Slovakia remains the most popular foreign country among Czechs, according
to the results of a survey carried out by STEM polling agency released on
Wednesday. The poll suggests that almost 90 percent of Czechs have a close
affinity with Slovakia.
Austria and the Netherlands finished in second and third place, with 78 percent and 74 percent, respectively, while Turkey, China and Ukraine placed on the opposite side of the scale.
Close to half of Czechs would like to see the law forcing shops to close on
selected holidays scrapped. According to a poll conducted for Czech Radio
by the Median agency 48 percent of respondents find the legislation
unnecessarily restrictive and would like to see it scrapped. 49 percent say
they are not inconvenienced by it.
In line with the law shops of over 200 square metres must close their doors over the Christmas holidays. They must close by midday on December 31st and remain closed on January 1st.
In his Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman highlighted the country’s economic successes, telling Czechs they had much to be proud of. As regards the country’s political future, Miloš Zeman ruled out early elections, telling politicians they would have to play the cards they had been dealt in the elections.
Europe’s leading anti-immigration parties gathered in Prague at the weekend for a conference aimed at coordinating their policies and rallying anti-EU, anti-immigration forces on the continent. On their way into the heavily fortified hotel on the outskirts of Prague they were booed by hundreds of demonstrators chanting “shame” and “NO to fascism, populism and xenophobia”.
Several hundred people demonstrated in Prague against a meeting of
anti-immigrant European parties on Saturday.
They protested outside the Prague hotel where the meeting was convened and were later scheduled to converge later in the centre of the city.
The meeting, featuring France’s Marine Le Pen and the Netherland’s Geert Wilders, was held at the invitation of the leader of the Czech Freedom and Direct Democracy Party,
Tomio Okamura. The Czech leader, whose party gained the third most seats in parliament in October’s elections, said he was a convinced European but did not want to see the continent constructed on an administrative framework out of Brussels.
Le Pen’s said the direction Europe was now heading in was against the tide of history. Wilders said he hoped the Czech Republic would continue to close its doors to what he described as mass immigration.
Police said around 300 people took part in a demonstration against the meeting on Friday.
The newly-appointed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is representing
the Czech Republic at a two-day EU summit in Brussels, has reaffirmed the
country’s negative stance to mandatory migrant quotas, highlighting its
strong engagement in helping to resolve the situation in the countries of
migrant origin. The Czech prime minister met with the heads of government
of the Visegrad Four states and with EC President Jean Claude Junker to
discuss the ECs decision to sue the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary over
their unwillingness to accept migrants.
The Visegrad Four announced at the summit that they will contribute 35 million euros to strengthen Libya’s borders and alleviate the plight of migrants in the country.
Just days ahead of a scheduled EU summit on migration, Prague has announced the launch of a Visegrad group project to strengthen Libyan border protection and improve the plight of refugees in the country. The Czech Republic, which now faces a lawsuit over its failure to take in refugees, is pushing the view that the crisis needs to be resolved outside of Europe.
The countries of the Visegrad 4 – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech
Republic, are set to launch a joint program to boost security on Libya’s
borders to try and quell the number of migrants trying to flee the country
as well as to try and improve the situation for them at home.
Former prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka expressed support for the project ahead of an EU summit which will be attended by his successor Andrej Babiš.
Czech financial daily Hospodářské noviny reported that 200 million crowns could be pledged by the Czech Republic towards security and aid. Money donated by the V4 would go to the EU Trust Fund for Africa.
So far, the Czech Republic has already provided funding worth 42.42 million crowns or 1.66 million euros.
The incumbent Miloš Zeman would receive 41.5 percent of the vote in a
presidential election if it were held now, suggests an opinion poll
conducted for Czech Television by the TNS Kantar and Median agencies.
Scientist Jiří Drahoš would come second in a vote for head of state at
the present time with 30.5 percent, followed by businessman and lyricist
Michal Horáček on 16.5 percent and former prime minister Mirek Topolánek
on 4 percent, the survey indicates.
The poll suggests Mr. Zeman would come first among supporters of ANO, Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Communists. Mr. Drahoš is favoured by voters of TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents, the Civic Democrats and – by a slim margin – Mr. Zeman’s former Social Democrats.