Friday, 23 March 2018

Next interior minister wants ČR to remain safe country

11 December 2017

Lany, Central Bohemia, Dec 8 (CTK) - Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) wants to do his best for the Czech Republic to remain one of the world's safest countries as interior minister in the minority cabinet of Andrej Babis (ANO) that will be appointed on December 13, he said after his talks with President Milos Zeman on Friday.

Zeman has been gradually meeting all nine government newcomers, Metnar being the fourth to be received by him.

Metnar told journalists he wants to decide on his priorities or possible personnel changes only after he acquaints himself with the situation in the sector entrusted to him.

He said Zeman asked him about his experience and priorities as former deputy interior minister.

"I was surprised at how closely the president has been watching security issues," he said.

The Presidential Office wrote in a press release that economic crime and the speed of investigation were the main points discussed by Zeman and Metnar.

"As far as my priorities are concerned, I will see to that the Czech Republic, which is assessed as the sixth safest country in the world, kept or even improved its position," Metnar said, referring to the assessment by the British Institute for Economy and Peace (IEP), in whose index the Czech Republic finished as the sixth safest country out of 163 this year.

Metnar said he would set more detailed priorities only after he assesses the situation as minister.

He said he would tackle serious problems, if emerging, instantly, regardless of whether the Babis government won the parliament's confidence by then.

Metnar ruled out his interference in the Stork Nest case, a suspected EU subsidy fraud on the part of ANO leader and prime minister-designate Babis, in connection with which the police have asked the Chamber of Deputies to release Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek for prosecution.

"I respect the law, the Czech legal order, I cannot and will not interfere in open [criminal] cases," Metnar said.

He would not comment on the Communists' nomination of their MP Zdenek Ondracek, a former communist riot police before 1989, to the head of the lower house commission supervising the General Inspection of Security Forces (GIBS).

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