President says civil service law veto hangs on changes to rules on deputy ministers

President Miloš Zeman will not veto the government’s proposed new civil service bill but only as long as changes are made ensuring that deputy ministers are no longer political appointments. If these changes were no forthcoming then the presidential veto would almost certainly be used, the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček announced on Monday. Talks between the president and government would take place aimed at resolving their differences over the new law aimed at paving the way for a non-politicized and professional civil service, the spokesman added. No precise dates have yet been fixed, Ovčáček said. The new law should be in place by the start of next year with Prague under heavy pressure from the European Union in Brussels to push through the long delayed measure. Deputy ministers are frequently political appointments under the current Czech system.