Stanislav Gross, Former Czech Prime Minister, Dies at 45

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Former Czech Premier Stanislav Gross
Former Czech Premier Stanislav Gross. Gross served as prime minister for less than nine months in 2004 and 2005 and was interior minister from 2000 to 2004. Photographer: Rene Volfik/CTK via AP

Stanislav Gross, who became the Czech Republic’s youngest prime minister before resigning over questions about his personal finances, has died. He was 45.

Gross died last night, Eva Gregorova, a spokeswoman for his former party, the Social Democrats, said by phone on Thursday. Czech media reported that he suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological disease that results in the loss of muscle function.

He moved from the post of interior minister to head the government in 2004 after his predecessor, Vladimir Spidla, resigned. Just 35, he was Europe’s youngest premier. Gross served for almost nine months before he was forced to step down over a dispute among his coalition partners about how he financed a flat in Prague and how his wife funded her business.

Gross became the head of the party’s youth arm after the fall of communism and was elected to parliament. He later received a degree in law from the University of Plzen.

Gross, who was born Oct. 30, 1969, is survived by his wife Sarka Grossova and two daughters. There were no immediate details on funeral arrangements, Gregorova said.

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