Alena Schillerová (born 18 March 1964) is a Czech politician and lawyer who currently serves as Minister of Finance in the government of the Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Schillerová is the first woman in the history of the Czech Republic to hold the office.
Early life and education
In 1988 Schillerová was awarded a JUDr. degree in Law from Masaryk University in Brno In 2000 she received a PhD. in administrative and agricultural cooperative law from the same university
From 1991 to 2012 Schillerová was employed by the Tax Office of Brno-Country District, becoming Deputy Director in 1995 and Director in 2006. From the beginning on 2013 she worked for 18 months as Deputy Director of the Tax Office for the South Moravian Region, as well as heading the Methodology and Tax Performance Department. She then became the Director of the Legal and Tax Process Department of the General Financial Directorate, before being appointed Deputy Minister of Finance for Taxes and Excise at the Czech Ministry of Finance at the beginning of 2016. In May 2017, Babiš proposed that Schillerová should replace him as Minister of Finance. At the time, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka rejected her nomination, saying she was too close to Babiš;instead, Ivan Pilný was nominated. On 13 December 2017, following that year’s national elections, Schillerová was appointed Minister of Finance in the cabinet of incoming Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, as an independent. On 30 April 2019 she was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. During her time in office, the government introduced a 7% digital tax in 2019 aimed at boosting state revenue by taxing advertising by global internet giants like Google and Facebook, based on earlier ideas for pan-European legislation.
The Czech government's official website states that she speaks English, German and Russian. However, her proficiency in English came under scrutiny in 2020 after a series of reports by Czech news outlets questioning it.] Further concerns were raised by the minister's refusal to conduct interviews in English and her reported lack of participation in EU meetings conducted in English.
Alena Schillerová named as most influential woman in the Czech Republic
Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová (ANO) has been named as the most powerful and influential woman in the Czech Republic this year, according to Forbes. Born in 1964, Alena Schillerová graduated from Masaryk University before holding several positions in the Brno and South Moravian Region’s Tax Offices. She was appointed as Minister of Finance in 2017 – the first woman to hold that position – following the victory of the ANO party of incoming Prime Minister Andrej Babis, and has since then been seen as one of his closest and most influential collaborators in government. She also became deputy-Prime Minister in April last year. “Whether we like it or not, the ‘first lady’ of the Babis government directly influences the lives of each and everyone of us”, writes Forbes.cz, pointing to the fact that no other woman handles such an enormous budget of 1,7 billion Kc and highlighting her role in the coronavirus crisis. Ranked as the most influential woman in the Czech Republic in 2020, Alena Schillerová overtakes EU Commissioner Vera Jourova, who topped the ranking last year and now comes second. In third place comes Prague High State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová, who had been ranked first for six years in a row until 2018. The rest of the top 10 is made up of Kateřina Jirásková (PPF Group), Petra Procházková (Agrofert), Michaela Chaloupková (CEZ), Jana Maláčová (Labour and Social Affairs Minister), Renata Mrázová (Home Credit), Simona Sokolová (Agrofert) and Ivana Tykač (Women for Women). Forbes magazine has named the Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová (ANO) the most powerful woman in the Czech Republic. The order has not changed in two other places either, the second is the European Commissioner Věra Jourová and the third is the Prague chief state prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová. The widow of the late majority owner of the PPF Group, Petr Kellner, Renáta Kellnerová, and the co-owner of the DEK building supplier Petra Kutnarová came in fourth place in the top ten. “If we also measure influence by how many people are directly affected by her various decisions, she is no longer more influential Czech than Alena Schillerová,” said Petr Šimůnek, editor-in-chief of Forbes. According to him, no other woman in the Czech Republic currently manages more money. “At the time of the current coronavirus crisis and its effects, it has further strengthened its influence on various industries and events in the Czech Republic,” he added.
