News Senate voices reservations to conflict of interest bill

19-10-2016 19:36 | Daniela Lazarová

The Senate has returned a conflict of interest bill to the lower house with a proposal that it should come into force as of September 2017 rather than the beginning of the year. The proposed change is based on the argument that the authorities will need more time to prepare a register of income and property declarations. The bill, which caused friction in the ruling coalition, would prevent people with large stakes in companies from becoming ministers, while firms more than 10-percent owned by cabinet members would not be allowed to enter public tenders. It is widely seen as targeting ANO leader, billionaire businessman and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš whose powerful conglomerate Agrofert involves 200 companies as well as several media outlets.

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Jana Vildemutzová elected head of the national association of regional governors

08-12-2016 12:22 | Ruth Fraňková

Jana Vildemutzováof the ANO party was elected the head of the influential national association of regional governors on Thursday. The newly elected governor of the Karlovy Vary region will replace Social Democrat Michal Hašek, who failed to defend his position as leader of the South Moravian region. 

Jiří Lang likely to become chief of National Security Office

08-12-2016 11:52 | Ruth Fraňková

Jiří Lang has been put forward as the new head of the National Security Office. The former chief of the country’s counter-intelligence service is set to replace Dušan Navrátil, government’s spokesman Martin Ayrer told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. Mr Navrátil, who was in charge of the counter-intelligence service for the past 10 years, is set to become the government’s coordinator for cyber security. The government should debate the proposal by the end of the year. 

Ministry of Culture approves loan of Slav Epic to Japan

08-12-2016 11:51 | Ruth Fraňková

The Ministry of Culture this week approved the loan of the Slav Epic series of paintings by Alfons Mucha to Japan, the ministry’s spokeswoman Simona Cigánková told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The cycle of canvases by the famous art nouveau painter is set to leave the Czech Republic in February and go on display in Tokyo in March 2017. The ministry has not decided yet whether the paintings will subsequently travel to China. The loan of the Slav Epic has been criticised by restorers, who worry that the paintings could be damaged by transport and local conditions. It has also been opposed by the grandson of the painter, John Mucha. 


08-12-2016 10:07 | Chris Johnstone

The weather Friday will be overcast with the chance of rain in places. Highest daytime temperatures will be between three and seven degrees Celsius. 

National Hockey League: Pastrňák third-leading goal scorer

08-12-2016 10:00 | Jan Velinger

Czech forward David Pastrňák has continued his scoring streak, racking up his 16th goal in the NHL this season for the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. The Bruins managed to earn a point from the match against the Washington Capitals, losing 4-3 in overtime. Pastrňák, 20, is currently third on the NHL scorers’ list behind Sidney Crosby and Patrik Laine. 

Lawmakers approve 2017 state budget

07-12-2016 18:42 | Jan Velinger

Lawmakers in the Chamber of Chamber of Deputies passed the draft state budget for 2017 which will have a 60 billion crown deficit, 10 billion crowns fewer than the budget this year. MPs passed the proposal as put forward by Andrej Babiš, and downed proposals put forward by the opposition, which criticized the bill for the deficit at a time of economic prosperity. The bill counts on increases in social benefits, pay rises for academics and researchers and, for example, monument restoration. Expected next year are revenues of 1249.3 billion crowns and budget expenses of 1309.3 billion crowns. 

Former president comes to Forejt’s defence

07-12-2016 16:17 | Jan Velinger

Former president Václav Klaus has published stinging criticism on his website attacking the manner in which the head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, had – in his view – been targeted. The response came a day after the release of incriminating material which allegedly showed Mr Forejt snorting an illicit substance. Mr Klaus defended the official, whom he worked with for 10 years, by saying steps taken against him were “undeserved”. He also praised Mr Forejt's knowledge of protocol and suggested a replacement would not be found easily. 

State Prosecutors Office should investigate incriminating Forejt material, says interior minister

07-12-2016 14:44 | Jan Velinger

The State Prosecutors Office should investigate whether incriminating material (allegedly showing the head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, snorting an unidentified substance) could have been used to try and blackmail the official, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has said. According to the minister, the video should also be investigated by the National Security Authority. The minister stressed that key questions remained over whether the video was created for the purposes of blackmailing Mr Forejt or others in his circle, or for other criminal purposes. He added that the method by which the material had been offered for sale to media sites was also unusual. Following the publication of screenshots from the video online, Mr Forejt tendered his resignation, citing personal and health reasons. 

Czech National Bank: Second biggest intervention to keep crown weak carried out in October

07-12-2016 14:16 updated | Jan Velinger

In October, the Czech National Bank (ČNB) carried out its second biggest intervention on the currency markets since launching a policy to keep the Czech crown weak against the euro in November 2013. The central bank put some 107 billion crowns (around 6.3 billion euros) into ensuring the crown remained at around 27 to the common European currency, officials revealed. The Czech National Bank board has signalled that it will not abandon the policy, which benefits exporters, before the middle of 2017. 

Weather forecast

07-12-2016 13:46 | Jan Velinger

Thursday should be mostly cloudy. Temperatures during the day should reach highs of around 4 degrees Celsius. 


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