Europe

Czech PM fires industry minister who said roaming is luxury

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has fired his minister of industry and trade over his resistance to work to lower telephone and mobile data tariffs.

At a news conference on Monday, Sobotka said Jan Mladek's ministry has failed to support his government's efforts to reduce the high bills Czechs have to pay to telephone operators.

Under Mladek's leadership, Czech officials opposed the recent decision by the European Union to cut costly mobile-phone roaming costs in the bloc. His explanation that roaming is a luxury made news. Similar attention was paid to a statement by his deputy that if the Czechs want low tariffs like in Poland, they should move there.

Sobotka said such statements offended the public.