Alena Schillerová: It was not a mistake to tell people that the measures will last only 3 weeks. We couldn’t do it otherwise
You know, the epidemic lives a bit of its life, retrospectively, when history evaluates what mistakes we made or didn’t make. We certainly did a lot of them, I don’t deny that. But I think those three weeks helped, the numbers are at least stabilizing and falling slightly, filling me with a slight optimism. It is always important to monitor the capacity of hospitals, this is important because we cannot afford to overwhelm hospitals, “the minister first tried not to answer the question of whether promising people that the lockdown would last only three weeks was not a mistake. “It will be about three weeks now, and we will certainly agree on it. ‘I don’t think you will oppose me in the fact that we can’t afford to relax next week or relax in the next few days. So now the three weeks have helped at the moment, we endured it, I thank everyone very much for keeping it, it’s the vast majority, I walk around Prague and I see that they have kept it, and let’s just endure it for a while, because we expect that after Easter next week we will start setting it up, we would start with the first steps, and that will be the opening of schools, “Minister Schiller did not answer the question again. After asking the question a third time and emphasizing that this was a frequent criticism of the government and that it would therefore be appropriate to comment on it, Minister Schiller replied: “It was not a mistake. We could only do it for those three weeks, we are tied to a state of emergency, yesterday we agreed to ask the Chamber of Deputies again on Monday to extend the state of emergency, that is,… Was it a mistake? We couldn’t do it for more than three weeks… “the minister turns again. “But you didn’t have to say that you would open it after those three weeks,” Strakatý emphasizes. “I know you’re playing with words here. Of course, words are important, we play here with the confidence of people, I think those three weeks in that hard lockdown were very important now and I think we should still survive Easter, “insists Schiller. Later in an interview, the minister explains that the promise to loosen up after three weeks of lockdown was not her statement that she does not remember a similar statement and therefore cannot comment on it.
Alena Schillerová Speech
Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you for the opportunity to address this international conference which focuses on a burning issue of relations between the media on the one hand, and a fair independent trial on the other hand. The topic of this meeting as well as the composition of guests and the audience raises big expectations. I believe that you will be able to not only address the very topical phenomenon and related risks, but also to outline solutions which will eliminate any future doubts about guarantees of a fair trial in this country.
If there had ever been a possibility to rely on self-regulation in the media, i.e. journalism ethics or journalism codex, I dare say that it is nowadays practically impossible. In my view, in economic terms, the point is it the media inflation. The number of servers presenting themselves as news servers with at least a basic periodicity, has been dramatically rising. While the number of the media houses and journalists is rising, their media food, meaning a potential content, does not significantly change. One day has still 24 hours, the government is still the only one, so is the opposition, the school year starts and ends only once a year, interesting technical innovations are not cropping up like mushrooms, crimes and road accidents are luckily not on the rise. Well, the size of the sandpit is more or less the same, but the number of sand cakes increases dozen times every day. Consequently, it results in a chase after sensation, in poor work with sources, in shallowness. I am not an expert in media studies but I have a strong impression that the significance of a critical reflection of readers on the work of journalists, is fading away, as is the basic reason for upholding a professional self-regulation of reporters: to maintain and promote the prestige of newspapers and reporters. The quantity of the media content which is produced every minute and reproduced by many other sources, makes it almost impossible to start a serious discussion on whether an ethical or legal framework were not exceeded. The significance of one single article is so marginal that the effect of media polemics about it resembles a research of a PhD. student in a darkened archive rather than the way to make a journalist think of self-reflection. The media is under big pressure so, often times publishing an article with a mistake or unverified information prevails over much needed verification. As a consequence, other media may win the competition to be the first to release the news. That does often a much bigger harm to the particular media than publishing a false news or unverified information. The pressure imposed on those involved in criminal proceedings, suspects, or judges and public prosecutors face, has been increasing. We can notice a similar situation in the performance of the ministry, when in some tense moments the media attention is focused on our current, or planned moves. Analytics assess them, commentators make predictions, discussions focus on indiscriminate accusations and criticism. In principle, the ministry has to communicate, to formulate clearly the message to be conveyed to the public. That is the most appropriate way to minimalize the space for speculation. In case the ministry must keep confidentiality rules in line with the law, the situation is more complex because the disproportion between the well-fed and relatively credible speculation and a silent institution which is bound to adhere to strict procedural rules, is considerably big. Moreover, it leaves room for false information. Yet, there is a way for defense: for instance, the appeal to lift confidentiality obligation enables the ministry to defend itself. And still that may not be a guarantee of a serious media interpretation. I am glad to see media representatives in the audience. Because I believe that the current fragmentation of the media environment will create the space for the renaissance of a quality journalism as a norm. A quality, professional and ethical journalistic work can only exist if produced by quality, professional and ethically minded journalists, and not governed by new directives. The meeting today is the best way to contribute to this postulate.
