Mixed reactions to planned merger of transport and trade ministries

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’decision to merge the Ministry of Transport with the Ministry of Trade and Industry has met with mixed reactions.

The head of the Czech Transport Association Petr Kašík expressed concern regarding the possible disruptions such far-reaching changes would bring. He said that in view of the frequent change of guard at the top post –citing three ministers in the past two years – the Transport Ministry lacked stability.

Miroslav Diro, spokesman for the Czech Chamber of Commerce, also questioned the ability of one man to manage two very demanding portfolios.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday announced his decision to dismiss Transport Minister Vladimír Kremlík over an overpriced tender to operate a new online system of motorway vignette sales.

Mr. Babiš said he would put Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček in charge of the transport ministry portfolio on a permanent basis and ask him to effect a merger of the two institutions.

President Zeman has accepted the prime minister’s decision.