The outcome of Germany’s parliamentary elections have evoked mixed reactions in Prague; relief over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s election victory is mingled with concern by the surge of support for the AfD which will bring a far-right party into Germany's parliament for the first time in more than half a century.
National elections in Germany are taking place on Sunday. With some predicting the far-right could gain a foothold in the Bundestag for the first time in the history of post-war Germany, the results could have repercussions across Europe, including for the neighbouring Czech Republic. I asked political analyst Jiří Pehe for his take on the election’s potential impact:
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on
Tuesday, the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, told the gathered world leaders
that the world community was still hesitant to fully engage in the war
Mr. Zeman said the United Nations required a strong agency that would be capable of also employing military force to combat what he called “terrorist anti-civilisation”.
The Czech head of state said some terrorists were active under cover of mass migration, a trend that he also said was causing a brain drain from undeveloped African states.
Czech ambassadors from around the world congregated in Prague this week for their annual round of consultations. Among the foreign policy issues on their agenda were security, economic diplomacy, EU-related matters and regional cooperation. During a small break in their busy agenda, I met with the Czech Ambassador to France Petr Drulák to talk about Franco-Czech relations, the country’s position in the EU and the role of the Visegrad alliance. I began by asking for his take on Prime Minister Sobotka’s recent proposal that the Czech Republic should
The planned renovation of the Czech embassy building at Wilhelmstrasse 44
in Berlin, Germany, is expected to cost around half a billion crowns (the
equivalent of around 19 million euros) the Czech News Agency reports. The
planned renovation, discussed for several years, would be completed by
The government is due to take a decision on the renovation in September. The building, which housed some 500 employees during the Cold War, was built in the 1970s. It was designed by the architects Věra and Vladimír Machonin and is an example of Brutalist architecture. The Machonins also designed the famous Kotva and DBK department stores in Prague.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to pay a one-day visit to the
Czech Republic on September 12th, President Milos Zeman said at a meeting
with Czech ambassadors on Wednesday.
The Czech president said he had invited his German counterpart to visit the Czech Republic shortly after his election in February of this year, also in view of the fact that in 2017 the two neighbour states are marking an important anniversary : 20 years since the signing of the Czech-German Declaration on Reconciliation.
Libor Sečka is a seasoned Czech diplomat who has served as ambassador in countries such as Italy, Spain, Malta and China. At the start of 2016 he took office as Czech ambassador to the UK. On a brief visit to Prague, I spoke to him about his current mission, the life of a diplomat and how he won a bottle of wine in an ambassadorial bet on the outcome of the Brexit referendum.