Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gross studied at an industrial school, specializing in electric traction, and shortly worked for the Czechoslovakian state railways company (České dráhy) as an engine-driver trainee. After the 1989 Velvet Revolution, Gross become member of the Social Democratic party. He was heading the Young Social Democrats from 1990 to 1992 and in 1992 become member of the parliament. He became the interior minister in the government of Milo Zeman on April 5, 2000. After elections in 2002 on July 15 2002 the government of Vladimír Špidla took office and Gross continued as interior minister and become deputy prime minister. In the 2004 EP Election ČSSD lost badly which led to resignation of Špidla on July 26 from both government and party functions. Gross was appointed PM by the President on August 4, 2004 and his government rearranged on August 24. On September 21, 2004 he resigned from his parliamentary seat, together with most of his government to be able to concentrate on executive duties better. He chose Frantisek Bublan to replace him at the ministry. He was acting chairman of the party until the convention on 25 March 2005 where he won chairmanship against Zdenek Škromach who represents more left-leaning wing of the party.
During his political career, Gross studied at the Law Faculty of Charles University in Prague 1993-1999. Gross critics point out the demands Gross had to fulfill to gain his degree were less than usual. For example he passed the state exams in German language, but until now, he has not shown any knowledge of this language and its knowledge is being omitted from his official curriculum vitae. Later he won the title of JUDr. (doctor of laws) at the Law Faculty in Plzen; critics claim that both his theses were brief and unoriginal and note that the JUDr. one isn't publicly available.
Stanislav Gross is married (second time) and has two daughters.
Gross has been trying to modernize the party a la Tony Blair's recipe (as well as centralize the power in his hands) while battling the budget deficit and growing public dissatisfaction with the government; for this he is criticised by the left wing of the party, now badly split, as giving in to the demand of small liberal and Christian coalition parties and betraying traditional Social Democratic values.
Gross seemed to be relying on his popularity among public - for many years, he ranked high in popularity polls. In the autumn 2004 regional assembly and Senate elections Social Democrats had a billboard campaign centered on his youthful face - while the campaign seemed successful at first, ČSSD lost badly in the end. Since he become the prime minister, his popularity measured by polls significantly decreased.
The parliament opposition criticises him for his youth connected with virtually no life experience outside politics and lack of knowledge of foreign languages as well as lack of opinions and ability to stand for his decisions; also various practices of police and secret services under his term have been criticised (term "grosstapo" has proven catchy with the public).
Since January 2005 he has been facing a scandal related to unclear origins of the loan to buy his flat as well as one in his wife's business (also, later on it turned out that her associate rents a house to a brothel). After criticism from media and record dissatisfaction of the public, this grew into a serious government crisis in the end of February when Christian Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party (KDU-ČSL) asked for his resignation in favour of somebody else from ČSSD while he threatened to remove it from the government; heated negotiations as well as Gross's apology to the public failed to bring any result and armistice was declared only until the ČSSD congress.
After Gross was confirmed by the party, KDU-ČSL left the goverment on March 30th and on April 1st, voted against it in the vote of no confidence brought by Civic Democratic Party. The government survived thanks to Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia abstaining, but this will probably lead to resignation of Freedom Union - Democratic Union and several ČSSD ministers; the president Václav Klaus refuses to accept it until Gross promises to ask for confidence vote with his new government which appears impossible without further Communist support. The situation is far from being stabilised.
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