of unnecessary operations when you take into consideration operation of courts, necessary file handling starting from the time when a submission arrives at a court. We suppose that apart from the electronic phase, also the traditional justice will operate because not every citizen has access to the Internet. We consider using the way of Germany where there was a bonus in case of electronic submissions. It means that it would be cheaper for a citizen to send submission in an electronic way in comparison with sending through the post. It is logical as it is more expensive for the state and it must have more officials to handle those documents. In other words, your question is rather general and it would be possible to spend hours by answering it. Electronization of justice will lead to the gradual stoppage of increase of justice employees and in the horizon of three or five years, after stabilization of the system, to certain decrease.
Martin Schmarcz, Head of the Press Department of the Office of the Government: Thank you. Is there any further question? If not, thank you and good night.

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