“Republic” bonds get off to good start
he “Republic” bonds proudly presented to the public by Finance Minister Alena Schillerová in November of last year have got off to a good start, despite the fact that they carry a relatively low interest rate of 2.1%. Between December 1st and January 18th Czechs purchased 3.07 billion crowns worth of these bonds, according to Finance Minister Alena Schillerová. Minister Schillerová, told the news site Novinky she greatly welcomed the interest from the public, noting that citizens clearly viewed the Czech state as a trusted partner and the bonds as a safe investment. The minister has set her sights high, planning three issues of the bonds and saying that orders to the tune of 80 billion crowns would be a “very good result”. This would roughly equal five percent of the overall state debt. However the minister did not specify a timeframe for the set goal. Financial experts note that while the 2.1 % interest rate barely covers inflation, the bonds have low liquidity and the 15 percent tax does not add to their attraction, state bonds are a safe investment which clearly appeals to the largely conservative Czech investor. Another aspect which may help make this issue a success is the patriotic note struck by the Finance Ministry in presenting the ”Czechoslovak centenary bonds” with many people buying them as gifts for their children and grandchildren. The second issue of the bonds went on the market on this week, with people able to place orders until March 15th. The third issue is planned for March 18th until June 14th. State bonds for households were reintroduced in 2011 by then finance minister Miroslav Kalousek and between 2011 and 2014 they sold to the tune of almost 106 billion crowns. In the years that followed people gradually collected their investments and only around 5.2 billion worth of the original bonds remain in public hands. Although Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová sometimes lets us peek into her privacy through photos on her Instagram account, she rarely talks about her family, her rituals or hobbies. In an interview for us she makes an exception and opens up about looking forward to having another grandchild, about getting strange messages on social media as well as about her relationship towards men. Moreover, she even confided that when her superior Andrej Babiš ticks her off, she ignores his text messages defiantly, until she cools down. Do you ever think about leaving everything behind, buying a house at the beach and spending all your days just watching the sea, relaxed and carefree? Frankly, no, I don’t. Although I really look forward to going on a vacation for a few days, when the situation calms down a little. I don’t even care where, just somewhere calm, in nature. Right now it’s out of the question, though.
Does that worry you?
No. I live in the here and now and I have to do what I think is best.
Commission supports Czechia in developing access to capital markets for SMEs
A well-developed capital market is an essential mechanism for the efficient functioning of an advanced market economy. It connects household savings with value added enterprises in need of capital. As such, it benefits the country’s economy as a whole and all its participants - households, businesses, and financial intermediaries. The SMEs in the Czech Republic have a comparatively low knowledge of basic capital market instruments. This constrains their financing choices, it, therefore, indirectly hinders the Czech economy from being more resilient to external shocks and does not allow a faster economic growth as well as creation of high-quality employment opportunities.
