The lower house of the Czech Parliament voted after many hours of debate on
Wednesday to lift the immunity of two ANO deputies, party chief Andrej
Babiš and Jaroslav Faltýnek, to allow the police to charge them with
The two are accused of illicitly acquiring around CZK 50 million in EU grants in connection with the Stork’s Nest farm and hotel. At the time it was owned by Mr. Babiš’s firm Agrofert.
During Wednesday’s debate Mr. Babiš asked the lower house to vote to lift his immunity. However, he also said the move was part of an attempt to reduce his party’s chances in elections to the Chamber of Deputies next month.
President Miloš Zeman says it would be better for the Czech Republic not
to receive subsidies from the European Union than to be forced by the EU to
accept refugees, the website Parlamentní listy reported on Wednesday.
Speaking to locals in the town of Český Těšín in the east of the country, Mr. Zeman said that following the European Court’s rejection of a complaint against migrant quotas from Slovakia and Hungary the Czech Republic would be forced to accept several thousand Muslim migrants under threat of a reduction in subsidies.
The president said, however, that Czechs should not give in to threats. If it comes to the worst, it is always better to surrender EU grants than allow in migrants, he said.
The Czech Confederation of Trade Unions has declared a strike alert in
support of teachers unions, who announced a similar move on Tuesday. The
president of the confederation, Josef Středula, informed journalists of
the decision on Wednesday.
The national union body is demanding a pay rise of 15 percent for educators and 10 percent for other public sector workers from November. The Social Democrats’ leader, Bohuslav Sobotka, has expressed support for such increases but Finance Minister Ivan Pilný of coalition partners ANO says the state lacks the funds to cover them.
Meanwhile, the Czech Conference of Rectors has announced a Week for Education at the start of October to highlight their demand for greater funding for universities in next year’s budget.
The lower house of the Czech Parliament voted on Tuesday evening to ratify
the Paris climate agreement. The Czech Republic is the only European Union
state not to have approved the document, which is aimed at curbing harmful
The Czech Senate voted to ratify the Paris accords earlier this year. The relevant legislation must now be signed by the president.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said he was delighted that the country had signed up to the agreement and accepted responsibility with regard to future generations.
A major new exhibition of the work of Czech sculptor Krištof Kintera will
be opened at Prague’s Gallerie Rudolfinum on Wednesday evening. Entitled
Nervous Trees, the show includes around 20 sculptures, installations and
The exhibition is the 100th to be held at the Rudolfinum since the gallery was opened in 1994. It will be open to the public from Thursday and runs until November 26. Admission is free.
Petra Kvitová has been knocked out in the quarter-finals of the US Open in
New York. The Czech lost 3-6 6-3 6-7 to Venus Williams of the United States
in two hours and 28 minutes on the Arthur Ashe court at Flushing Meadow on
Reaching the last eight in the final Grand Slam of the season was an impressive achievement for Kvitová, who was playing only her eighth tournament since requiring major surgery on her left hand after an attack at her home last December.
Discount air carrier Ryanair has launched a direct air-link from Pardubice
to London Stansted, with flights scheduled three times a week.
The route is serviced by Boeing 737 carriers with 189 seats on board. Ryanair’s first flight from Pardubice to London was fully booked.
Pardubice is the fourth Czech city served by Ryanair, aside from Prague, Brno and Ostrava.
Pardubice Airport is originally a military airport which was turned into a civilian international airport in 1994.
Czech mother of two Eva Michalakova who was stripped of her parental rights
by a Norwegian court two years ago has filed a complaint with the European
Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The children were taken from their parents in 2011 on suspicion of child abuse. Although no charges were pressed against either of them, Eva Michalakova was stripped of her parental rights and forbidden all contact with her two boys, now aged eight and twelve. All her appeals in Norway were rejected.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has said that it is ready to support Michalakova if the case is heard in Strasbourg.
Police from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland have cracked down on a
gang that produced vast quantities of the drug pervitin or crystal
Forty one people have been charged altogether, eight in the Czech Republic. The drug was produced in illegal home labs and sold in Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
650 police officers worked on the case for close to a year.
Political scientist: It is difficult to imagine a prime minister who faces criminal charges
Czech President Zeman addresses Council of Europe
Andrej Babiš: the divisive central figure in Czech politics
How should socialist architecture be treated now?
Czech ministry mulls massive recruitment of foreign workers to fill jobs