Prague mayor joins in criticism of trade minister over diplomatic incident

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib from the Pirate Party has joined in the growing criticism of Trade and Industry Minister Marta Nováková over an incident this week when a representative of Taiwan was forced to leave a diplomatic meeting at the trade ministry, at the request of the Chinese ambassador.

Mayor Hřib said the Chinese ambassador had made a similar request of him during a New Year’s meeting of the Prague leadership with the diplomatic corps and had been refused point blank.

A group of senators have called for the trade minister’s dismissal over the embarrassing incident, as has the Christian Democratic Party.

The minister has also come under fire from the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Chamber of Deputies, Lubomír Zaorálek, who said the minister should not have bowed to pressure and warned that the decision could set a dangerous precedent.