Zeman To Decorate Crony For War On Solar Power

Czech Corruption, Czech Rule Of Law, Miloš Zeman

Prague, April 16 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman plans to decorate former Energy Regulatory Office (ERU) head Alena Vitaskova for her fight against “solar barons” during the traditional awarding ceremony on October 28, he told Radio Frekvence 1 on Sunday.


Vitaskova headed the ERU from 2011 to 2017. She criticised the high state support for solar power systems and said electricity prices went up due to it. She took steps against the owners of photovoltaic power stations and labelled them “solar barons” or “mafia.”


Vitaskova was charged with having unlawfully provided licences for the operation of power plants, but an appeals court acquitted her. Zeman previously said Vitaskova’s prosecution might have been initiated by solar barons. State attorneys rejected this and said Zeman’s statement undermined trust in the judiciary.


In 2010, many companies tried hard to build solar parks and launch their operation by the end of the year since this would secure them markedly higher state subsidies. In some cases, the permission for the operation of a solar park was issued unlawfully.


Vitaskova is one of Zeman’s supporters. Last month, she took part in a concert Zeman organised on the occasion of his re-election to the presidential post.


Zeman’s critics say he repeatedly used state decorations to reward those who supported him in politics.


In his interview with Frekvence 1, Zeman rejected the speculation that Vitaskova might become the head of his office instead of Vratislav Mynar who did not receive a top security clearance and might be forced to leave the post.


Zeman said previously he would not dismiss Mynar until all ways of appealing the verdict were exhausted. He also said there would always be a post for Mynar in his office even if he were no longer its head.


Zeman also rejected the idea that Mynar would join the board of the central bank.