Hundreds pay last respects to Eduard Janota

Hundreds of people gathered in Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral on Friday to pay their last respects to former finance minister Eduard Janota. Among those present were Prime Minister Petr Nečas, Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and former central bank governor Zdeněk Tuma. The mass was celebrated by Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka. Mr. Janota, 59, died of a heart failure last week while playing tennis. As a highly respected, non-partisan civil servant he was in charge of drafting several state budgets for both centre-right and centre-left governments. After the fall of the Topolánek government in 2009 he served as finance minister in the caretaker cabinet of prime minister Jan Fischer.