To address this issue, the Government of the Czech Republic has put enhanced capital market literacy of SMEs as one of the fundamental objectives of the National Strategy for the Development of the Capital Market in the Czech Republic 2019 – 2023. The inauguration of the website kapitalovypruvodce.cz at today’s conference comes as a result of the European Commission assistance within the technical support project “Enhancing capital market literacy for SMEs in the Czech Republic” funded by the European Union via the Structural Reform Support Programme. The website aims to explain to SMEs alternatives to traditional bank loan financing. It provides information about different options for financing SMEs businesses through public or private capital markets and guides SMEs through the practicalities of their use. The website also offers inspiring stories of Czech SMEs that have successfully taped into capital markets, for examples through crowdfunding or other innovative platforms, through private investors or via the START market of the Prague Stock Exchange. The website also features thematic video interviews with capital market experts and provides useful contacts. SMEs will be able to take a quiz to assess their business development needs and identify suitable capital market funding possibilities. In bringing the website to life, the European Commission’s technical support to the Czech Ministry of Finance complements the whole spectrum of on-going capital markets reform initiatives resulting from the National Strategy. Czech Republic is on the right path to mobilise its capital markets. The European Commission encourages other Member States to take inspiration from this project.
THE SUCCESS/FUTURE OF OUR ECONOMY SHOULD BE ENTRUSTED TO A FEMALE THIS TIME AROUND
A finance minister is an executive or cabinet position in charge of one or more of government finances, economic policy and financial regulation. A finance minister’s portfolio has a large variety of names across the world, such as “treasury”, “finance”, “financial affairs”, “economy” and “economic affairs”. The position of the finance minister might be named for this portfolio, but it may also have some other name, like “Treasurer” or, in the United Kingdom, “Chancellor of the Exchequer”. The finance minister is usually in charge of monetary policy, economic policy, fiscal policy, and financial regulation. Many women have been appointed to the post since the mid 1920s. Sierra Leone is no exception to this especially when we have a President who empowers every aspect_ women, youths, adults, aged etc. President Julius Maada Bio, there are 152 women in the world that have served as Ministers of Finance in their respective countries. Currently, there are 16 women who are manning the affairs of their countries economy by serving in the capacity of Minister of Finance. Below is a list of some of the women currently serving as Ministers of Finance in their countries and are doing extremely well. 1.Janet Yellen of America who was just appointed on the 26 of January, 2021 by the newly elected President, Joe Biden. 2. Chrystia Freeland of Canada. She was appointed in 2020 and still serves as the Minister. 3. Vera Daves of Angola who assumed office from 2018 to present. 4. Nirmala Sitharaman of India who assumed office from 2019 to present. 5. Zainab Ahmed of Nigeria who assumed office from 2018 to present. 6. María Jesús Montero of Spain who assumed office from 2018 to present. 7. Alena Schillerová of Czech Republic who assumed office from 2017 to present. 8. Sri Mulyani Indrawati of Indonesia who assumed office in 2016 to present. 9. Magdalena Andersson who is the current Minister of Finance of Sweden since 2014 to present. And the list goes on. President Julius Maada Bio, I know you are a listening president and always like to do what is best for this country. “What a man can do a woman can do it better”
Depp excited Vary. But the movies still won over him
Over the past two days, American actor, musician and producer Johnny Depp has confirmed the world reputation of the Karlovy Vary festival as a place where the stars and spectators are close. It is in Vary and from the reactions on social networks to his festival participation that it is clear that the vast majority of fans in the Czech Republic and abroad are in his tumultuous case of divorce from actress Amber Heard on the part of Johnny Depp and do not hesitate to make it very loud. Tickets for Depp’s festival films – the documentary Hrnec zlaťáků: A few drinks with Shane MacGowan and his latest acting film Minamata – were a particularly hot commodity at the festival. They disappeared from the festival box office within a few minutes, and on the festival notice board, fans eager to meet their idol offered a five hundred. It is necessary to add that Depp paid maximum attention to his supporters, handing out smiles