Prague’s Municipal Court has sent a summons to lobbyist Marek Dalík, a
former close aid to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek – to begin serving
his prison sentence. In July, Mr Dalík was sentenced to five years in
prison for soliciting a bribe over a military deal.
He also has to pay a four million crown fine or he would spend an additional two years behind bars. Mr Dalík could still file a complaint with the Supreme Court but the process would not delay the start of his sentence.
The Czech upper house, the Senate, has condemned head of state Miloš
Zeman’s comments to the Council of Europe parliaemntary assembly over
It said his words appeared to legitimise the Russian annexation of Crimea. The final resolution said that Zeman should respect the lines of Czech foreign policy. A tougher resolution that the president had damaged the reputation of the Czech Republic was not adopted.
Zeman said that the annexation was now a fait accompli and suggested that Russia might compensate Ukraine through deliveries of natural gas or oil.
Zeman’s spokesman later commented that the president’s comments this week was not meant to legitimise the annexation but were a considered and realistic evaluation of the current situation.
The cabinet has rejected a proposal from ANO to abrogate a memorandum on
the mining of lithium signed last week with Australia’s European Metals
Holdings Company. However, the Social Democrat foreign minister, Lubomír
Zaorálek, said the government had agreed a measure aimed at boosting the
state’s rights to mine other materials.
ANO say the memorandum signed by the Social Democrat-controlled Ministry of Industry sells out the national interest. They warn it could lead to the Czech Republic being involved in an international arbitration case that could cost billions of crowns.
European Metals intends to mine the in-demand mineral at Cínovec in North Bohemia.
Elections to the lower house of Parliament will start a day early in some
polling stations abroad in order to make up for the time difference, the
ctk news agency reported.
The first voters will be able to cast their ballot on Thursday, October 19, in Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, the US and Canada. People will be able to vote at 108 polling stations abroad, mostly at embassies, cultural institutions or military army bases where Czech soldiers are serving in foreign missions.
Polling stations around the Czech Republic will close at 2pm on Saturday and the preliminary results should be announced a few hours later.
The ruling Social Democrats and ANO have clashed over the recently signed
memorandum of understanding between the Czech Ministry of Industry and
Australia's European Metals Holdings on a deal that would give the
Australian company the right to mine lithium in Europe’s biggest known
deposit in the north-western part of the Czech Republic.
ANO leader Andrej Babis decribed the agreement as „daylight robbery“ saying the privilage of mining the country’s natural resources should go to a Czech state-owned company.
ANO wants to call a special session of the lower house over the matter, a proposition supported by the Communist Party.
Police have launched criminal proceedings in the case of the Stork’s Nest
farm and hotel complex which was investigated on suspicion of EU subsidy
The case is linked to ANO leader Andrej Babiš who is suspected of having
orchestrated a plan for his Stork’s Nest farm to acquire a 50 million
crown EU subsidy which should technically have been out of his reach.
Earlier this month the lower house stripped both Andrej Babiš and his deputy Jaroslav Faltýnek of their parliamentary immunity opening the way for prosecution.
The police have not released information on the number of people charged in the case.
There’s little doubt that the European Union has gone through a lot of turbulence over the past few years and has scrambled to come up with new policies as a result. But the outgoing Czech prime minister believes it has boosted the country’s reputation in these difficult times and cast itself as a reliable and steady partner.
The prime minister has called a meeting for Monday to tweak final details
of the proposal for next year’s state budget.
The meeting will take place an hour before the regular cabinet meeting.
It will be attended by the heads of the government parties along with an extra two representatives each. The news was confirmed by cabinet spokesman Martin Ayrer.
ANO MP Martin Komárek has written a satire based on his experiences in the
Czech lower house. The book is entitled A Dangerous Band, or the Czech
Deputy and Other Retarded Species (Nebezpečné stádo aneb poslanec
český a jiné retardované druhy). The author writes that he has observed
his fellow MPs “like Diane Fossey among gorillas”.
Mr. Komárek, who was previously a newspaper columnist, is not standing for re-election in next month’s general elections.