Czech President Miloš Zeman is not planning to take part in events
commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which marked
the end of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
In an interview for the website Blesk, the Czech head of state said he would remember the events of November 1989 alone at home. He also said most people who would attend the events had not taken part in them 30 years ago.
Last year, angry protestors at Národní Street threw away the flowers laid to the monument at Prague’s Národní Street by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the populist politician Tomio Okamura, as well as the wreath sent by the president.
President Miloš Zeman will sign into a law an extended bill on electronic
cash registers as soon as he receives it. Mr Zeman made the statement on
Sunday in an interview for the website Blesk.cz.
The amendment to the bill on cash registers, approved by MPs earlier this month, extends the duty to report sales electronically to professions that are not yet subject to it, including craftsmen, doctors, lawyers and taxi drivers.
The amendment will also allow small businesses with sales of up to 600,000 crowns to record sales in off-line mode using paper receipts. At the same time some services and goods, such as, catering, cleaning services or home care will move to the lowest 10% VAT rate.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš introduced the EET in 2016, when he was the finance minister, to counter the grey economy and tax fraud.
President Miloš Zeman said in a television interview on Thursday he would
use his power to halt the possible prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš if Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman were to invalidate a decision
by the Prague State Attorney’s Office to close the case involving the
prime minister and his family.
The president’s remarks aired on the same day the Prague State Attorney’s Office published a detailed explanation of its decision to halt a four-year-long investigation into suspected EU subsidy fraud by Mr Babiš.
Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman has three months in which he must either confirm or invalidate the decision.
Opposition politicians have denounced the president for attempting to influence the judiciary.The leader of the Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, has suggested holding a meeting of opposition party leaders to formulate a joint stand on the matter ahead of Tuesday’s session of the lower house.
The Supreme State Attorney’s Office said the president’s words would not affect their work.
President Miloš Zeman has said he would halt a criminal investigation into the so-called Stork’s Nest case that has dogged Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) for years. His talk of a possible ‘pardon’ has been widely condemned as an attempt to undermine the judiciary – and contradicts a vow he made before being re-elected president.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has refused to speculate about whether he
would accept President Zeman’s gesture to halt his possible prosecution
if Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman were to invalidate the decision of
the Prague State Attorney’s Office.
If he were to accept such a solution it would mean that he himself would have to countersign the president’s order.
Besieged by journalists over the matter, Mr. Babiš said he was sorry the president had spoken as he did since it had sparked a storm of criticism based on mere speculation. “No crime was committed and I am confident I will not be charged,” he said.
Foreign policy issues topped the agenda of a meeting between President
Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday evening.
Mr. Babiš said the consultations had covered a broad range of issues including a planned summit of Visegrad heads of state in Prague in October, Mr. Babiš‘ participation in the UN General Assembly in New York and the president’s recent visit to Serbia during which Mr. Zeman said he wanted to discuss the possibility of renouncing the Czech recognition of an independent Kosovo with Czech top officials.
Prime Minister Babiš, who said earlier that he saw no reason to change the Czech position on Kosovo, said he had listened to the president‘s arguments and promised that the matter would be put to the country’s top officials at one of the regular meetings held to coordinate foreign policy matters.
The Czech Republic is hosting a summit on Thursday of prime ministers from fellow Visegrad Four countries and their Western Balkan counterparts. Representatives of Kosovo, however, will be conspicuously absent at today’s summit, in the wake of a slew of insults by the Czech head of state this week, who suggested revoking recognition of Kosovo as an independent nation.
President Miloš Zeman has said he does not consider it wise of the Chinese
authorities to boycott Czech cultural events in China, but that he
understands their reason for doing so.
Speaking on a visit to Belgrade, the Czech head of state, who has made a big effort to further Czech-Chinese ties, said that the mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hrib, had “sown the wind, and the whole country was now reaping the whirlwind”.
Mr. Zeman said the Prague mayor was clearly under the impression that he could mould his own foreign policy rejecting the principle of “One China” at Prague City Hall, which was not the case.
In 2016 the then Czech government, which under the Czech Constitution is responsible for moulding the country’s foreign policy, set the ground for a more pragmatic policy line in relation to China signing an agreement on bilateral cooperation that pledged to respect the “One China policy.”
President Miloš Zeman has dismissed claims that, during a meeting with
representatives of Ukraine’s Ruthenian community in Prague last week, he
had supported their demand for independence.
Mr. Zeman said such claims, made by some Ruthenian activists, were utter nonsense, and that he had merely expressed the view that decentralization might help alleviate tension in the Transcarpathian region.
He said he meets with Ruthenian representatives because they were part of Czechoslovakia’s history.
The Czech Republic’s ambassador to Ukraine, Radek Matula, was summoned to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry over the matter.
According to official data there are approximately 10,000 Ruthenians living in this region of Ukraine, but its members, who do not have the status of a minority, say the figures are underrated.
Ukraine considers Ruthenians a pro-Russian colony which threatens the integrity of the country.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček says he sees no reason for a debate on
renouncing the Czech Republic’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
He says that such a shift would not be in the interests of Czech security
and the readability of Czech foreign policy. However, he says he will
gladly talk with the president about his opinion.
The statement was given to the Czech News Agency on Wednesday, after President Miloš Zeman said that he wants to discuss the possibility of renouncing the Czech recognition of an independent Kosovo at his next meeting with Czech top officials.