The governing coalition has backed down in the face of concerns expressed by the opposition TOP 09 and ODS parties with regards to crucial civil service reforms. Specifically, at a meeting held late on Wednesday in Prague, it was agreed that a contentious central civil service directorate is to be dropped in favour of a system managed by the Ministry of the Interior. The compromise would see the government approve a civil service chief for a six year term. Civil service reform laws, designed to remove political influences from the government bureaucracy, represent a key reform pledge from the current coalition government. However, trade union groups have criticised the deal, saying such reforms will not lead to de-politicisation. Jiří Dienstbier, Social Democrat minister for human rights and legislature, also slammed the compromise on Thursday, pulling out of any further involvement in the current proposals.
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