Embattled education minister resigns citing cuts

Education Minister Josef Dobeš has announced his decision to resign and will be leaving his post at the end of the month. Mr. Dobeš, a minister for the junior Public Affairs party, explained his decision at a press briefing in Prague on Thursday saying he could not accept a further slash to the ministry’s budget which would mean cutting teachers’ salaries and in effect violating the government’s policy programme.

Prime Minister Petr Nečas said the decision was honourable, as he had asked the cabinet to either approve a total of 23.6 billion in cuts unanimously or else resign. Mr Dobeš is one of the most contentious members of the government, having been criticized for mismanagement of EU funds, a botched university reform and most recently his decision to extend the accreditation of the Plzeň faculty of law, a decision he was technically not entitled to make. He is the eighth minister to leave the current government.