Elections are coming up. On the Spolu candidate list, you are in third place with Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) and Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09), who is again in these days to resign from his positions. He was last called on Wednesday by the Pirates. At the same time, it is in second place on your list of candidates. Should he be there?
Jiří Pospíšil explained it to us and it seems to me that he says it as it really was. I see no reason for him to withdraw from the candidate list. If we wanted to be strict, neither Mayor Hřib nor Jan Čižinský should be candidates. You were in contact with the Hlubuček panel, which is also part of the investigated group. They voted with him, made political deals with him, and thanks to those deals, many decisions that are now the subject of police investigations.
However, Pospíšil was in direct contact with businessman Michal Redl, who had contacts with Radovan Krejčíř. And now, on top of that, she keeps silent about the number of meetings with him.
I have also been in politics for a long time. And I don’t even remember how many times I met whom. In politics, you meet many times at different meetings with different people.
Contacts with Redl also cost the Minister of Education Petr Gazdík (STAN), who himself resigned. Is there a difference in the contacts between him and Pospíšil?
Minister Gazdík evaluated whether his contacts with Mr. Redl had a major influence on his further political activity or not. Redl was a long-term sponsor of the STAN movement, and Gazdík worked with him for a long time. This is a different quality of contacts than when (Redl) was brought by STAN representatives to a meeting with Pospíšil, he is not his friend. Pospíšil says it like this publicly, and so far it has been confirmed. I see no reason now not to trust him.
Will Pospíšil’s name on the candidate list have a negative effect?
In many of the cases that are here, with the passage of time it turns out that in the end things are a little different. We have no reason to think that he should leave the candidate list.
Will the Dosimeter case hinder the formation of coalitions?
No one knows how the case will develop further. I can’t guess, I’m not a police officer or a prosecutor.
Rather, I ask because representatives of your coalition previously said that your potential partners after the election would be Pirates and STAN. Does this still apply to STAN?
At this moment, STAN made arrangements for its candidate, which underwent one change. We have good contacts and know each other with many who are now representatives of STAN. And if we are talking about the leader of the candidate – deputy Petr Hlaváček, he is a person with whose team I can personally imagine post-election cooperation.
The trend also shows that the ANO movement, which you are now in opposition to, will gain strong support in Prague. Would this collaboration be a possibility?
At this moment, none of us is even thinking about a coalition with the ANO movement, we are not planning any coalition with ANO. The fact that we are now in the opposition together with the ANO movement is the result of an agreement between the three parties that won the elections, which was the ODS and condemned us to the opposition. Can you imagine that we, as Spolu, would go into a coalition with ANO, when we are running a sharp campaign against Andrej Babiš?
It’s more about whether you can imagine it.
Before the elections to the House of Representatives, it was also said that the ODS would definitely go into a coalition with the YES movement, that the Spolu coalition would break up after the elections, and similarly guaranteed courts. Has the Spolu coalition fallen apart? No. Is ODS in coalition with ANO? It isn’t. There is a clear political opponent with whom the ODS and the Spolu coalition are leading a tough political clash, and that is the ANO movement led by Babiš.
So, if the STAN movement, which doesn’t look the best, doesn’t get into the council, are the Pirates the closest partners for you?
As we have already said, we would look for the closest partners among those who are on the ground plan of the national government. But in the end, we can negotiate with someone else entirely, because nobody knows today how the elections will turn out and who will sit in the council.
For the Spolu coalition, you are the guarantor of digitization. You write in the program that “Prague must enable a wider range of digital services that a person will be able to manage with the city and its organizations from the comfort of their home”. So what kind of services should it be?
There are things that the state ensures in the field of digitization and will ensure them. There, it makes no sense for the state to compete or replace it. But the state does not and cannot offer the activities of the town hall and the city. And that, for example, is the contractual agenda. Thanks to the digital identity, there is now room for simplifying the conclusion of contracts with the city. In other words, we want to allow people who want to use digital technology to conclude contracts with the city remotely.
I’m glad to have been with the digital identity project from the very beginning, and it turns out to be an extraordinary moment.
It is twenty years since the flood in the capital. You were the director of the municipality at the time. How do you remember it?
It was something I had never experienced in my life. We have lived here with the Vltava for so long and I have never seen so much water in my life. It was only a matter of time before the water began to overflow over Prague’s bridges. That’s one image I remember. What I also remember is the enormous commitment of the people who, in the crisis staff and all its components, were responsible for protecting the lives and health of the citizens of Prague. I myself did not sleep for three days straight. And it was the same for everyone else who wanted to protect and save Prague – whether they were firefighters, paramedics, police officers, officials or bus, tram or subway drivers.
But probably the greatest experience was from Karlín. I remember being there when we had to evacuate Karlín during the night. Thousands of scared, sleepless people. It was raining, we were in rubber boots and raincoats. A gloomy light shone. It was like during the war. We drove the buses to Karlín and woke people up and told them over the street radio to take only the most necessary things, because soon the whole of Karlín would be under water. And then we took buses to the gyms on the nearest hill.
Cross-stitches are now commonplace for us in recent years. Was it any different back then?
Now that we are facing other crisis situations, I would say that Prague handled it very professionally, and I am proud of it. The crisis staff of Prague worked, it was incredibly cooperative. This is what crisis management should look like.