Just days before his inauguration, US president elect Donald Trump has kicked up a storm in Europe with remarks about NATO and the EU made in a joint interview with The Times and the German newspaper Bild. Mr. Trump said NATO had become “obsolete” and the European Union was “a vehicle for Germany” predicting that more EU member states would vote to leave the bloc as Britain did last June. I spoke to Petr Kratochvíl, head of the Institute of International Relations in Prague for his take on the US president elect’s words.
What will Donald Trump’s presidency mean for Czech-US relations? And is his ex-wife Ivana really in line to become American ambassador to Prague? Ahead of Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Friday I discussed those questions and much more with Daniel Anýž, a well-known commentator on Czech-US affairs who was based in Washington for several years.
The Czech Radio and Television Council has criticized the national broadcaster, Czech public television, for bias and lack of objectivity in reporting on the US presidential elections. The council says Czech Television was clearly biased in favour of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and mixed news and commentary in her favour. The criticism was in reference to a special program broadcast on US election night. It has given the national broadcaster a week to take corrective action, but did not specify what form it should take. Czech Television has dismissed the criticism as unjustified.
The US ambassador to Prague, Andrew Schapiro, will leave his post by January 20, ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new US president, Czech media have reported citing a story in the New York Times. The paper said that politically appointed, rather than diplomatic ambassadors, have not been given an extra few weeks in their postings after the new head of state is sworn in. Schapiro became ambassador in September 2014. He is best known for a series of clashes with Czech head of state, president Miloš Zeman. In the last incident Zeman accused Schapiro wrongly of shunning national day celebrations and later he had to make a grudging apology. Trump’s Czech born wife, Ivana, has said she would like to be the new ambassador in Prague.
2016 has been an eventful year both on the domestic and international front. Senate and regional elections in the Czech Republic indicate that traditional parties may be in a crisis, trust in EU institutions has sunk even lower following the Brexit vote and special security measures are in place around the country following the terrorist attack in Berlin. In this half-hour debate on Radio Prague I look back at the past year – and the challenges that lie ahead - with political scientist Jiří Pehe and the head of the STEM polling agency Jan
In the wake of his surprise election, US president elect Donald Trump has been busy putting together his White House team. And most of the diplomatic world outside the US, the Czech Republic included, has been poring over the appointments and subsequent comments for clues they could give about Trump’s future priorities and policies will be once the election rhetoric is cast off.
US president-elect Donald Trump has invited the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, to the White House, according to Mr. Zeman’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, who said the two men had spoken by telephone on Tuesday. He said Mr. Trump had praised the fact that the Czech head of state had been the only European president who had publicly supported him prior to November’s election in the United States. The end of April is being spoken about as a possible date for the visit. For his part, America’s president-elect has accepted an invitation from Miloš Zeman to come to the Czech Republic, Mr. Ovčáček said. The pair’s conversation also took in Islamic terrorism and political and economic cooperation between their countries, he added.
The Czechoslovak communist-era secret police took an active interest in the Czech born first wife of US president-elect Donald Trump back in the late 1970s and 80s, according to newly examined archive materials. The StB kept an eye on Ivana Zelníčková after she immigrated to Canada in 1971, and later during her marriage to the American real estate mogul, who was apparently already revealing his presidential ambitions.