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Czech Republic

Yearbook 2004

Flag - CzechiaCzech Republic. According to CountryAAH, the total population in Czech Republic is 10,708,992 people in 2020. The Czech Republic, already admitted as a NATO member, achieved its second major foreign policy goal when it joined the EU on May 1. But opinion polls showed that the population was very skeptical of the EU in the long run. A majority even voiced fears for the Union, apparently because of uncertainty about how it works. As a result, the EU-skeptical Democratic National Party (ODS) emerged as a favorite for the Czech Republic's first election to the European Parliament in June. The ODS, which in the election campaign promised to defend the Czech Republic's "national interests" in the EU, took nine of the Czech Republic's 24 seats. The ruling Social Democratic Party, on the other hand, made a disaster choice and had to settle for two terms.

2004 Czech Republic

As a result of the failure, Prime Minister Vladimír Špidla left his post after he had passed a vote of no confidence in Parliament. The tripartite coalition had an extremely fragile majority with only one mandate being overweight. Špidla also chose to leave the party leader post for the Social Democrats, where he was for a time subjected to harsh internal criticism because of the party's poor opinion figures. President Václav Klaus appointed Špidla's foremost opponent in social democracy, Interior Minister Stanislav Gross, as new government leader. The 34-year-old Gross, who also succeeded Špidla as party leader, thus became Europe's youngest prime minister. His government was based on the same narrow majority and the same three parties as before: the Social Democratic Party, the Christian Democratic Union and the Freedom Union-Democratic Union. Gross managed the vote of confidence that followed the formation of the government by summoning two long-term sick members, one of them arriving in a wheelchair. In connection with the vote, accusations were made that the opposition was trying to bribe one of the members of the government with large sums to vote against Gross. President Klaus, who previously led the opposition party ODS, entered the debate on the side of the accused. The case was handed over to the police for investigation.

In the fall, the controversial president ended up in conflict with the country's police chief Jiří Kolář after reports that in connection with a fraud investigation, the police intercepted the phone of a close friend of the president. This meant that even conversations with the president were eavesdropped. The police chief was quoted as saying that people who have a clear conscience do not have to worry about whether the police are listening to their calls. President Klaus then called for the chief of police to resign, but the government declared that Kolář would stay at his post.

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