The Czech Republic has halted arms exports to Turkey in response to
Ankara's incursion into northern Syria, Interior Minister Jan
Hamáček (Social Democrats) announced via Twitter on Monday evening,
following a government meeting. Trade Minister Karel Havlíček, whose
ministry had published the country's arms export figures earlier that
day, said that armaments exports to Turkey only make up around CZK 140
The news comes after meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where member states pledged to suspend weapons exports to Turkey, but did not go as far as to implement a formal EU-wide arms embargo. During which Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) told journalists that he will propose to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that the Czech Republic take part in an arms embargo on Turkey.
The lower house of Parliament is expected to approve a government tax
package at its session starting on Tuesday. It includes a proposal to raise
taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, and an increase in parental
The basic parental allowance could rise from 80,000 crowns to 300,000 crowns. MPs are also due to start discuss the draft state budget for 2020, which counts on a 40 billion crown deficit.
In the initial round, MPs will approve the budget’s basic parameters, i.e. revenue, expenditure and deficit. MPs have tabled dozens of amendments to the tax package, only some of which the Committee on Budgets has supported thus far.
On Friday, Prime Minister Andrei Babiš (ANO) and Communist party leader Vojtěch Filip agreed to allocate an additional 4.9 billion crowns for the health sector. Originally, 334 billion crowns was earmarked for the sector.
The Czech Republic’s top officials met to clear up the country’s stand on a number of a hot foreign policy issues on Thursday, voicing condemnation of the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria and rejecting President Zeman’s proposal for the Czech Republic to revoke its recognition of Kosovo as an independent state.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said on Thursday that the Czech
government agrees with the European Union’s condemnation of Turkey’s
ongoing military offensive in northern Syria to create a refugee zone.
Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia on Wednesday, pounding them with air strikes and artillery before starting a ground operation. The assault began days after US President Donald Trump withdrew American troops from the area.
Following a meeting in early September with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the United Nations, Mr Babiš had said that the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) supported Ankara’s intention to create a refugee zone in northern Syria.
Earlier this week, however, the Czech prime minister said that he was surprised by the situation and warned that military intervention could lead to another wave of refugees heading for Europe.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) had earlier warned in an official statement that the Turkish offensive would “only worsen the situation of civilians and refugees in the region”.
Czech singer Karel Gott, who has died at the age of 80, will be buried with
state honours, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced at a press conference
The government revoked its earlier decision to organize a state funeral at Prague’s St. Vitus cathedral. It also called off its plan to declare a day of national mourning.
The date and place of the funeral is to be announced later on Thursday.
Karel Gott passed away on Tuesday at the age of 80 after suffering from acute leukaemia. He sold tens of millions of albums in a career spanning almost six decades.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has rejected the idea of a special tax on
banks. The ANO leader told reporters on Wednesday that it would cause
disquiet in the business community and harm all of the country’s
citizens. The minister of labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová of
the Social Democrats, has been advocating for a tax on banks in recent
Ms. Maláčová says that if it is not possible to agree on legislation introducing such taxation with ANO she will submit a bill herself, adding that Czech banks are making record profits.
Mr. Babiš says the matter will be discussed at a coalition meeting.
The Czech Banking Association says 15 EU states have a bank sector tax.
The Regional Council of Central Bohemia has halted an infringement procedure against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on the grounds of a complaint regarding a possible conflict of interest. The regional council has thus invalidated a decision by the Černošice Council, the municipality where the prime minister lives, which arrived at the opposite conclusion and fined the prime minister for the offense.
The regional council of Central Bohemia has halted an infringement
procedure against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on the grounds of a
complaint regarding a possible conflict of interest.
The news was confirmed by Babiš’ lawyer Václav Knotek, who said the regional council had found no evidence that Andrej Babis had any influence over the companies he had placed in trust funds to meet a strict new conflict of interest law.
A complaint against the prime minister was previously debated by the Černošice council which arrived at the opposite conclusion and meted out a 200,000 crown fine for the offense. Babiš appealed the decision.
The Czech branch of Transparency International filed a complaint with the Černošice council - a small municipality just outside Prague where Babiš lives - because Czech law states that conflict of interest complaints must be registered with the relevant local authority.
Several hundred people gathered on Brno‘s main square on Saturday to
protest against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Ondřej Zeman, from Steps
Towards Democracy, which organized the event said that although the
investigation of suspected EU subsidy fraud on the part of the prime
minister had been halted, he still clearly had a conflict of interest.
Former constitutional court judge Eliska Wagnerova said that while Babiš may not have committed a crime under the laws of the time, his conduct was not ethically above-board and it was up to the public to decide whether such a man should lead the government.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wound up his five day working visit to the
United States at the
9/11 memorial in New York where he and his wife Monika paid tribute to the
victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre 18 years ago.
Laying down a white rose in memory of the 2,750 people killed, Mr. Babiš stressed the importance of remembering this terrible memento because terrorism was a threat to all nations.
The countries of the world should remember this day and unite in the fight against international terrorism, Mr. Babiš said.
The Czech prime minister represented the Czech Republic at this week’s session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.