Stanislav Gross

Last updated
Stanislav Gross
Stanislav Gross 2005.jpg
5th Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
In office
4 August 2004 25 April 2005
President Václav Klaus
Preceded by Vladimír Špidla
Succeeded by Jiří Paroubek
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
26 June 2004 26 April 2005
Preceded by Vladimír Špidla
Succeeded by Bohuslav Sobotka (acting)
Minister of the Interior
In office
5 April 2000 4 August 2004
Prime Minister Miloš Zeman
Vladimír Špidla
Preceded by Václav Grulich
Succeeded by František Bublan
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
6 June 1992 21 September 2004
Personal details
Born(1969-10-30)30 October 1969
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died16 April 2015(2015-04-16) (aged 45)
Prague, Czech Republic
Political party ČSSD
Spouse(s) Šárka Grossová
Alma mater Charles University (M.L.)
University of West Bohemia (JD)
ProfessionLawyer
Signature Stanislav Gross signature.svg

Stanislav Gross (Czech pronunciation: [ˈstaɲɪslav ˈɡros] ; 30 October 1969 – 16 April 2015) was a Czech lawyer and politician who served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and Leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party from 2004 until 2005 when he resigned as a result of his financial irregularities. He previously served as Minister of the Interior in cabinets of Miloš Zeman and Vladimír Špidla from 2000 to 2004. Gross was Member of the Chamber of Deputies (MP) from 1992 to 2004.

Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

The Chairman of the Government of the Czech Republic, is the head of the Government of the Czech Republic. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Chamber of Deputies. The current Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, leader of the ANO 2011, was appointed by the President on 6 December 2017, and serves as 12th person in the office.

Czech Social Democratic Party Czech political party

The Czech Social Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in the Czech Republic. It holds 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies following the 2017 legislative election, losing 35 seats. The party has been led by Jan Hamáček since 2018. It has been a junior coalition party within a minority cabinet since June 2018, and was a senior coalition party from 1998 to 2006 and from 2013 to 2017.

Ministry of the Interior (Czech Republic) Czech government ministry

The Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic is a government ministry tasked with responsibilities in public and internal security, citizenship, identity cards and social security numbers, as well as travel, border, immigration control and civil service among others. The ministry has under its jurisdiction police, Office for Foreign Relations and Information (ÚZSI), fire department and Czech Post.

Contents

Gross died on 16 April 2015 at the age of 45 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscular paralysis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a specific disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neuron disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. It may begin with weakness in the arms or legs, or with difficulty speaking or swallowing. About half of people develop at least mild difficulties with thinking and behavior and most people experience pain. Most eventually lose the ability to walk, use their hands, speak, swallow, and breathe.

Early political career

Born in Prague, Gross briefly worked for Czechoslovak State Railways (ČSD) as an engine-driver trainee. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, he became a member of the Social Democratic party and in 1992 member of the parliament. After studies in law from 1993 to 1999 he obtained an academic title, although under less than normal conditions. His thesis had a mere 33 pages. [1]

Prague Capital city in Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.

Czechoslovak State Railways state railway in the former Czechoslovakia

Czechoslovak State Railways was the state-owned railway company of Czechoslovakia.

Velvet Revolution democratization process in Czechoslovakia in 1989

The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent transition of power in what was then Czechoslovakia, occurring from 17 November to 29 December 1989. Popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia included students and older dissidents. The result was the end of 41 years of one-party rule in Czechoslovakia, and the subsequent dismantling of the planned economy and conversion to a parliamentary republic.

Minister of the Interior

On 5 April 2000 he was named interior minister in the government of Miloš Zeman. After elections in 2002, Gross continued as interior minister and became deputy prime minister in the government of Vladimír Špidla.

Miloš Zeman 3rd President of the Czech Republic

Miloš Zeman is a Czech politician serving as the third and current President of the Czech Republic since 8 March 2013. He previously served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 1998 to 2002. As Leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party during the 1990s, he transformed his party into one of the country's major political forces. Zeman was Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament, from 1996 until he became Prime Minister two years later in 1998.

Vladimír Špidla Czech minister of labour and social affairs of the CR, vice prime minister of the Czech Republic, member of Czech Parliament (1996–2006) and prime minister of the CR

Vladimír Špidla is a Czech politician who served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from July 2002 to June 2004 and as European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities from November 2004 to February 2010. He also served as chief adviser to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka from 2014 to 2017.

During his service, several scandals in the police had leaked out: corruption among the highest officials, irregularities in business tenders and failure to solve serial murders. Gross claimed that this was due to a better ability to discover such behaviour within the police force. Gross was also criticized for installing his friends and allies as executives in state-owned companies and for misuse of secret services for political aims. [2]

In spite of these problems, Gross was able to maintain higher popularity than other politicians (his peak came in at over 70%). His youthful, photogenic appearance, skills in dealing with media and unwillingness to get involved in controversial decisions or discussions helped.[ citation needed ]

Prime minister

In the 2004 European election, ČSSD lost badly and the popularity of the party was low; this led to the resignation of Špidla on 26 July. Gross was appointed prime minister on 4 August 2004 and his government was approved on 24 August.

