Praha - The Czech finance minister Andrej Babiš, leader of the ANO political movement, had been negotiating with the new minister for regional development Karla Šlechtová for several weeks before she has accepted his offer and replaced Věra Jourová as minister for regional development.
For the 37-years old ministry’s EU funding department director, it was not the first offer for a high-level governmental post. She pretends that she could have become a deputy minister several times, but she has refused all the previous offers.
Neither has she revealed by what means Babiš had persuaded her to accept the ministerial post.
"I want to thank the ANO political movement for my nomination for the position," she only stated. "It is a great challenge for me."
Her first task as a minister will be the supervision of the EU funding programmes’s drawing and starting off the new ones. The EU funding is her specialty, they were on her agenda in the Czech government office as well as in Brussels. She has been working as EU funding consultant for several Czech companies.
She has been working for the auditing company Deloite as well, but she refuses that it was Deloite’s ex-employee and current first deputy finance minister Lukáš Wagenknecht who influenced her nomination. Babiš admitted that he had offered the ministerial post to Wagenknecht but he has refused it.
At the press conference, Šlechtová announced that the EU money drawing will be only one of many agendas she would vigorously pursue. "There are many other things there, the public procurement law or building regulations, for example. The ministry should become a coordinator of the regional politics, its task is not only to distribute grants and subsidies."
Šlechtová is not a member of a political party, but ANO could be sure of her loyalty.
"I honor the political agreements and coalition partners and so I will be acting as a minister and during the vote at the governmental level," she stressed.
In 2011-2014, Šlechtová has been working in the ministry for regional development as director for EU programming period preparation department.