Prague would like to receive land from Minister Toman’s father. He cannot afford the requested amount – ČT24 – Česká televize
The plan to complete the decade-long Prague ring road, which is to take traffic out of the metropolis, envisages, among other things, the creation of green belts – wooded sections that should have a major impact on large environmental constructions and which Prague has promised the city districts.
But the project crashed right at the beginning. Some of the land that the city needs is owned by the family of the Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman and does not want to give it up cheaply. The sale depends on a price that is tens of millions higher than the metropolis can pay.
“The offer price that was to be offered by the capital city of Prague is about 110 million crowns. The amount required by the seller is higher, somewhere 170 or 180, “said the mayor of Běchovice Ondřej Martan (ODS).
The land of about ten hectares was originally acquired by Xaverov in 2003 under unusual circumstances, based on a document from an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, on which the current minister Miroslav Toman was working as a deputy at the time.
The original company subsequently transferred them to Agrotrade. Both are controlled by Miroslav Toman Sr., one of the important officials of the communist era (for example, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic) with many connections, and the minister’s brother Zdeněk acts on their behalf. The head of the agricultural department has long refused to comment on the family business.
The council, headed by Krnáčová, decided on the green belts
The city began negotiations on the purchase of land this summer. Green belts are supposed to be in many places, and in addition to the Toman family, the city has to negotiate with dozens of other owners. According to Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr, Prague owns about 30 percent of the land in the incriminated area, but has not yet bought any of the rest.
The council, headed by Adriana Krnáčová (YES), decided on the green belts, which should contribute, among other things, to the soundproofing of the motorway. Petr Dolínek from the CSSD was in charge of transport, but according to his words, he knew nothing about the owners. “I don’t really care who owns it. It was difficult for the product (green belts) to be for the locals, because it is very unpleasant to have the highway under the windows, “he said.
Problematic privatization project
Xaverov was originally a socialist state poultry company that had plants throughout the country. The state privatized Xaverov in 1992, and in the following ten years came under the control of Miroslav Toman the Elder.
In the year 2000, the company started applying for large-scale real estate in Prague. She claimed that Xaverov had farmed the land in the past and was therefore entitled to it. In the privatization project, on the basis of which the state sold the company Xaverov, but these lands are not.
Nevertheless, the company acquired these lucrative Prague plots in 2003. Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture wrote the official document after Miroslav Toman, who was then Deputy Minister of Agriculture at the time, joined the ministry.
“This company acquired the land under strange circumstances. It is strange that she obtained the acquisition title only on the basis of the statement of the Ministry of Agriculture, and that was enough to register some lands and their ownership in the cadastre, “said Prague councilor Hana Marvanová (for STAN).
According to Marvanová, it was a special-purpose document
Lawyer Viktor Rossmann also has doubts about the content. “This document is a document of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic and is called the ‘Declaration of Legal Succession’. The document states that the national enterprise Poultry Industry has been transformed in some way. And that his successor is Xaverov, a joint stock company. This document says nothing more, “added Rossmann.
“I am absolutely convinced that it does not say anything at all with regard to the land and that no change of ownership or transfer of ownership to the real estate cadastre could have taken place on the basis of this document,” Rossmann added.
Councilor Marvanová is clear about the reason for the document. “It gives me the impression that the document was created only for the purpose of bringing the company to the cadastre and trying to use it to record its ownership of the land,” she said.
The document was prepared by official Stanislav Codl. He was at that time subordinate to the current Minister Miroslav Toman. But he knew his father, they even wrote a book together. “They were the leaders of, say, socialist agriculture and, no doubt, they also did a number of events together,” said agrarian analyst Petr Havel.
But Codl does not want to comment on the document, thanks to which Xaverov acquired valuable land. “I refuse to give a statement or an opinion. You are neither the first nor the last who have been here from television or other bodies and to whom I said ‘no, I will not comment on this’, “he replied to the Codl Reporters’ questions.
“It is clear that the relevant state institutions have failed. As a result, he lost property of considerable value, “Marvanová concluded.
But Prague urgently needs land. Otherwise, it will not fulfill the promise it made to the city districts – to build green belts. “If it shouldn’t turn out, it’s just a big disappointment for us,” added the mayor of Běchovice Martan.