Rusnok cabinet forced to backtrack on latest high-profile dismissal
The Rusnok cabinet has been forced to backtrack on the latest in a series of high-profile dismissals. The head of the National Theatre Jan Burian, who was sacked on his first day in office on Thursday, has been reinstated on the orders of the prime minister. Nevertheless, the affair has sparked widespread condemnation and once again raised the question of the government’s right to make radical changes ahead of its vote of confidence in the lower house next Wednesday.
He also admitted that the speed with which the new head of the National Theatre had been sacked was so that he could not take steps to implement a radical overhaul which was in the pipeline and which put the theatre’s trade unions on strike alert. Mr. Burian himself suggested that his sacking might be linked to the results of a financial audit he had commissioned, the results of which revealed a number of unlawful practices which would have led to the sacking of some people in middle-management.
“The personnel changes made by members of my cabinet were all urgent and totally justified – with one single exception and that is the regrettable case of the National Theatre. The culture minister wanted to implement the accepted standard of holding open competitions for key posts. Since the cultural sphere does not seem to require it, there is no point in trying to enforce it. As regards the other changes made, they have my full backing. And as regards our legitimacy –that comes from the Constitution of the Czech Republic.”