Prague - Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek last year apologized for giving his middle finger to opposition MPs and called the vulgar gesture his "biggest political mistake". The lower-house mandate and immunity committee then reprimanded PM, but did not impose a fine.
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (ODS) on Wednesday failed to learn a lesson from his boss's mistake and raised his finger at opposition MP David Rath (ČSSD). But Kalousek will likely get away without any disciplinary action by the committee, simply because no MP complained.
Kalousek was angered by Rath's provocative remark: "You are a living proof of our health care system's failure to take care of insane people."
Rath himself will not initiate a disciplinary action against the obscene gesture of the minister. "It is minister Kalousek's problem. I'm staying on top of it," said Rath. Kalousek later said he was ashamed, adding he had lost his nerve and calling his behaviour "unprofessional".
Rules of procedure ban legislators from vulgar or otherwise offensive behaviour on parliamentary soil. A transgressor may be disciplined; the highest penalty is a fine worth his or her one-month salary.