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Profile: Vladimir Spidla

Vladimir Spidla was a participant or observer in the following events:

Miroslav Kalousek is elected the new chairman of the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), defeating the current chairman and foreign minister Cyril Svoboda in the second round of voting at the party’s conference in Ostrava. Kalousek obtained 164 votes, whereas Svoboda only got 131, but was then elected to one of the five deputy chairman positions. Shortly before the election, Mirek Topolanek, chairman of the center-right Civic Democratic Party (ODS), had indirectly supported Kalousek over Svoboda in a speech to the conference, whereas Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla of the Social Democrats (CSSD) had offered indirect support to Svoboda, the favourite before the election. Despite this assistance, Svoboda’s position was hampered by his unpopular support for the US-led invasion of Iraq, his pro-European orientation, and, in particular, the party’s poor performance in recent elections, which may be the deciding factor between the two candidates. (Danda and Bek 11/8/2003)

Two European commissioners restate their opposition to FIFA’s “6+5” proposal to restrict the number of foreigners fielded by football teams. The statement is issued following a meeting of European sports ministers that FIFA attended. The opposition of Vladimir Spidla and Jan Figel, European commissioners for employment and education respectively, is grounded in the fact that the rule “is based on direct discrimination on the grounds of nationality, and is thus against one of the fundamental principles of EU law.” However, the two commissioners remain “open to discuss ways and means of bringing more balance to the game of football together with FIFA and other interested parties to find a solution that would be compatible with EU law.” Regarding a proposal made by football authorities to ban international transfers of players aged under 18, they have some sympathy for the idea, but “free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the EU. And a proposal to ban all transfers of under-18s would, at first sight, appear to constitute indirect discrimination in the field of free movement of workers and could be disproportionate in light of the objectives pursued.” (European Commission 11/28/2008)


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