Lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies elected ANO Party MP Jiří Mašek to
head the standing parliamentary commission overseeing the police general
Mr Mašek’s election was criticised by the opposition parties, who say the Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš tries to gain control over the country’s security corps.
The previous head of the commission Zdeněk Ondráček, a former riot police officer who beat pro-democracy demonstrators in Czechoslovakia in 1989, stepped down following demonstrations across the Czech Republic and a motion for his removal.
Construction of a new concert hall in Brno is scheduled to start in mid-
2019, Brno City Hall deputy Matěj Hollan said on Wednesday.
The Janáček Cultural Centre will serve as the headquarters for the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and will accommodate 1,200 visitors. The hall, which is expected to cost 1.3 billion crowns, should be completed by 2021.
President Miloš Zeman met with the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic
Stephen King at Prague Castle on Wednesday. According to the president’s
spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, the talks focused on bilateral relations and
international developments, as well as the 100th anniversary of the
foundation of Czechoslovakia.
Ambassador King, who replaced Andrew Schapiro in the post, handed his credentials to President Zeman last December.
President Zeman’s relations with the previous ambassador were strained after Andrew Schapiro expressed reservations about Zeman's presence at the Victory celebration in Moscow in 2015 in spite of most European leaders' decision to shun the event due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
The Constitutional Court has called for minor modifications to the
anti-smoking law introduced in the Czech Republic in June 2016.
The court scrapped a provision banning the sale of alcohol to those who might likely injure themselves and the sale of alcohol and tobacco at events aimed at children.
The main aspects of the ban remain in force, including a total ban on smoking in restaurants and other public places. The court was called to deal with the matter by a group of senators, led by Marek Benda of the Civic Democrats.
The average price for new flats in Prague increased in the first quarter of
2018 by 22.8 percent year-on-year to 88.552 crowns per square meter,
according to the data by developer companies Trigema, Skanska reality and
Central Group released at a press conference on Wednesday.
The number of sold apartments dropped by 11 percent in the first quarter to 1,200 compared to the same period last year. As of 2015, the prices of flats in the Czech capital have increased by three fifths.
The Defence and Foreign Affairs Committees of the lower house of parliament
have both called on the government to make greater efforts regarding the
situation in Syria. The heads of the departments, Lubomír Zaorálek and
Jana Černochová, made the announcement after the committees’ joint
meeting on Wednesday.
According to the committees, the Cabinet should also offer Czech army experts to investigate the chemical attacks in Syria. Mrs Černochová said the Czech Republic had a unique opportunity to affect peace negotiations in the country, being one of the few western countries which still have an embassy in Damascus.
The government has approved compensation to the farmers who suffered losses
due to last year’s drought, amounting to two billion crowns. Deputy Prime
Minister Richard Brabec announced the news at a press conference on
Another 208 million crowns will go to fruit growers, whose harvest was damaged by spring frosts last year. The Ministry of Agriculture will also earmark 141 million crowns for building irrigation systems.
According to Mr Brabec, the compensation represent just a fraction of the overall damage caused by weather conditions last year, which amounted to about 12 billion crowns.
The Penta investment group increased its operational profit in 2017 by 19
percent on the previous year to a record 10.1 billion crowns. Revenues
increased by 21 percent to 178 billion crowns, Penta co-owner Marek Dospiva
announced at a press conference on Wednesday.
The consolidated net profit of the company reached 6.2 billion crowns, which is the highest figure since 2016. Penta is currently planning to enter the Chinese market with its chain of pharmacies Dr.Max.
A program enabling physicians, pharmacists and dentists from Ukraine to
work in the Czech Republic without taking additional exams will soon be
The government agreed to end the project on Tuesday due to strong criticism from the associations of doctors, pharmacists and dentists.
Their representatives said the lack of exams did not guarantee quality care and some of these doctors had a problem communicating in Czech. The program will continue for nurses.
More than 200 physicians and dentists and some 130 nurses and other healthcare workers came to the Czech Republic within the program in the past two years.