The Social Democrats will demand that any coalition deal with ANO include a
provision under which any government member convicted by a court of first
instance would have to resign. The position was revealed by the Social
Democrats’ Martin Netolický on Friday and is a reaction to the fact that
ANO leader Andrej Babiš and another senior party member are facing charges
of abusing EU subsidies.
The Social Democrats say ANO have offered them five portofolios, including the post of minister of the interior.
Talks between the two parties broke down two weeks ago only for ANO, currently operating a government in resignation, to go back to the Social Democrats.
A coalition of the two would likely be supported by the Communists on key votes.
The acting prime minister, Andrej Babiš, has pledged an increase in
spending on education of CZK 30 billion next year. He made the comment
during a meeting with students on Friday. The latter raised concerns over
how Mr. Babiš plans to fund a promised reduction in travel for students.
Student leaders said rather than taking CZK 400 from the Ministry of Education’s budget for that purpose the government should spend the money on teacher training and pay. The prime minister reportedly told them that he was still considering the matter.
The Czech Republic will open a new honorary consulate in Jerusalem in the
next few months, the country’s acting prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said
on Friday. He added that the government was considering opening a Czech
Centre in the city during a planned visit to Israel by the Czech president,
Miloš Zeman, at the end of 2018.
Mr. Zeman has for some time backed the idea of moving the Czech Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, Mr. Babiš rejected that idea in December when US leader Donald Trump announced a similar intention.
The United Nations and the EU insist on a two-state solution under which Jerusalem would one day be the capital of both Israel and a future Palestinian state.
Mr. Babiš said opening a Czech Centre in the city would not contradict that position.
State attorney Tomáš Černý has called for jail terms in connection with
the privatisation of the OKD mining company. A sentence of three years has
been proposed for court expert Rudolf Douch, who is accused of producing a
false assessment of the firm’s value. Then state officials Pavel Kuta and
Jan Škurek, who oversaw the sell-off, deserve to go to prison for 2.5
years, Mr. Černý said.
The state attorney has also proposed that the three together compensate the state for the revenue lost, which is calculated at CZK 5.7 billion.
The privatisation of OKD took place in 2004. The Karbon Invest group bought it for CZK 4.1 billion but Mr. Černý says its actual value was CZK 9.8 billion.
Petra Kvitová will take on Julia Görges in the opening match of the Czech
Republic’s Fed Cup semi-final against Germany on Saturday. In the next
rubber Karolína Plíšková will face Angelique Kerber.
If the Czechs advance in Stuttgart they will play either France or the US in the Fed Cup final in October. The Czech Republic have won the competition five times in the last seven years.
The Czech crown could reach 23.80 to the common European currency in three
years’ time, according to a new study produced by the Czech Ministry of
Finance. This year the Czech currency has been trading at an average of
25.10 to the euro.
The regular study, based on prognoses by 16 financial institutions, also suggests that economic growth will slow in the coming years, from around 3.5 percent in 2018 to 2.5 percent in 2021.
Hospitals are launching a survey for the first time of doctors and nursing
The survey will give the doctors’ and nurses specialisations and training. So far, such a comprehensive nationwide picture of the health sector is lacking.
One of the aims is to get a more precise picture of how doctors’ and nurses’ careers develop after training and to pinpoint where skills are in excess and where they are lacking.
Many Czech regions and hospitals complain they lack key health staff while in other areas, such as Prague, the shortage is not felt so severely.
The remains of Czech Cardinal Josef Beran will be flown back to the Czech
Republic on Friday.
The remains were removed from the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Czech Minister of Culture Ilja Šmíd. The special military plane bringing the remains to Prague should arrive during Friday evening.
Cardinal Beran found himself exiled in Rome in 1965 when the communist authorities did not allow his return to the country after a trip abroad. He died in 1969 with his last wish to be buried in his homeland. That wish was also denied by the communists.
Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš has said he has no evidence that recent
Czech elections were influenced by the activities of British-based company
Cambridge Analytica. But he has promised that the country’s domestic
intelligence service, BIS, will look into the matter.
The claims Czech elections could have been influenced stem from British broadcaster Channel Four. The issue was raised in parliamentary questions in the Czech lower house Thursday by the TOP 09 lawmaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová.
The main focus of the claims surrounding Cambridge Analytica is their use of profiles from millions of Facebook accounts in the 2016 US presidential elections.