Prague municipality will ask the Post Office to cancel the auction of the building in Prague 4
The Prague City Hall will call on the Czech Post and its founder, the Interior Ministry, to cancel the auction of the building in Na Strži Street in Prague 4 and change its terms. For the city, they are unenforceable, contain legal defects and difficulties and the city considers them discriminatory, according to Councillor Adam Zábranský (Pirates) after today's extraordinary meeting of the city council. Due to poor economic results, the Post Office has closed three hundred branches in the Czech Republic since 1 July and announced that it will be disposing of its assets. Prague has already expressed interest in the main building in Jindřišská Street and a property in Moravská Street.
"We did not approve participation in the auction today because the city cannot participate due to a number of provisions and legal problems. The conditions are set much to the disadvantage of the future buyer. We are interested in the building, so I will approach the Czech Post and the Interior Ministry to cancel the auction and change the conditions," Zábranský said.
One of the problems is that the conditions state that the contract with the future buyer will be signed immediately after the auction. The municipality, meanwhile, is required by the Capital City Act to post the intention on the official board for 15 days. The conditions do not allow this, the city would be in breach of the law.
Another problem is that the Czech Post is demanding a 15-year lease of 3,000 square metres. If the new purchaser cannot meet this requirement, for example because of renovation, it must offer replacement premises of the same size within 500 metres. "Given that the building is in a bad state and the best thing would be to demolish it, we have no way of fulfilling this because we don't have a property at such a distance and with such large premises," Zábranský said. In addition, under the terms, the prospective buyer will waive rights to address obvious and hidden defects. "There's asbestos in that house and no one knows what other problems it has," the councilman said.
According to Zábranský, the fact that parts of the property stand on third-party land is also a serious flaw. "This is not dealt with in the conditions at all, there is no solution at all, for example the right of pre-emption," he said.
He plans to send a letter to the post office management and the ministry today. This will happen after officials formally process today's council decision. "We will want to arrange for the conditions to be adjusted, just like with the properties in Jindřiška and Moravská, meaning that Prague will be able to match the highest bid if necessary," Zábranský said.
Czech Post posted a loss of CZK 1.73 billion last year, and its director in charge Miroslav Štěpán said in August that he expected a billion-dollar loss this year. It had to resort to austerity measures. The post office employs almost 23,000 people and by the end of May it had cut 924 jobs in connection with branch closures, of which about 600 employees were fired. Of the total, 35 out of 106 post offices in Prague were closed.