Gross was seen by his party as the last way to regain popularity and better handle future elections. This was proved wrong; in elections for regional assemblies and Senate elections, the Social Democrats failed again.

Gross claimed he would modernise the party on lines similar to those followed by Tony Blair, but his short time in office and constant involvement with scandals did not give him any time to implement changes. His popularity started to decline, and his involvement in further allegations of nepotism, police corruption, suspicious dealings in state privatisations accelerated the decline.[ citation needed ]

Financial irregularities

In early 2005, Gross faced a scandal related to unclear origins of the loan to buy his flat. It was found that his wife was a business associate of a brothel owner who was later sentenced for insurance fraud to five years[ citation needed ] in prison. Criticism from the media and record public dissatisfaction grew into a government crisis. For three months, Gross tried to keep himself in power until he was forced to resign on 25 April 2005. His popularity sank to a record low, and trust in politicians among Czech people was shattered. [3]

In September 2005 Gross stepped down from his remaining position of party leader. The reason was growing suspicion about corruption during the privatization of the chemical conglomerate Unipetrol to the Polish concern of PKN Orlen, involving Gross.

Gross denied all accusations as an absurd conspiracy against him. [4]

Later life and death

After leaving the world of top level politics Gross started to work for the Law Office of Eduard Bruna. Between April 2006 and January 2007 he served as the chairman of Security Commission of the Social Democrats (bezpečnostní komise). The media had occasionally speculated about his influence on decisions made within the Czech police. [5]

In September 2007, the economics weekly Euro published information that Gross and his wife bought up to a 31% stake in the energy company Moravia Energo. The value of the stake was estimated to be worth about 300 million CZK. The journal calculated that the banks would provide at most two-thirds of the sum and the rest was thus paid by Gross. [6] When this information was published Gross refused to provide details to the press on grounds of privacy. [7] By June 2008 Gross successfully sold his 31% stake for 150 million CZK, his original purchase price was 21 million CZK. The whole deal was very curious and was investigated, but it was quickly found to be a legitimate business deal according to the Czech Police [8]

On 18 March 2008 he failed the bar exam, [9] but later passed it and opened a private law practice. [10] Gross was student of the Charles University in Prague and later was awarded his law degree by the University of West Bohemia at Plzeň. In 2009 this University has been the centre of investigations into allegations of law degrees being awarded after only a few months study. Gross was mentioned during the investigation.

In early 2008 together with his wife Šárka Grossová, they purchased a $735,000 (or 11 million CZK) Hidden Bay luxury condo in Miami, Florida. (review of public online county records show that the property was purchased in his wife's name only). Mr. Gross and his wife also purchased a small 10 million CZK house in need of major renovations about 1 km from their apartment in Barrandov, Prague, Czech Republic (controversy surrounding the purchase of that apartment was one of the key factors in his stepping down from his post as prime minister and leaving politics). [11]

Gross died on 16 April 2015 at the age of 45 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [12] [13]

Gross was an inspiration for the character of corrupt prime minister Klein in the film Gangster Ka. [14]

Related Research Articles

Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak Peoples Party Czech political party

The Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (Czech: Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová, KDU–ČSL, often shortened to lidovci is a Christian-democratic political party in the Czech Republic. The party took part in almost every Czech Government since 1990. In the June 2006 election, the party won 7.2% of the vote and 13 out of 200 seats; but in the 2010 election, this dropped to 4.4% and they lost all their seats. The party regained its parliamentary standing in the 2013 legislative election, winning 14 seats in the new parliament, thereby becoming the first party ever to return to the Chamber of Deputies after dropping out.

Cyril Svoboda Czech politician

Cyril Svoboda is a Czech politician, who was leader of the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU–ČSL) from 2001–2003 and 2009–2010, and a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1998–2010. During his political career he held several ministerial positions, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He founded the Diplomatic Academy in Prague in 2011 and is currently lecturing at several universities in Prague.

Jiří Paroubek Czech minister of regional development of the CR, member of Czech Parliament (2006–2013) and prime minister of the CR

Jiří Paroubek is a Czech politician, who was the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from April 2005 to August 2006. He was also the leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) from 2006 until his resignation following the 2010 legislative election.

2006 Czech legislative election 2006 parliamentary elections

Legislative elections were held in the Czech Republic on 2 and 3 June 2006 to elect the members of the Chamber of Deputies.

Jiří Čunek Czech minister of regional development of the CR, vice prime minister of the Czech Republic, senator of Czech Parliament and mayor

Jiří Čunek is a Czech politician who was the Leader of the Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party from December 2006 to May 2009. Čunek was also Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Regional Development in Mirek Topolánek's Second Cabinet until January 23, 2009. Since 2006, Čuněk has been Senator from Vsetín and since November 2, 2016 he has been the Governor of Zlín Region.

Jan Kohout Czech diplomat and politician

Jan Kohout is a Czech diplomat and politician. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic in caretaker governments of Jan Fischer and Jiří Rusnok. Between 1986–1989 he had been a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia; since 1995 is a member of the Social Democratic Party but before accepting the office of Foreign Minister he suspended party membership.

