City of Prague To Negotiate With Interior Ministry Over Sale of Czech Post Buildings on Jindřišská and Moravská
Despite several rounds of negotiations, Czech Post are still committed to selling these buildings via an e-auction. Photo credit: KB / BD.
Prague, June 15 (BD) – The City of Prague will initiate negotiations with Interior Minister Vít Rakušan regarding the procedure planned by Czech Post for the sale of buildings on Prague’s Jindřišská and Moravská. Despite several rounds of negotiations, Czech Post are still committed to selling these buildings via an e-auction, which the city authorities argue is not in the public interest of Prague or the Czech Republic.
Prague continues to declare its interest in buying the post office buildings on Jindřišská and Moravská. At several meetings between city representatives and officials from Czech Post, it was said to have been agreed that direct sale of the properties to Prague was the most suitable way forward. Despite the negotiations, however, Czech Post is still of the opinion that the real estate should be offered for sale in the form of an e-auction, to the highest bidder.
“The information that Czech Post intends to offer the building on Jindřišská in an e-auction, and not in a direct sale to the capital, as has been intensively discussed so far, took us by surprise,” said the mayor of Prague, Bohuslav Svoboda.
“We are analysing the situation and preparing for all possible options. However, we still prefer negotiations on a direct sale, which would clearly be in the public interest of the capital and the state. That’s why I asked the Minister of the Interior, Vít Rakušan, for a joint meeting with the management of the Czech Post, where we would find a win-win solution as soon as possible.” He said he expected the meeting to take place no later than the next meeting of the Prague council next Thursday.
According to the city, the sale in the form of an e-auction does not correspond to the public interest, since purchase of the buildings by the city would directly serve the citizens through public projects, which may not be the case for private owners. Mayor Svoboda will therefore initiate negotiations with the Ministry of the Interior so that the public interest is taken into account when selling assets, not just the maximisation of profit for the seller.
According to the city authorities, it was also unfortunate that despite personal meetings taking place as recently as last week, they learned information about the future e-auctions from the media, without any consultation. Prague authorities argue that such a procedure is inadequate, and reduces the credibility of both Czech Post and the Ministry of the Interior. “In addition, the Legislative Department of the Prague Municipality has been helping the Czech Post with the legal justification of the direct sale all along,” said the director of the Prague Municipality, Martin Kubelka.
At the same time, the city has informed the post office that it is ready to discuss all the details of direct sales at the June meeting of the City Council, while half of the purchase price would be paid as soon as possible. In this way, the metropolis would immediately help the post office with its current financial situation. In contrast, holding an auction would mean a delay of at least several weeks to months.
Written by Tomas Houdek.