and signatures, apart from the one-hour delay for Saturday’s screening of the film Minamata. In the glow of Depp’s fame, popularity and screaming fans, the second guest at the end of the show, Hollywood actor Ethan Hawke, who received the Festival President’s Award at the closing ceremony, disappeared a bit. Sir Michael Caine enjoyed the applause of the fans when he attended the opening ceremony a week ago, where he received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The last winner was the Czech Oscar-winning director Jan Svěrák, and he and Hawk also took over the Crystal Globe on Saturday. Photo gallery: Thus ended the festival in Vary Photo: Kubeš Slavomír, ČTK From the outside, it looks as if they are just stars in Vary, but the main thing is still the movies. Both competition sections also offered several Czech films, and some of them were also successful at international juries. The film won the Grand Jury Prize, which was awarded $ 25,000 Scarecrow, a story of two African migrants co-produced by Serbia, France, Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Lithuania. The film also won an award for male acting, a special award for a camera, an ecumenical jury award and the Europa Cinemas Label award. The Grand Jury Prize of the East of the West competition went to the Russian film Rus about a poor Yakut couple. The special prizes of both juries went to Czech films, more specifically to Czech documentaries. Erika Hníková’s Czech documentary earned a special award from the main jury Every minute of life, with the jury East of the West, a documentary by Adéla Komrzý A unit of intense life. It is necessary to add that for both Czech films it was a completely deserved victory. This year’s festival screened slightly fewer films than in previous years. On the other hand, it was a very balanced collection, many visitors agreed that it was almost impossible to step aside in this year’s program. Even the Czech representatives in the festival program, with a few exceptions, were the best of this year’s Czech film production and they were hotly discussed here – let’s mention in addition to the awarded documentary Every minute of life i Love under the hood from the main festival competition, or also awarded A unit of intense life from the East of the West competition. Among feature films, the competition attracted the most attention Atlas of birds, in which Miroslav Donutil showed an almost unknown acting position. And outside the competition, viewers saw for the first time in the Czech Republic charming and internationally successful Czech animated films, a drama from Afghanistan My sun Mad and mouse adventure Mice belong to heaven. All these films will soon enter Czech cinemas.
Take a look at excerpts from the film My Sun Mad, already awarded at the animated film festival in Annecy, France: Photo: Aerofilms (courtesy) Thanks to the covid break, the festival’s program department also managed to compile an exceptionally busy Horizons section, which offers films awarded or highlighted at other major world festivals. Among the visitors, the winner of the award for the best actress from Cannes, a charming film about relationships and youthful search, received a great response. The worst person in the world, Oscar – nominated Bosnian drama Where are you going, Aida? about the Srebrenica massacre or an Italian film All the best, Chiaro!. In any case, David Ondříček’s inaugural sports drama was maintained from the beginning to the end in the festival’s voting for the best audience film. Zátopek – even this film can already be seen in Czech non-festival cinemas. Covid’s measures after the treads at the opening ceremony, which were pointed out on Twitter by the epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar, were observed without any problems, especially by ordinary festival visitors. The festival security guards thoroughly inspected the festival tapes certifying infectivity at each entrance to the hall and the festival premises. Even at the closing ceremony, most of the veils remained on, including the one on Johnny Depp’s face. A somewhat bizarre part of the festival was the long-awaited opening of the Thermal Hotel’s swimming pool by Alena Schillerová. There was talk not only about the botched and sold reconstruction of the pool itself or its sudden fire on Thursday, but also about the condition of the hotel premises, in which festival guests lacked refrigerators, sinks or towels and room paneling. This year’s festival was attended by a total of almost 10,000 accredited visitors, namely 9,267. Two years ago, when the festival last took place, it welcomed around 12,500 fans – the expected huge drop due to the covid pandemic did not happen Jiří Bartoška has already announced at the closing ceremony. It will take place again in due time at the beginning of summer, specifically from 1 to 9 July 2022.