In a joint article published in the Wall Street Journal, the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, and the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, say Europe must take its defence into its own hands. Tuesday’s piece precedes a European security and defence conference being held in Prague on Friday that Mr. Juncker is set to attend. The two leaders write that the EU must not only complement NATO but respond independently to external threats; to that end, the bloc is now implementing the EU Global Strategy on security, they say. They add that a European Defence Union will help protect the EU, which is exactly what its citizens want.
Czech entrepreneurs visiting Vietnam with President Miloš Zeman have so far signed seven contracts or memoranda with local companies. The deals relate to fields including medicines, optical fibres and digitisation and were made at a Czech-Vietnamese trade forum held on Tuesday in connection with Mr. Zeman’s visit. Speaking at the start of the forum, he highlighted the integration of the Czech Vietnamese community into the economy and Vietnam’s own economic development. A delegation representing around 50 Czech companies is travelling with the president to Vietnam and Kazakhstan.
Czech astronomers believe they have discovered a new potential source of dangerous asteroids among the Taurid meteor shower family. Working with researchers from Austria and Slovakia, they looked at the meteor shower, which occurs every October and November and in some years shows increased activity, allowing for the tracing of more shooting stars. The discovery was announced by the Czech Academy of Sciences’ Astronomical Institute and published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Some 32 percent of Czechs are satisfied with their country’s membership of the European Union, suggests an opinion poll conducted in April by the CVVM agency. A poll in April 2016 indicated a satisfaction rate of 25 percent. Meanwhile, 60 percent of respondents this April said the Czech Republic ought to be in the EU compared to 50 percent last year. The country joined the bloc in 2004 following a referendum.
Miroslav Pelta has stood down as chairman of the Czech Football Association. He tendered his resignation from the cell where he is being held on remand over charges of large-scale abuse of sports subsidies. The news was relayed to the newspaper Deník Sport by his lawyer. Pelta did not stand in a vote for the post of FA chief on Friday but none of the candidates secured enough backing to win election. He had been the top man in Czech soccer since 2011 and is the owner of Jablonec FC.
The lower house’s Mandate and Immunity Committee has recommended that deputies Josef Novotný of the Social Democrats and Jaroslav Borek of the Communist Party be stripped of their parliamentary immunity. The police want to charge both MPs with abuse of EU subsidies in connection with a regional programme in the northwest of the country. The Chamber of Deputies should decide on whether to remove their immunity during its current session. Two dozen people, including politicians, senior civil servants and business people, have already been charged over the alleged corruption.
In football, the Czech national team lost in a friendly against Belgium 1:2 on Monday night. The Czechs came under heavy pressure from the home side in the first 25 minutes and conceded a goal from striker Batshuayi. A mix up in the Belgian goal allowed Krmenčík to draw level before half time. Belgium went ahead with a headed goal from substitute Fellaini after the break. The Czechs had chances to level the match towards the close with Souček hitting the post. The match is a warm up for the World Cup group qualifier against Norway on June 10.
In tennis, Karolína Plíšková is through to the quarter finals of the French Open for the first time. She turned around her match against Paraguayan Cepede Royg after losing the first set 2:6. Plíšková, the second seed, came back to take the following sets 6:3, 6:4. She will now face on Wednesday local favourite and 28th seed Caroline Garcia. If she gets through to the singles final, Plíšková will automatically become world number one for the first time.
The Czech Republic will take no more immigrants from Italy and Greece shared out under the EU’s quota system, interior minister Milan Chovanec announced after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday. The agenda item was described as secret but the outcome was not. Chovanec said the current allocation system was dysfunctional and worsened the existing security situation. Under the agreed share out the Czech Republic was expected to take around 2600 immigrants. So far it has taken just 12 from Greece. The Czech Republic could face fines from the European Commission when it reviews how states have met their commitments after September.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech rock climber Adam Ondra knocked out of World Cup in Japan
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’