The European Commission has decided to launch proceedings against the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary for refusing to accept migrants allocated to them under a compulsory EU quota system. The news was announced by the commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, Dimitris Avramopulos, in Strasbourg on Tuesday. The Czech Republic is adamant that it will not take part in the quota system, the country’s prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, told reporters. He said the Prague government had already prepared arguments with which to defend its position before the European Commission. Mr. Sobotka said the Czech Republic did not face any fines at present.
A new website launched on Tuesday by the Security Services Archive (www.mvu.ebadatelna.cz) allows the public access to information on the daily workings of the Communist-run Ministry of the Interior and an overview of key personnel in the StB secret police and their activities. Visitors will also be able to view records kept on a number of well-known figures at the website, which covers the period from 1969 until February 1990, when the StB was abolished. The archive is the Czech Republic’s main repository for communist-era secret police files.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, says he has been disquieted by the arrests made during demonstrations in Russia on Monday. Mr. Sobotka said people had the right to express their views without being detained and called on the Moscow government to respect freedom of expression and assembly. Russian police arrested over 1,000 people at anti-corruption rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg, while the opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at his home before they got underway.
Developers Central Group plan to start building between 2,100 and 2,600 new apartments by the Žižkov freight railway station in Prague in 2019. The CZK 9 billion project will also include a large park and kindergarten, the company said at a presentation on Tuesday. The entire grounds will cover an area roughly three times the size of Wenceslas Square.
The dead body of woman was dragged for several hundred metres by a Prague tram on Monday night, Novinky.cz reported. Police are working on the assumption that the woman, who was around 30, was dragged across the city’s Legion Bridge to the National Theatre after she either tried to ride on the coupling between the tram’s carriages or got caught as she tried to climb across it at the previous stop. The police said it was not possible for the driver to know there was somebody between the carriages.
The Czech financial sector remains highly resistant to shocks, the Czech National Bank says in its 2015/2016 Report on Financial Stability published on Tuesday. Stress tests on Czech banks confirmed their ability to handle even a deep recession and increased losses on loans. However, the central bank says there is genuine risk surrounding mortgages, with the danger of a property price and loans spiral continuing. Meanwhile, the CNB has raised the compulsory credit reserve for all banks, savings banks and securities traders from 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent, a decision that will take effect in mid-2018.
The Czech National Gallery is to get a permanent piece by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei from next year, the institution’s director, Jiří Fajt, said on Tuesday. The courtyard of the gallery’s Kinský Palace building on Prague’s Old Town Square will be home to the artist’s Bicycle Chandelier, a large piece made from Chinese bicycles that has previously seen at other venues in Europe. The National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace at present houses Ai Weiwei’s enormous site specific work Law of the Journey, a recreation of a refugee boat that draws attention to the migrant crisis, and last year showed his Zodiac Heads.
President Miloš Zeman has said two principles will guide his steps following parliamentary elections in October: speaking on a tour of South Bohemia, he said he would task the leader of the winning party with the formation of a new government. But he also said he would impress on the winner to deal respectfully with other parties, not least in the event of a close first and second-place finish. The last election, for example, saw the Social Democrats just pip newcomers ANO. The latter, opinion polls suggest, are the front-runners this time.
The third Prague European Summit gets underway on Tuesday bringing together politicians, analysts and other key figures to discuss the future of the EU. Topics highlighted over the three-day event will include European security and defense, ties with Russia and the US, and economic investment. Key guests this year include Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy European Commission head Frans Timmermans, and former prime minister of Italy Massimo d'Alema. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek will also speak at the event.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home