President Miloš Zeman says Czech or other European politicians who regard
him as an agent of Russia’s Vladimir Putin are “absolute idiots”.
Speaking in an interview with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, Mr Zeman
said he had also been accused of being an agent of China and Israel but was
in fact an agent of the Czech Republic.
The Czech head of state said that the European Union lacked a strong leader, by contrast with the US, Russia and China.
Mr. Zeman said he had nothing against a Russian company winning a tender to construct new units at the Czech Republic’s Dukovany nuclear power plant.
President Miloš Zeman has signed legislation enabling the state to tax
church restitutions, according to an official press release from Prague
Castle. Communist deputies say the highly controversial law, which had to
go through a second vote in the Chamber of Deputies in late April after it
was vetoed in the upper-house, could retain CZK 380 million from the annual
CZK 2 billion pay-outs the state has pledged to undertake until 2030.
Opposition parties including the Mayors and Independents and the Christian Democrats are planning to issue a complaint to the Constitutional Court, which they hope will invalidate the legislation.
A group of senators from the Liberal Democratic Caucus – Senator 21 have
completed a constitutional complaint against President Miloš Zeman for
alleged gross violations of the Constitution.
“The aim of the complaint is not to remove the current president from his post but to determine the boundaries of the execution of his mandate,” Senator 21 club’s head, Václav Láska, told the Czech News Agency.
To lodge a complaint to the Constitutional Court, its initiators would need to secure the backing of at least another 21 Senators and 120 deputies of the Lower Chamber of the Parliament.
President Miloš Zeman appointed three new ministers on Tuesday afternoon.
Karel Havlíček became minister of industry and trade, Vladimír Kremlík
took the transport portfolio and Marie Benešová took over at the Ministry
of Justice. All three are the nominees of ANO, the dominant partner in a
coalition government with the Social Democrats.
Mr. Havlíček also became a deputy prime minister, as did the minister of finance, Alena Schillerová.
Social Democratic Party deputy chair Roman Onderka has said Culture
Minister Antonin Staněk would be asked to explain to the party leadership
his reasons for sacking the head of the Czech National Gallery Jiří Fajt
and the head of the Olomouc Museum of Arts Michal Soukup.
Speaking in a debate on Czech Television, Onderka said that Staněk had not informed the party about this decision in advance and unless he produced a satisfactory explanation Onderka would be in favour of the minister’s dismissal.
The sacking of the head of the Prague Gallery and Olomouc Museum of Arts has raised a storm of controversy with leading Czech artists and cultural institutions sending a protest petition to the prime minister. The heads of foreign galleries have also expressed their support for the head of the Czech National Gallery.
President Miloš Zeman, who on Sunday winds up a four day official visit to
China, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for talks dominated by trade
The Czech head of state has been pushing to increase the level of Chinese investments in the Czech Republic which failed to meet expectations after the CEFC company, with which agreements were signed, became embroiled in scandal.
President Zeman also met with the head of state firm, CITIC, which took over CEFC’s Czech assets and said he was happy with the outcome of negotiations.
One of the highlights of the president’s sixth working visit to China was his address at the Belt and Road Forum, at which he came out strongly in defence of the company Huawei, saying it was victim of unfair competition and expressing the hope that it would be involved in building a 5G network in the Czech Republic.
President Miloš Zeman, who is on a four-day working visit to China, is to
attend the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on
The forum is attended by dozens of foreign leaders including Russian President Putin who is due to address the forum immediately after the Chinese president. President Zeman is due to present his address on Saturday.
On Friday the Czech head of state will be meeting with Czech and Chinese entrepreneurs and attend the signing of agreements on bilateral cooperation in the spheres of energy, aviation and hockey.
President Miloš Zeman is in China for another working visit, along with a trade delegation hoping to carve out slices of the world’s biggest market. Topping his public agenda is the “Belt and Road” summit on Beijing’s trillion-dollar project to boost trade and build infrastructure across Asia, Europe and Africa. In private, though, President Zeman’s talks are likely to centre on the low level of actual Chinese investment after five years of fanfare.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, sets off on a working visit to China on
Wednesday. He is due to hold meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping as
well as leading representatives of Huawei, Bank of China and CITIC. The
Czech authorities have identified Huawei products as a security threat but
Mr. Zeman says there is no proof of that. His delegation includes Czech
stars Jaromír Jágr and Pavel Nedvěd, who should cement closer sporting
ties with China, and the financier Pavel Tykač.
The Czech head of state has put great store in improving ties with the world’s most populous state and this is his sixth visit to the country since taking office.