The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, says he will not pardon Andrej Babiš if
the ANO leader is found guilty on charges of subsidy fraud. In an interview
for the news site Blesk.cz, Mr. Zeman said Mr. Babiš was no Jiří
Kajínek, who had spent 23 years in prison. The president pardoned Mr.
Kajínek in May.
Mr. Babiš and a fellow ANO deputy are accused of illicitly acquiring CZK 50 million in EU subsidies for a farm that was in the past owned by the former’s company Agrofert.
Mr. Zeman also said that his preferred outcome of general elections next month would be a coalition of ANO and Social Democrats, and that he would never sink so low as to criticise the prime minister in a foreign publication.
A few days ago PM Bohuslav Sobotka said that the incumbent head of state would not win re-election and that this would lead to an improvement in Czech political culture.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, held talks with his Iraqi
counterpart, Haider Al-Abadi, on a visit to Baghdad on Sunday. The two
leaders discussed Czech support in the battle against Islamic State,
humanitarian aid and possible participation in the post-war renewal of the
country in what was the first visit to Iraq by a Czech prime minister since
Mr. Sobotka told reporters that the Czech Republic was not just a formal member of the international coalition against IS but was very active. He also said that Iraq had been the biggest importer of Czech arms in the last two years.
The Czech Republic supplied CZK 93.6 million in aid to Iraq between 2012 and 2016; this year it has provided CZK 65.5 million.
Radek Juška has set a new Czech record in the long jump for the second
time this year. The athlete, who is 24, achieved a new best of 831
centimetres at the Summer Universiade in Taipei on Sunday. That distance
was 2 centimetres longer than a jump he made in May.
Juška’s achievement in China was the seventh best jump in the world this year and the second best by a European.
Lithium should be mined on an area of around 23 hectares at Horní Slavkov
in West Bohemia, according to a binding environmental impact assessment
conducted by the Ministry of the Environment, Novinky.cz reported. The site
is at a waste pond left behind after the mining of tin in the area.
A proposal to mine an area of over 44 hectares was rejected, as was the idea of extracting lithium in only two parts of the waste pond.
The Czech Republic has an estimated 3 percent of the world’s reserves of lithium, which is used in the production of mobile phones and electric cars.
The Ministry of Health is planning an information campaign this autumn to
clarify questions surrounding a ban on smoking in Czech pubs and
restaurants that came into effect at the end of May, the Czech News Agency
A three-month period in which hostelries have been given time to adapt to the new legislation concludes on Tuesday. However, problems remain surrounding the interpretation of the ban with regard to beer gardens and outdoor covered areas.
Experts say that the winter months – when going outside may become unpleasant for smokers – will be a real test of the ban.
The country’s richest club Sparta Prague were beaten 2:0 away at Brno on
Saturday evening, despite the fact that the hosts began the game at the
bottom of the table. Both goals came from dead-ball situations. The result
leaves Sparta fifth in the table after five rounds.
The result is likely to increase the pressure on Sparta’s Italian manager Andrea Stramaccioni, who last weekend said team – who were knocked out in the qualifying stages of the Europa League – had turned a corner with a win over Slovácko.
The Czech military police will deploy four specialists to Iraq to train
their local counterparts in Iraq next month, military police commander
Pavel Kříž told the Czech News Agency on Saturday. The four will join a
mission in which other Czech officers have been serving in the country
since last year.
Next year Czech military police also will be deployed to Lithuania, where they will take part in a mission aimed at boosting NATO’s eastern wing, Mr. Kříž said.
The main political parties in the Czech Republic are planning to step up
their campaigning in the coming weeks for October’s general elections,
the Czech News Agency reported.
The Social Democrats are set to launch the main phase of their campaign in all 14 Czech regions on Tuesday.
The Civic Democrats will make major presentations of their programmes two days later, as will ANO and the Mayors and Independents group.
The Communists will take their campaign to the next level on September 16, while both TOP 09 and the Christian Democrats are also planning large events for the post-holidays period.
President Miloš Zeman says the Czech Republic and Slovakia have
extraordinarily great and fraternal relations a quarter century after the
breakup of their joint state. Communicating through a spokesperson, Mr.
Zeman said the fact both states had joined the European Union had
contributed to their good relations today.
The Czech president said the split had in fact begun in 1990 with petty disputes over the name of the Czechoslovak state. He also said that in 1992 he had proposed an alternative to dissolution in the form of a loose “Czechoslovak union” under which both countries would have separate budgets.