The Senate on Thursday approved the planned reinforcement of some of the
current military missions abroad as well as presence of new troops in the
Baltics. However, the missions are yet to be approved by the lower house,
the Chamber of Deputies, whose defence committee did not issue any
recommendation last week.
Communist party leaders said last week they had a problem with increased Czech participation in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the possibility of the Czech army playing a role in a NATO rapid reaction force in the Baltic States.
They have warned that they could refuse to support a proposed ANO-Social Democrat minority coalition government if the missions are boosted.
ANO deputy leader Richard Brabec has said that communist party reservations
about Czech army foreign missions abroad could be dealt with on an
Brabec was responding to the threat from the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia that it would not support the proposed minority coalition government of ANO and the Social Democrats if a policy pledge to boost foreign missions remains. Communist party leaders said they had problems about increased participation in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the possibility of the Czech army playing a role in a NATO rapid reaction force in the Baltic States.
Negotiations between party leaders are expected to take place Thursday. The support of 15 communist members of parliament is needed for the minority coalition in the lower house.
The head of the state’s Military Research Institute, Bohuslav Šafář, was sacked on Monday by Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová. While no reason for his firing was given online, it is not completely a bolt from the blue: Šafář had gotten into hot water for his words about the so-called production of the deadly nerve agent Novichok in the Czech Republic.
Negotiations over forming a minority Czech government between the dominant ANO party and the Social Democrats have been wrapped up regarding the outstanding policy issues. But the Czech communists, whose support is crucial for a new government, have dropped what amounts to a bombshell, warning that they will not line up with the minority government if a pledge to boost Czech foreign missions is not dropped.
Freedom celebrations continue in the West Bohemian town of Plzen, marking
the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the city by General Patton’s
Army. Thousands of people on Saturday welcomed the Convoy of Liberty, with
its 220 historic military vehicles, which is traditionally one of the
highlights of the celebrations. Seven US and Belgian war veterans who
helped liberate the city are attending the celebrations this year.
The Liberation Festival in the city traditionally lasts for several days and includes street happenings, concerts and the chance to see a reconstructed US military camp from that period. The celebrations continue on Sunday at the town’s memorial to the US army with an event called Thank You, America!
Tomáš Lom is one of the very few surviving Czechoslovaks who served in Britain’s RAF during World War II. Born Tomáš Löwenstein into a Jewish family in Prague, he signed up in London the moment he turned 18 and ended up serving as a wireless operator in the Bahamas in the latter period of the conflict.
In a ceremony at Prague Castle President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday
appointed Aleš Opata chief of the general staff of the Czech Army. He
replaces Josef Bečvář, who has been dismissed from the post.
Lieutenant General Opata, who will officially take charge at the start of May, says his priorities are to develop the country’s ground forces and to continue to recruit more soldiers.
Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová called an emergency meeting of the
National Security Council over the situation in Syria on Saturday. She said
after the meeting that the country's security was not threatened by
Ms Šlechtová said after the meeting that the US, UK and France have clearly shown that the use of chemical weapons can not be tolerated and that the consequences of attack on civilians have been minimized. She also said that the Czech soldiers taking part at the UN peace mission in the Golan Heights and the Czechs working at the embassy in Damascus were safe.
The oldest living female Czechoslovak World War II veteran, Anděla Haida,
has died in the United Kingdom at the age of 104, the Czech Embassy in
London has announced.
During the war Mrs. Haida served as a driver with the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force after signing up as a volunteer in 1942.
In 2017 the North London resident received a medal for heroism from the Czech president, Miloš Zeman. She was born Anděla Beníčková in Uherský Brod in October 1913.
The army, police and the judiciary are the most trusted institutions in the
country according to the outcome of a March poll conducted by the CVVM
The army is trusted by 69 percent of Czechs and the police by 66 percent and the judiciary by 56 percent.
The least trustworthy are the press, NGOs and churches, although public trust in the press has risen from 30 to 39 percent as compared to a poll conducted last October.