Jiří Paroubek

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Jiří Paroubek
Jiri Paroubek 2009.JPG
6th Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
In office
25 April 2005 – 4 September 2006
President Václav Klaus
Preceded by Stanislav Gross
Succeeded by Mirek Topolánek
Member of the Chamber of Deputies for Ústí nad Labem
In office
3 June 2006 – 28 August 2013
Chairman of Czech Social Democratic Party
In office
2006 – 29 May 2010
Preceded by Bohuslav Sobotka (acting)
Succeeded by Bohuslav Sobotka (acting)
Minister for Regional Development of the Czech Republic
In office
2004–2005
Preceded by Pavel Němec
Succeeded by Radko Martínek
Personal details
Born (1952-08-21) 21 August 1952 (age 61)
Olomouc, Czechoslovakia
Political party National Socialists – 21st Century Left
Other political
affiliations
Czech National Social Party (1970–1986)
Czech Social Democratic Party (1989–2011)
Spouse(s) Zuzana Paroubková (1979–2007)
Petra Paroubková (since 2007)
Children Jiří
Margarita
Residence Prague
Alma mater University of Economics, Prague
Religion Czechoslovak Hussite Church
Signature
Website www.paroubek.cz

Jiří Paroubek (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjɪr̝iː ˈparoʊ̯bɛk] ( ); born 21 August 1952) is a Czech politician, who served as the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 25 April 2005 to 16 August 2006. He was also Chairman of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), but resigned from his position immediately after the result of the 2010 Legislative Election was announced on 29 May 2010. Although the Social Democrats became the largest party in the Czech parliament after the election, Paroubek was not able to form a governing coalition.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Paroubek was born in Olomouc and attended Jan Neruda Grammar School. He entered politics in 1970 at the age of 18. That year he joined the Czechoslovak Socialist Party, a member party of the Czechoslovak National Front.[citation needed] He reached the lower levels of the party leadership before leaving the party in 1986.[citation needed]

He served his military service (one year) as an army food services supervisor in the southern Bohemian city of Prachatice.[citation needed] After graduating in 1976, Paroubek worked as a manager for several state companies including the restaurants holding (Restaurace a jídelny).[citation needed]

In 1979, as an executive committee member of one of the puppet party of the communist regime - Czechoslovak Socialist Party, he attracted the attention of the communist state secret police (StB).[2] He meet agents three times on conspiratorial meetings during which he allegedly expressed loyalty to the communist government and disagreement with opposition groups such as Charter 77.[3] He was assigned the cover name Roko (after Paroubek's pet parakeet),[4] but he never really signed cooperation agreement with the secret police and after 1982 the cooperation ceased, since he "did not have enough potential and contacts".[5][6]

Following the Velvet Revolution in November 1989 Paroubek joined the refounded Czech Social Democratic Party. Then chairman Jiří Horák awarded him an executive post. In 1993 he stood for chairmanship of the party but was defeated by Miloš Zeman. In 2000, he placed fourth in elections to the Senate of the Czech Republic in the Prague 8 district, ending up even behind the Communist candidate.[7] Paroubek served in high position in the municipal government of Prague for over 14 years.

Prime Ministership[edit]

In August 2004 Paroubek was appointed as Minister of Regional Development in Stanislav Gross's government. After a government crisis in early 2005 sparked by Gross's personal finance affairs, Paroubek succeeded him to become the 6th Prime Minister of the Czech Republic on 25 April 2005.

On 13 May 2005, Paroubek's government passed a vote of confidence in the parliament. All 101 coalition-party members supported the government, while the 98 opposition members and one independent voted against. Paroubek's government, which was little changed from Gross's, led the country to the parliamentary elections of June 2006.

On 30 July 2005, the CzechTek free techno party was broken up by around 1,000 riot police using tear gas and water cannons, claiming the revellers had damaged private property. This action left one participant to the rave dead, around 80 people and several police officers injured, causing public protests in front outside the Czech interior ministry. The Prime Minister had spoken in favour of the action beforehand and later defended it, stating that the participants were "not dancing children but dangerous people", but was criticised for the raid by President Václav Klaus. Opposition parties and the media took this action as an opportunity to condemn the government, with some drawing comparisons between the actions of Paroubek's government and crackdowns against students by the communist government in 1989.[8]

Role in the Czech legislative election, 2006[edit]

Paroubek was selected as socialist election leader for 2006 and in the mid-May Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) congress was voted the new chairman by an uncontested 90%. The election campaign was highly contrastive, especially because of strong animosities between the ČSSD, the conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS), and their respective party leaders.

The so-called "Kubice Report" had an important impact on the elections and especially the post-elections talks[citation needed]. Jan Kubice was a high police officer for investigation of organized crimes. His report accused Paroubek of contacts within the criminal underground.[citation needed] The report was initially classified and was presented to the proper commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament, but was made public four days before polls. No information from this report has been proven.[citation needed] The publication of the report caused Paroubek to make a strong statement immediately after the elections. He stated "ODS did not abhor breaking many laws and made it on purpose four days before the elections to avoid establishing of this evident and repeated breaking of legal order. (...) I feel a duty to announce that democracy in this country incurred a hard intervention comparable maybe only with February 1948. Only with the difference that a blue totalitarianism looms."[9] Paroubek later publicly apologized for these comments.[10]

Although the ČSSD's results in the pre-election polls were at just 10% when Stanislav Gross resigned as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic,[11] the ČSSD received 32.3% in the elections and finished runner-up to the ODS.

On 9 September Paroubek released a document claiming it showed that the ODS planned to discredit him.[12] Paroubek refused to name the source of this paper.

On 7 October 2011, Paroubek left the ČSSD and in the same month founded the National Socialists – 21st Century Left.

Affairs and Criticism[edit]

Kubice's report[edit]

May 2006, in the week leading up to national elections, Paroubek is accused (by a head of the police department's organized crime unit) of contacts with criminal figures, participating in a murder cover-up, attempts to derail police investigations and attempting to criminalize investigating officers.[13] He responds by accusing the opposition ODS party of conspiracy, of using “putschist” tactics and promises to punish those responsible if elected.[14]

Murder of Václav Kočka[edit]

On 9 October 2008 there was an official launch of Paroubek's book Česko, Evropa a svět očima sociálního demokrata in Prague restaurant Monarch. Shortly after the end of the event there was a conflict between two of the guests, businessman Bohumír Ďuričko and son of carrousel operator Václav Kočka jr. The former has been killed in the incident. Mr. Ďuričko was convicted of the murder and was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.[15] Jiří Paroubek originally distanced from the incident and claimed he did not know Ďuričko and did not invite him to the event.[16] However, relations between Paroubek and Ďuričko have been publicly known since at least 2005. At that time Paroubek planned to spent holidays with Mr Ďuričko's family, but cancelled it once it become known that Mr. Ďuričko was an agent of communist secret service.[17]

See also[edit]

Jiří Paroubek's Cabinet

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Pavel Němec
Minister of Regional Development of the Czech Republic
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Radko Martínek
Preceded by
Stanislav Gross
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Mirek Topolánek