Czech Premier Under Pressure After Police Raid Cabinet Offices
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas is under mounting pressure from the opposition after prosecutors and police raided government offices in a criminal investigation. The koruna weakened against the euro.
One of Necas’s aides was among several people detained in a raid last night by the police’s organized crime unit, the Prague-based iDnes.cz news website reported today, citing an unidentified person familiar with the case. The head of the unit and two prosecutors “visited the premier in relation to a criminal procedure,” Interior Minister Jan Kubice told lawmakers today, saying he had no further information.
The lower house of parliament adjourned deliberations and will reconvene at 9 a.m. in Prague tomorrow when Necas will attend, Miroslava Nemcova, the chamber’s head, said in a statement. The Social Democrats, the largest opposition party that leads in opinion polls a year before elections, will meet at 6 p.m. to decide whether to initiate a no-confidence motion against Necas. The Communist Party has called on him to resign.
“This is one of the biggest scandals of this government,” Jeronym Tejc, the head of Social Democratic Party’s parliamentary caucus, told state television today. “If the Social Democrats decide to initiate a no-confidence vote, we will announce it and we will proceed with it.”
The koruna weakened as much as 0.6 percent against the euro and was down 0.4 percent at 25.679 as of 3:02 p.m. in Prague, the worst performance among more than 20 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
Police or prosecutors didn’t say whether anybody was detained in the raid, leaving government and opposition lawmakers scrambling for information. Police will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. in Prague.
“The situation so far appears to be very serious, however, we only have second-hand information,” Karolina Peake, the head of the junior coalition party Lidem, said in a statement. “Like everybody, I’m expecting a statement by the Prime Minister. Only after that we will be able to comment further, or take a stance.”
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