Milos Zeman


Zeman Accepts Krcal’s Resignation, Will Appoint Malacova Next Week

Miloš Zeman, Zdenek Bakala

Prague, July 18 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman accepted Petr Krcal’s resignation as labour and social affairs minister today, his spokesman has announced, while Zeman told CTK earlier today that will meet and probably appoint Krcal’s proposed successor Jana Malacova (both Social Democrats, CSSD) next week.


Earlier today, Krcal’s resignation letter was conveyed to Zeman by PM Andrej Babis (ANO). Zeman said he decided to accept the resignation today without Krcal’s presence.


Krcal handed in his resignation on Tuesday over suspected plagiarism in the thesis he defended at the Bata University in Zlin, south Moravia, in 2007.


“Next week, I will invite Ms Malacova for a meeting. Excuse my bon mot, but I firmly hope that she is not the wife of Zdenek Bakala,” Zeman said with sarcasm.


Malacova was the maiden surname of Michaela Bakala, the wife of the billionaire whom Zeman often criticised.


Zeman said he will probably appoint Jana Malacova labour minister next week.


He said he has never met Malacova before.


“I have read some information in her CV. I appreciate her for having graduated from two prestigious universities. In this case, I would emphasise the word prestigious, and I am looking forward to meeting her,” Zeman said.


Malacova, 37, who has headed the Labour Ministry’s department for family policy and the policy of ageing since June 2015, majored in political science at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main in 2007 and in political economy of Europe at London School of Economics in 2016.


She previously worked for one year as head of the EU institutional communication department at the Government Office and in 2012-2014 she represented the Czech Senate’s Office in the European Parliament.


By emphasising the words prestigious universities in connection with Malacova, Zeman evidently alluded to the less known institutes at which studies were completed by Krcal and by Tatana Mala (ANO), who stepped down as justice minister last week, also over suspected plagiarism in her thesis.


Zeman considers the resignations of ministers Mala and Krcal over plagiarism an adequate reaction, he said in an interview with CTK today.


Plagiarism is a theft and if someone is found guilty of theft, he should leave, Zeman told CTK.


“Plagiarism is a theft of mental property of another person, and any minister who is not only accused, but who is proven guilty of theft, should step down,” Zeman said.


He added that such a person should have enough self-criticism not to aspire to a high post at all. “Not to mention that they would thereby avoid a gross shame,” he added.