Twenty-eight senators have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej
Babis urging him to take steps enabling the Czech Republic to admit 50
Syrian orphans from overcrowded camps in Greece.
The signatories of the letter say that orphans in need deserve unconditional and immediate help and the Czech Republic should be among the countries offering this kind of assistance.
Among the signatories is the Speaker of the upper chamber Milan Štěch of the Social Democrats.
The prime minister earlier rejected the idea of taking in 50 orphans saying the country was not ready to accept migrants and this case was no different.
The popular Czech music awards Český slavík - or the Czech Nightingale
–will not be held this year, the daily Právo reported, citing Jaroslav
Těšinský of the Musica Bohemica agency organizing the event.
The winners of the competition are chosen in a public poll and the organizers want to set down new rules and prevent the present system on online voting from being abused.
This is being done at the instigation of the competition’s main sponsor Mattoni after last year’s results in the best band category were questioned.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in an interview for the BBC that he was
“very unhappy” that the U.K. is leaving the bloc and he would like to
see the country hold another referendum that might overturn the result.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat expressed a similar position.
Speaking to EU leaders in Salzburg British prime minister Theresa May, ruled out such a possibility, saying the U.K. would not push back the deadline in negotiations or hold another referendum on Brexit.
The Czech Foreign Ministry is hosting an international symposium on Czech
foreign policy titled “Rethinking the Future.“
The event is co-organized by the Prague-based Institute of International Relations, the German foundation Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung and the embassies of the United States and Australia.
In an opening address to the assembly, Deputy Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček stressed the significance of EU and NATO membership for the Czech Republic.
He said politicians must work to overcome their differences on divisive issues such as migration and relations with Russia and that Czech foreign policy must build on values such as support for human rights in countries where they are brutally suppressed.
Petříček also stressed the importance of developing transatlantic cooperation, saying the United States had always been Europe’s key partner in times when the continent faced serious challenges.
Sixteen more community centers for mental health will open around the
country in the coming years, Health Minister Adam Vojtěch announced at the
opening of such a center in Prague’s Prosek district on Thursday.
The building of a network of mental health community centers is part of an attempt to erase the stigma surrounding mental health problems and enable patients who have been released from hospital to continue getting professional aid and advice. The understanding is that more patients will also approach such a center in the event of problems.
Five such centers were built this year and their number should reach 30 by 2021.
The government’s Secretary for European Affairs Aleš Chmelař is leaving
his post and seeking the position of deputy foreign minister in charge of
the ministry’s European section, the daily Právo reported on Thursday.
Prime Minister Babiš said an open competition would be held to fill the post of Government Secretary for European Affairs. Chmelař has served in the post since June 2017.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hailed the idea to hold a summit of
EU and African states, but voiced disappointment with the EU debate on
migration at an informal summit in Salzburg.
Mr. Babiš said that some politicians are still insisting on the redistribution of illegal migrants which took the debate a few years back.
The Czech prime minister said the fact that some EU politicians seem to have come to terms with the flow of illegal migrants to Europe was an invitation to people smugglers and criticized the fact that the EU had not agreed on more concrete measures how to fight them.
As regards Frontex, Babiš said it was essential to clear up the agency’s role in the future. He earlier stressed it would be good if Frontex operated outside of Europe, rather than duplicating the coast guards of individual member states.
The Czech Republic ranks 26th in the world in a quality of life index
compiled by the non-profit group Social Progress Imperative along with
partner organisations including the consultancy Deloitte.
Of the new EU member states, only Slovenia finished higher, in 22nd place. The best living standards are enjoyed by the people of Norway; the worst by people in the Central African Republic. In total, 146 countries were evaluated.
The Czech branch of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has
sent a formal complaint to the European Commission alleging a conflict of
interest between PM Andrej Babiš and his economic interests in relation to
the Agrofert group.
The complaint alleges that Mr Babiš is both founder and beneficiary of trust funds overseeing Agrofert, giving him de facto control of a company with a deep interest in issues at stake in Common Agricultural Policy reform and broader EU budget negotiations.
Under EU rules, persons involved in the implementation and administration of the bloc’s budget must “refrain from any action likely to bring their interests into conflict with the interests of the Union.”