Prague waste company board purged by new coalition

The predicted purge at the board of Prague council waste company Pražské služby took place Thursday at an extraordinary meeting

Martin Shabu 12.1.2012

An extraordinary meeting of Prague municipal waste services company Pražské služby (PS) has resulted in the predicted wholesale changes on its supervisory board.

Six changes were made to the board on Thursday, with the representative of the PS minority shareholder, Natland Group, being removed along with representatives of Prague City Hall’s former junior coalition party, the Social Democrats (ČSSD) and members of the Civic Democrat (ODS) old guard who have opposed mayor Bohuslav Svoboda.

Svoboda, a member of the ODS party who has been keen to root out those in his party who have been linked to “godfathers” believed to have been pulling the strings in Prague politics, gave an ultimatum to the opaque Natland Group that it could only hold onto representative Tomáš Raška’s board seat if the company divulged who owned and benefitted from its 18.85 percent stake in the Prague waste collection, sorting and incineration services firm.

Apart from Raška, the main casualties of the clean out were former ČSSD supervisory board chairman Miroslav Poche and deputy chairman Boris Šťastný, a rival of Svoboda with the Prague ODS and leader of its Prague branch before the sudden switch coalition running Prague City Hall at the end of November last year. The switch, widely described as a coup against old guard elements of his own party by Svoboda, resulted in TOP 09 replacing ČSSD as ODS’ coalition partner.

The six new board vacancies have been filled equally by ODS and TOP 09. The supervisory board should meet for the first time in its new format next week with changes to the waste company’s management expected to be pushed through.

See related articleCzech capital prepares clean sweep of city waste firm Pražské služby