The Prague City Hall coalition is due to meet on Friday to discuss a controversial proposal to collect anonymous data from electricity meters to identify vacant housing units. Mayor Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party, which is behind the move, says despite alarm calls by his coalition partners, the intention was never to try to identify the owners of vacant properties – whether ‘foreign speculators’ or local investors – in order to tax them.
After a four-year break, Prague City Hall will once again join the Flags for Tibet initiative, expressing support for Tibetan independence. On Wednesday Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib is also set to meet with the head of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, who is in the Czech capital to attend the One World Documentary Film Festival.
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib has announced that he is scheduled to meet with
the head of the Tibetan government in exile Lobsang Sangay, who will be in
the Czech capital to attend the opening of the One World International
Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. The meeting will take place on
Prague City Hall will also for the first time take part in the Flags for Tibet initiative, expressing support for Tibetan independence. Tibetan flags will be hoisted on two of Prague City Hall's buildings from March 8 to 11.
Junior coalition partners the Social Democrats have come out against a plan
by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO for the creation of a government
district in Prague’s Letňany district, Novinky.cz reported on Friday.
The idea would involve moving state officials out of city centre buildings.
The Social Democrats have joined opposition parties in opposing the plan,
with senior members saying it could threaten the historical locations
currently housing ministries and needed to be analysed in more depth.
The idea’s chances were recently boosted after a meeting between the prime minister and Prague Mayor Zdeňek Hřib, where the latter said he would be willing to give such a project the green light if the government paid for some crucial investments in the city’s infrastructure. While no agreement has yet been reached, Mr. Babiš has said that he wants to continue with the negotiations.
The mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, says the cost of a traditional
municipal fireworks display on New Year’s Day – CZK 1.7 million not
including VAT – was too high. In an interview with Czech Radio’s
Radiožurnál station, the Pirate Party politician said next year fireworks
could be replaced by something else, such as a light show.
Mr. Hřib said many European cities were moving away from classic fireworks displays. This year’s New Year’s fireworks in Prague referenced the fact that this year the Czech Republic will be marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
Plans for constructing a fourth metro line in the Czech capital are nearly as old as Prague’s first metro station. Yet they have proceeded at a snail’s pace, with multiple delays. The recently elected mayor has pledged to begin construction during his time in office, but a recent review of old contracts threatens to slow progress again.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s recent tweet reinvigorated the discussion about creating a special Prague district for government officials, which he believes would create synergy and save the state money on rent. The prime minister’s vision is likely to run into obstacles however, as the future mayor of the capital, Zdeněk Hřib, says he is against creating mono-thematic districts.
The incoming mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib from the Pirate Party, is
against the prime minister’s idea of creating a government quarter in
Prague. Mr. Hřib said at a press briefing on Monday that he did not
approve of creating a monothematic quarter in any part of the city.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who has long propagated the idea of a new government quarter which would bring together over eleven thousand public service employees, save operation costs and allow the sell-off of lucrative real estate in the centre of the city, has run into problems finding an appropriate location.
His plan to build such a quarter in Prague’s Letnany district was criticized by the Institute for Planning and Development and his idea of locating it in Holešovice is opposed by the mayor of that district Jan Čižinský.
Babiš wrote on Twitter on Monday that he would like to exchange real estate in some part of Prague in return for Veleslavín Chateau.
Representatives of the Pirate Party, the civic movement Praha sobě and the
Allied Forces for Prague (comprising TOP 09, the Christian Democrats and
Mayors and Independents) which have been in talks on forming a new Prague
government signed a coalition agreement and policy program statement on
Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party is to be the new mayor of Prague.
The Civic Democrats, who won the communal elections in Prague, were by-passed and will go into the opposition.
The Pirate Party, the civic movement Praha Sobě and the Allied Forces for
Prague (comprising of TOP09, Christian Democrats and STAN) have agreed on
the reconstruction of Libeň bridge over the Vltava River. The possible
coalition partners at Prague City Hall entered into talks on forming a
municipal coalition in Prague on Wednesday. The first meetings focused on
transport, including the development on the new D metro line, parking in
the city and the reconstruction of Libeň Bridge, a 1928 historical
construction with Cubist elements.
Earlier this year, the City Council executive committee backed the demolition of the bridge, but the decision met with protests from conservationists and other experts.
Negotiations over the formation of a municipal coalition at Prague City Hall will continue in the following day.