The Czech Finance Ministry will provide two deputies with a full report by
the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) into the so-called Stork’s Nest
affair to two deputies. However, they won’t be able to pass the report to
anyone else. The Minister of Finance, Alena Schilerová, made the statement
in a debate programme on Czech Television. She also said the ministry
does’t plan to release the report to the public.
Babiš, along with his fellow ANO party deputy boss, Jaroslav Faltýnek, and nine others face criminal proceedings over suspected fraud. Police have launched criminal proceedings but the lower house must lift the immunity of Babiš and Faltýnek for them to proceed against them. The two deny any wrongdoing.
The finance ministry last week released a short summary of OLAF`s report, which calls for the near 50 million crowns of European funding for the recreation and hotel complex connected with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to be withdrawn.
Czech biathlete Veronika Vítková took the bronze in the women’s mass
start event in Germany’s Rupholding on Sunday. Vítková finished third
despite making two mistakes on the shooting range.
Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland came first followed by Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier. It is the second time that Vítková finished on the podium this world cup season.
Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš will take part in
the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 24 and 25. Among
other things, he wants to defend the Czech position on EU migrant quotas
and make new political contacts, Andrej Babiš said on Sunday on private
television channel Prima.
This year’s annual meeting of world leaders in Davos will also attended by US president Donald Trump, who want to promote his America First agenda.
More than 45 percent of Czechs abroad voted for Jiří Drahoš in the first
round of presidential elections. Pavel Fischer finished second with over 20
percent of the vote, followed by Marek Hilšer with more than 11 percent.
The incumbent Czech president Miloš Zeman, who won the first round with
round in the Czech Republic, secured 7.5 percent of the vote to finish in
the fifth place.
Jiří Drahoš gained more than 50 percent of the vote among Czech voters in the US and Brussels. Miloš Zeman, on the other hand, secured votes of Czech soldiers on foreign missions, coming in the first place in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
More than 12,000 Czechs living abroad cast their ballot in the first round of presidential election, most of the in Great Britain, Germany and Brussels. There were altogether 109 polling stations outside the Czech Republic, mostly at Czech embassies and consulates.
The Civic Democratic Party has given its endorsement to Jiří Drahoš in
the second round of direct presidential election set to take place in two
weeks’ time. The suggestion was made by the party chairman Jiří Fiala
on Sunday at the party’s congress in Ostrava.
Jiří Fiala, who was re-elected chairman of the Civic Democrats on Saturday, called on Czech citizens to take part in the presidential election and said that Miloš Zeman’s second term in office is not in the country’ best interest.
Seven representatives of church and state are set to unlock the chamber in
Prague’s St Vitus cathedral on Monday in which the Czech crown jewels are
stored. The valuable artefacts will be put display for the general public
on Tuesday at Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall, the traditional site of the
coronation of kings.
The crown jewels are regarded as the symbol of Czech statehood and history and consist of St. Wenceslas’ crown and the royal orb and sceptre. They are kept permanently under lock and key in a reinforced safe and are only put on display on very special occasions.
The exhibition at Prague Castle is part of a major exhibition marking the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia and is open to the public for free until January 23.
Prime Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš said on Saturday that he would
vote for Miloš Zeman in the presidential run-off, adding that he didn’t
speak for the whole party.
He also recommended Mr Zeman to clearly declare that he didn’t want to steer the country eastward and to distance himself from some of his associates, but refused to give any names.
Miloš Zeman and Jiří Drahoš have emerged as the strongest candidates
from the first round of the Czech presidential election and are heading to
a run-off for the top post in two weeks’ time.
The incumbent Czech president Miloš Zeman headed the polls going into the first round and confirmed the estimates by coming first with 38.7 percent of the vote. Jiří Drahoš, a former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who was regarded as Mr. Zeman’s most serious challenger, came second with over 26.6 percent of the vote.
Pavel Fischer, a diplomat and a former Czech ambassador to France, came in third with little over ten percent of the votes, closely followed by Michal Horáček and Marek Hilšer, who finished with 9.2 and 8.8 percent respectively.
Turnout in Friday and Saturday’s vote was slightly over 60 percent, more or less the same as in the first direct presidential elections five years ago.
Czech president Miloš Zeman, who is running for re-election, is ready to
take part in a television debate with his rival Jiří Drahoš ahead of the
second round of presidential election.
Mr Zeman made the announcement at a press conference on Saturday after over 99 percent of the vote was counted. The incumbent Czech president has so far refused to take part in any debates with other candidates.
Speaking from the headquarters of the Party of Civic Rights in Prague’s Hradčany, Mr Zeman thanked his supporters and asked them to come to the second round of the presidential election.