Food inspectors and police conducting an inspection of the Vietnamese Sapa market in Prague on Thursday uncovered 60 kilograms of uncertified meat on the grounds, including pork, beef poultry and fish. The meat was reportedly showing visible signs of decay and was confiscated on the spot. The owners face a fine of up to 10 million crowns. Uncertified meat of dubious origin has been found at Sapa on many previous occasions.
Czech intelligence has rejected claims that Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who spent a few weeks in Libya before committing the attack, flew back to London via Prague. The information appeared in the German daily Der Tagesspiegel on Thursday. Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said neither Czech nor foreign intelligence sources had any information to confirm the claim.
The country’s chief hygiene officer, Eva Gottvaldova has moved to dispel fears regarding the possible spread of cholera, which was confirmed in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Two Czechs recently back from Tanzania were reportedly hospitalized with the disease on their return. They have now been released and are in quarantine. The last case of cholera in the Czech Republic was fifteen years ago and was also contracted abroad. People travelling to high-risk areas are recommended to get a vaccine which is available in the Czech Republic.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has criticized the 2018 draft budget, outlined by former finance minister Andrej Babiš shortly before he was dismissed from office. At a press briefing in Prague on Thursday, Prime Minister Sobotka said that several ministries had complained they were short of funds for previously approved projects. For instance, the Labour Ministry is reported to be short of 6.2 billion crowns necessary for promised wage hikes in social services, the construction of old age homes and higher state contributions for caregivers. The health, education and interior ministries also say they are short of funds. Mr. Sobotka said the draft budget had clearly been drafted in haste and he expected the newly appointed finance minister, Ivan Pilný, to go back to the drawing board.
The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic has upheld an appeal by a father who refused to return his seven-year-old son to his mother in France on the grounds that she had fallen prey to a religious sect and could not secure the boy’s welfare. The judge said the arguments presented were valid and the lower instance court to which the case was returned should consider primarily the best interests of the child. The lower instance court had previously ruled in favour of the boy’s return, despite a medical expertise which said the child was traumatised following time spent with his mother in France.
Czech top division club Zlín had particular reason to celebrate Manchester United’s Europa League win against Ajax on Wednesday night. The win means that Zlín will qualify for the first phase of the Europa League next season and there is also a cash bonus for the relatively small club. Participation in the competition means that Zlín, this year’s Czech cup winners, will earn at least 70 million crowns as a result.
Christian Democrat party head, Pavel Bělobrádek, has stirred controversy with his declaration that he will attend a meeting of the Sudeten ethnic grouping in Augsburg at the start of June. The grouping represents the interests of Germans and their descendants expelled from Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII. The meeting was last year attended by Christian Democrat culture minister Daniel Herman. Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek stressed that Bělobrádek was attending as party leader and not as deputy prime minister. Communist leader Vojtěch Filip condemned the move.
Czech president Miloš Zeman late Wednesday dismissed ANO leader Andrej Babiš as finance minister and installed ANO member of parliament Ivan Pilný as his replacement. Zeman said that Babiš had performed in the post during the previous three years and four months like none of his predecssors. He added the ANO leader was probably the subject of envy which was often the problem of successful people. In a last change, Zeman made ANO environment minister Richard Brabec a deputy prime minister, a post previously filled by Babiš. The finance ministry change was demanded by prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka over the ANO leaders alleged suspect financial dealings.
ANO nominated regional development minister Karla Šlechtová has clashed with the ANO leader and outgoing finance minister Andrej Babiš over the ministry’s proposed budget for next year. According to the proposal, the ministry’s budget will fall from 16 billion crowns to 4.7 billion. Most of the fall is due to European funds. Without those, the budget would only fall by 2.0 billion crowns. The minister has said that the proposal does not take adequate account of regional development of the country and will hurt councils in particular. The budget for most ministries and government agencies should rise under the 2018 budget proposal.
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