Social Democrat government fights conflict of interests allegations
When the ruling Social Democrats came to power in the summer of 1998, it was amid a climate of public disgust with politicians their shady links with big business. The centre-right government of Vaclav Klaus had collapsed six months earlier, largely thanks to allegations that his Civic Democratic Party had taken bribes in exchange for lucrative privatisation deals. But the Social Democrats, who promised to sever the links between politics and business, are now themselves fighting allegations of conflict of interest. Regional Development Minister Petr Lachnit was forced to resign from the board of a private company last week, and it's now emerged that two of his cabinet colleagues also enjoy senior posts in private firms. Earlier today my colleague Rob Cameron spoke to commentator Vaclav Pinkava, and began by asking him whether Minister Lachnit had been singled out unfairly.