Babiš's dream of a government quarter in Letňany fading away

by   CIJ iDesk I
2020-06-29   10:48

The Czech Prime Minister's odd dream of building a government quarter on the grassy fields of Letňany appears to be fading into memory, following his admission that other projects in Prague are of greater importance. Babiš appears to be aware that while the historic buildings numerous government ministries and agencies are located in are beautiful, they're also highly inefficient and ill-suited for modern-day work. But he tried to use his vision for a gleaming new district of government buildings on Prague's periphery as a card in negotiations with the city's mayor, who was having none of it. "You can't make it into some kind of a bazaar, where you say I want this and that for that piece of land," said Prague's mayor Zdeněk Hřib. "Prague needs CZK 60bn to be able to work on both the city's outer ring road and the Metro D line." Fortunately for Hřib, Babiš appears to have been smitten by construction work now underway near the Smichov railway station on an enormous new city district and campus for Česká spořitelna. With the country's railway agency and the highway authority due to be headquartered there upon completion, the possibility of relocating the Ministry of Transportation to the site is now taking shape. This would allow its current headquarters to be handed over the National Museum, which is ultimately a far more fitting use for it.