Social Democrats reproach Vlček over links to businessman accused of grant abuse

The Social Democrats have admonished senior party member Miloslav Vlček for his links to a businessman suspected of misusing state grants. Mr Vlček, who is chairman of the lower house, lobbied on behalf of businessman Petr Vrtal for funding for a sports centre. However, Mr Vrtal is accused of putting the money into a large hotel owned by his company. The Social Democrats on Wednesday called on the minister of finance, Eduard Janota, to file charges if wrongdoing is confirmed. A party spokesperson said ultimate responsibility lay with the Finance Ministry for okaying the grant, but said Mr Vlček had made a mistake in becoming involved with the hotel owner.

Author: Ian Willoughby