The outgoing Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will not attend the
international security conference in Munich due to a cold, the ANO leader
announced on Wednesday. The event in the Bavarian capital will be attended
by Foreign Minister Martin Stropnický. Defense Minister Karla Šlechtová
has not yet confiremd whether she will take part in the event.
Among the main topics of the Munich Security Conference, which takes place from Thursday to Sunday, are the relationship between Europe, Russia and the US, as well as conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.
Petra Kvitová reached the third round at the Qatar Open in Doha on
Wednesday. The Czech 16th seed defeated Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska
6-7, 6-3, 6-4 and extended her winning streak to nine matches. Kvitová
will next face World No. 3 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
Defending champion Karolína Plíšková has also reached the third round, after dispatching French veteran Alizé Cornet 6-2, 6-3 in her opening round of the tournament. Another Czech, Barbora Strýcová, was knocked out from the fourth round of the Qatar Open, after she lost to Julia Görges of Germany.
The outgoing prime minister Andrej Babiš doesn’t expect that the
decision of a Slovak court over his listing as an agent of
Czechoslovakia’s communist-era secret police, will complicate his second
attempt to form a government. He made the comment after the cabinet’s
meeting on Wednesday.
Mr Babiš on Monday lost a long-running dispute with Slovakia’s National Memory Institute, which handles historical archives. The case was being reheard after the Slovak Constitutional Court last year overturned verdicts from other courts, which had originally accepted Mr. Babiš’s assertion that he had been incorrectly listed as an StB agent.
The Czech government on Wednesday approved the country’s accession to the
EU fiscal pact. By signing the document, the country vows to abide by the
pact’s budget restrictions. The decision still has to be ratified by the
parliament and signed by president Miloš Zeman.
The intergovernmental Fiscal Stability Treaty was signed in March 2012 by all EU member states with the exception of the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
The pace of annual Czech inflation slowed in January to 2.2 percent from
December’s 2.4 percent, which is the lowest figure since last April,
according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Wednesday.
Slower increases in the costs of growth of food and soft drink prices was one of the main factors for the fall. Compared to the previous month, prices increased by 0.6 percent in January.
Czech car maker Škoda Auto recorded its best monthly result ever in
January. The company sold 103,800 cars in January, which is an increase of
10.7 percent on the previous year, according to a press release on
Despite a 4.5 percent slump in sales on the previous year, the mid range Škoda Octavia remains the company’s best-selling model with 35700 cars delivered to the market in January. It is followed by the lower range Škoda Fabia, which recorded a 7.2 percent increase in sales on the previous year.
A group of Czech Catholics gathered in front of the Archbishop’s Palace
in Prague on Wednesday to protest against Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka.
At the meeting, the organizers published a letter addressed to Pope
Francis, in which they urged him not to prolong Cardinal Duka’s mandate
as the Archbishop of Prague.
Among the reasons stated in the letter are the alleged nationalist tendencies of the church in the Czech Republic. Cardinal Dominik Duka, who has been serving as Prague Archbishop since 2010, will have to officially submit his resignation in April, when he turns 75. However, the Pope may decide to extend his mandate.
The minister of transport, Dan Ťok, says he will push to change the law in
response to repeated protests by Prague taxi drivers against Uber. The
minister made the comment on Wednesday morning, prior to a government
meeting to which the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, invited representatives
of the taxi drivers.
Under Mr. Ťok’s proposed bill, ferrying passengers would be considered a binding rather than loose form of self-employment. This would mean that Uber and similar services – which taxi drivers regard as unfair competition – would only be able to operate if their drivers possessed taxi licenses.
The Social Democrats say they will join a move to oust Tomio Okamura of
Freedom and Direct Democracy as deputy speaker of the lower house. The head
of the party’s deputies group, Jan Chvojka, said the Social Democrats
would support a Christian Democrat-organised push to remove Mr. Okamura
over comments he made about the Lety WWII concentration camp for Romanies.
The Christian Democrats’ deputy leader Marian Jurečka said he welcomed the support but feared some ANO MPs would refuse to take action against the Freedom and Direct Democracy chief after he said Lety, where over 300 people died, was largely unguarded and prisoners were free to come and go.
The Czech Pirate Party, TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents have already given their backing to removing Mr. Okamura. The Civic Democrats are due to discuss the matter.