Czechs plan action on graft as election nears

The Czech government approved a plan to allow people charged with corruption to avoid jail if they give evidence against others involved in the graft.

Czechs plan action on graft as election nears

The Czech government approved a plan on Monday to allow people charged with corruption to avoid jail if they give evidence against others involved in the graft.

It also approved plans for special police agents to work undercover to observe and investigate corruption.

The central European EU-member country will hold an election in May and polls show voters consider corruption a major problem after a series of scandals involving public procurement deals in the past years, which have not lead to convictions.

Analysts say corruption is an impediment to business in the country and suspicious state orders may have cost the state billions of euros.

"These measures will not solve the corruption problem with a wave of a magic wand, but if we do not adopt them, we will give a nod to further spread of corruption in the Czech Republic," Prime Minister Jan Fischer told a news conference.

The measures now have to be approved by parliament.

The government, a caretaker administration made up of non-party experts, also decided to require security clearance from officials on panels deciding on procurement deals worth over 500 million crowns ($27.75 million).

Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2010, 21:17
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