New President Pavel names Hladik as Environment Minister

Pavel’s predecessor Milos Zeman refused to appoint Hladik to the post at the beginning of the year. Photo credit: Petr Pavel, via Facebook.

Prague, March 10 (CTK) – New Czech President Petr Pavel named Petr Hladik (KDU-CSL) as the environment minister today, one day after he was sworn in as head of state.

Pavel’s predecessor Milos Zeman refused to appoint Hladik to the post at the beginning of the year.

The Christian Democrats said Zeman’s reluctance was at odds with the constitution, but they did not file a legal complaint as his term was soon to end.

The government has been incomplete since early November 2022, when Anna Hubackova (KDU-CSL) resigned for health reasons.

Last October, the Christian Democrats nominated their deputy leader Hladik, who was a deputy mayor of Brno, for the post of environment minister. But his nomination was complicated by a criminal investigation into the fraudulent allocation of municipal flats in Brno. The police even searched Hladik’s office, but he was not charged. Hladik reiterated that he had fully cooperated with the police investigation.

Since last November, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) has been temporarily entrusted with heading the Environment Ministry.

At the ceremony at Prague Castle, Pavel said he appreciated that he was able to take such a step just one day after his inauguration, “Thus ending a long period of various speculation and reservations. From what I have been able to find out, just useless ones,” Pavel said.

Zeman also warned of Hladik’s insufficient credentials in the environmental sphere and the fact that he was advertising in the KDU-CSL party newspaper for a deputy minister and aides for his future team at the Environment Ministry, before being appointed as minister.

Pavel said thanks to the appointment, Hladik, currently deputy environment minister, could start full-fledged work in the ministry. This will also alleviate the workload for Jurecka.

“At present, the role of environment minister is extremely important. I would also like to commend the role of the ministry in the successful EU presidency,” Pavel said.

The tasks of the Environment Ministry are important not only for the environment, but also for structurally afflicted regions, he added.

“It will be vital for the resources allocated to help the regions to be used with maximum efficiency,” Pavel said, citing water protection, agricultural law and wildlife protection law as well as waste and recycling as Hladik’s further tasks.

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