Matt Atlas

Czech Opposition Calls For Removal Of Industry Minister

Nineteen opposition lawmakers have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) calling for the removal of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and Trade and Transport Karel Havlíček from government posts tender procedure for the construction of a new unit at the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant. According to them, Havlíček’s actions endanger the security of the Czech Republic.

According to Thursday’s announcement by the Ministry of Industry, the Czech Republic will not include the Chinese company CGN in a tender for constructing a new unit. According to opposition lawmakers, however, Havlíček bypassed the government and the security forces when the Russian Rosatom should also be asked for the security check documents.

“The state security services have recommended not to invite the Russian Federation to a tender for the completion of Dukovany. The parliamentary opposition also refuses. Without their consent, there is no point in launching the project for 20 years. The consensus on a possible invitation to Rosatom is not in the government. Instance, Minister Havlíček now intends to bypass and open the tender for himself, “wrote the legislators, among whom are 11 senators from the Club of Mayors and Independents (STAN) and eight deputies from the ranks of ODS, Pirates, KDU-ČSL, TOP 09 and STAN. The Minister’s dismissal in a separate press release is also requested by the STAN senatorial club, which has 24 members.

According to the November findings of the website, the Czech secret services, and the Ministry of the Interior and Foreign Affairs pointed out that the tender documentation for the tender for the new unit’s construction did not sufficiently take into account the state’s security interests. They recommended that the government not address high-risk bidders at all with an invitation to participate in the tender.

According to earlier reports by Denik N, companies from Russia and China are identified in a secret document as a possible strategic risk.

According to Havlíček, the final decision on the tender for the new unit’s construction will be in the next government. The current statement of the ministry shows that Czechia will not address a Chinese bidder in the tender. There are four applicants left – the French EdF, the South Korean KNHP, the Canadian-American Westinghouse, and the Russian Rosatom.

According to politicians, the Ministry’s instruction for ČEZ to address four bidders and hand over the tender documentation is nothing more than the tender’s actual opening. Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) similarly views the matter. Havlíček objected several times today that it is not a tender.

“At the moment, the individual entities will be requested to send complete answers to requirements such as nuclear safety, cybersecurity, consortia, supply chains. A safety questionnaire will be prepared within the Ministry of Industry, CEZ, security forces, the Nuclear Commissioner. Security questionnaire approved, it will be sent to all potential applicants, “said Havlíček. By the end of November, potential applicants should show or not show interest in participating.

Further steps towards the planned completion of Dukovany will be extraordinarily discussed on Monday morning by the State Security Council. In the afternoon by the government, said Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) in the Chamber of Deputies today.