Row over ambassadorial appointments intensifies
During the first day of his visit to Austria, President Zeman said that if an agreement will not be reached with Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg over ambassadorial appointments, he is willing to ask the prime minister to confirm his candidates. Mr Schwarzenberg responded that if Prime Minister Petr Nečas were indeed to confirm the president’s chosen candidates instead of the ones he has put forward, his TOP 09 party would leave the governing coalition. The premier dismissed the foreign minister’s threats saying that he is planning to keep to constitutional tradition that says ambassadors are nominated by the foreign minister and subsequently approved by the government and then the president. He added that the weeks-long spat between the president and the foreign minister is hurting the reputation of the Czech Republic.