Šárka Grossová is a Czech entrepreneur, whose husband Stanislav Gross was Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from August 2004 to April 2005. Her opaque business activities contributed to the resignation of her husband Stanislav Gross from the post in April 2005.

Bohuslav Sobotka former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Bohuslav Sobotka is a Czech politician who served as the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from January 2014 to December 2017 and Leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) from 2010 until his resignation in June 2017. He was Member of the Chamber of Deputies (MP) from 1996 to 2018. Sobotka also served as Finance Minister from 2002 to 2006.

Roman Janoušek is an influential billionaire businessman and lobbyist from the Czech Republic. In November 2014 he started serving a 4.5-year sentence he received for his hit-and-run automobile accident in March 2012.

2013 Czech legislative election

Early legislative elections were held in the Czech Republic on 25 and 26 October 2013, seven months before the constitutional expiry of the elected parliament's four year legislative term.

2003 Czech presidential election

The 2003 Czech presidential election took place in January and February 2003 to elect a new President of the Czech Republic. The Parliament of the Czech Republic failed to elect a candidate on the first 2 ballots on the 15 and 24 January. However, on the third round of the third ballot on the 28 February, Václav Klaus was elected President.

2013 Czech political corruption scandal

The 2013 Czech political corruption scandal started with a raid against organized crime which was conducted in the Czech Republic in June 2013 by the Police Unit for Combating Organized Crime and the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Olomouc. It involved several highly positioned state officers and politicians, as well as controversial entrepreneurs and lobbyists. The scandal affected the top levels of Czech politics, including Prime Minister Petr Nečas and his coalition government. On 17 June 2013, it resulted in the resignation of the Prime Minister and the cabinet. Nečas also quit as leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS).

Jiří Rusnok Czech politician and economist, former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Governor of the Czech National Bank

Jiří Rusnok is a Czech politician and economist who served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic between July 2013 and January 2014. Since 1 July 2016 Rusnok serves as Governor of the Czech National Bank.

2017 Czech legislative election All 200 seats of the Chamber of Deputies, lower house of the Parliament, were available for the election.

The 2017 Czech legislative election was held in the Czech Republic on 20 and 21 October 2017. All 200 members of the Chamber of Deputies were elected and the leader of the resultant government – Andrej Babiš of ANO 2011, became the Prime Minister.

Andrej Babiš Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

Andrej Babiš is a Czech politician of Slovak origin who has been the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic since December 2017, and previously served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy from January 2014 to May 2017. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and entrepreneur.

2005 Czech Social Democratic Party leadership election

The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) leadership election of 2005 happened when incumbent Vladimír Špidla resigned as a result of party's poor performance in European Parliament election. Stanislav Gross and Zdeněk Škromach duelled in the election. Gross was front-runner and was endorsed by 12 regional organisations while Škromach was supported by only 1 region.

2003 Czech Social Democratic Party leadership election

The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) leadership election of 2003 was held on 30 March 2003. The incumbent leader Vladimír Špidla was re-elected.

Kramářs Villa building in Prague, Czech Republic; official residence of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

The Kramář's Villa is the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. It is located in Prague, known for its panorama of Prague Castle. It was built in 1914 by the First Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, Karel Kramář. Since 1998, the villa has been the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.

References

  1. Central catalogue of the Charles University in Prague
  2. "Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has denied that he has formed special police teams as Interior Minister of for political purposes". Archived from the original on 24 December 2005.
  3. http://www.radio.cz/en/article/63673/limit
  4. http://zpravy.centrum.cz/domov/clanek.phtml?id=401011%5B%5D
  5. "Gross and his cronies still influential within the police". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). Czech Republic. Retrieved 25 September 2007. A May 2006 article discusses Gross in context of corruption scandal around production of bio-oil in the Czech Republic
  6. "Gross family acquires stake in Moravia Energo" (in Czech). journal Euro. Retrieved 25 September 2007.
  7. "Gross invested 300 million Czech koruny" (in Czech). Retrieved 25 September 2007.[ permanent dead link ]
  8. "Chrenek koupil "Grossuv" dil Moravia Energo za 150 Milionu" (in Czech).
  9. Zuzana Kaiserová, Gross "rupnul" u advokátní zkoušky, Mladá fronta Dnes 19 March 2008, page A1 (front page), the reporter was present at the exam
  10. "Expremiér Gross složil reparát, může se živit jako advokát" (in Czech).
  11. "Cena Grossova floridského bytu klesla kvůli krizi o pětinu" (in Czech).
  12. http://radio.cz/en/section/news/former-czech-prime-minister-stanislav-gross-dies-at-45
  13. http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/zpravy/po-tezke-nemoci-zemrel-byvaly-premier-stanislav-gross/1205293
  14. "Filmový hit Gangster Ka odtajnil nejen mafiánské praktiky, ale i hlavní postavy ze života Radovana Krejčíře. Kdo hrál koho?" (in Czech). Retrieved 3 August 2016.
Government offices
Preceded by
Václav Grulich
Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic
2000–2004
Succeeded by
František Bublan
Preceded by
Vladimír Špidla
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Jiří Paroubek