Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic must make massive
investments in weapons and recruit more soldiers in view of the situation
in the world today. He made the comment at an event in Prague on Tuesday
marking the centenary of the establishment of the general staff of the
Mr. Babiš said he regretted the fact that Czechoslovakia’s arms industry was decimated after 1989.
President Miloš Zeman highlighted Czech participation in international missions and referred to the deaths of 14 Czech soldiers. He said their sacrifice demonstrated that the country’s army, which had been traumatised in the past, was fighting again.
Two Dutch citizens who brutally beat up a waiter at a Prague restaurant
will serve 5.5 and 5 years in prison, the Prague Supreme Court ruled on
Tuesday. In an appeal hearing Armin Nahvi had his sentenced reduced by six
months while his brother Arash Nahvi’s earlier sentence was upheld.
The sentence also includes bars on the two entering the Czech Republic for a period of 10 years.
The Dutchmen set upon the waiter in the outdoor section of a city centre restaurant in April 2018 after he told them they were not allowed to consume their own alcohol on the premises.
The Czech national football team lost 2:3 to Northern Ireland in Monday’s
international friendly played in Prague. Coach Jaroslav Šilhavý chose a
very different squad to that which beat England 2:1 last week and the
team’s defence had significant trouble holding the Irish back in the
first half of the game.
Northern Ireland was already leading 3-0 when the players entered the dressing room. The Czechs went on to score two goals in the second half. Substitute Vladimír Darida netted the Czechs’ first goal of the game in the 67th minute, while midfielder Alex Král scored the second just one minute later. An extra-time strike would have made it 3-3, but the Czech goal was disallowed due to a foul committed by the attacking team.
The team will play two more European Championship qualifiers in November, against Kosovo and Bulgaria.
The government agreed to a record low CZK 1.24 billion budget for the
country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2022 on
Monday, without the votes of minority coalition partner the Social
Democrats. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that the country can
manage the council with much fewer officials and resources than other
member states. However, multiple Social Democrat ministers called the
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) said that the effectiveness of the Czech presidency was being put at stake, highlighting that the approved amount is some CZK 500 million behind the budgets of similar sized countries.
When the Czech Republic last held the presidency in 2009, the government approved a budget of CZK 3.75 billion. The current prime minister pledged to at least halve this number earlier in 2019.
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.
Around 60 Kurds living in the Czech Republic gathered in front of the US
Embassy in Prague on Monday to protest against the Turkish offensive in
Northern Syria. They also asked Czech state representatives to do
everything in their power to stop the Turkish attack.
The president of the Kurdish Civic Association in the Czech Republic, who was also the organizer of the demonstration, Rashid Khalil, told the Czech News Agency that the place was chosen in reaction to the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. Khalil likened the behaviour of the world powers to the Munich Agreement of 1938.
The EU has so far promised to provide CZK 100 billion in funding through
its Integrated Regional Operational Program between the years 2021 to 2027,
a decrease of around one-fifth compared to the previous term, the minister
of regional development, Klára Dostálová of ANO, told journalists on
Monday. Meanwhile, the rate of national co-financing will increase from the
current 15 percent to 30 percent. However, Ms. Dostálová said that
negotiations are still ongoing.
In terms of overall funding the Czech Republic is expected to receive CZK 520 billion crowns, which is a 100 CZK billion increase to the current funding budget. The European Commission is asking for three-quarters of the funding to be put into the union wide Intelligent Europe and Green Europe programmes, the minister said.
Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček summoned the Turkish
ambassador for a meeting on Monday to reiterate the European Union’s
priority of finding a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria
and called on Turkey to halt its ongoing military operations in the region.
An official statement posted on the ministry’s website on Monday morning expressed particular concern over the violent death of the Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf on Saturday and those of many other civilians. The Czech Republic respects Turkey’s right to defend its border, but strongly opposes the massive military intervention, the statement goes on to say.
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