Andrej Babiš, the head of ANO tasked with forming the new government, has
said he has found a candidate for the post of Minister of Industry and
Trade. However, he has not divulged the person’s name as yet. Mr Babiš
is looking to form a minority government capable of finding broader
political backing in the lower house, after his party won almost 30 percent
of the vote in the election in October.
On Monday, ANO representatives met with representatives of the Civic Democratic party to discuss posts in the new Chamber of Deputies; ANO is pushing for Radek Vondráček to become the new house speaker. Facing opposition to the idea, Babiš pointed out the last election winners, the Social Democrats, had also secured the post.
Czech singer, screenwriter and actor Karel Štedrý, famous for I have a
Small Tent, a duet with Waldemar Matuška, and songs like Letters and
Magdaléna, has died at the age of 80.
In the 1960s, the entertainer was connected to famous Prague theatres and
clubs such as Reduta and Rokoko, as well as the renowned Semafor Theatre,
which he co-founded and where he worked from 1959 to 1962.
As an actor, he appeared in the films If a Thousand Clarinets and That Czech Song of Ours.
Culture Minister Daniel Herman will sign a new agreement on film
co-production during a five-day visit to Israel beginning Tuesday. The
agreement will outline specific conditions for co-producers and classify
joint-projects as 'national' films within their territory,
opening the door to additional financial support from public funds. The
agreement is to be signed in Israel’s Parliament on Wednesday.
During his visit, Minister Herman will meet with his counterpart Miri Regev and also tour a watchtower in Jerusalem by famous Czech architect Martin Rajniš. The tower was built for Jerusalem Design Week in June.
The Czech finance minister, Ivan Pilny, on Tuesday attended a meeting of
the Eurozone focusing on the fiscal rules governing the Eurozone and on the
future of the banking union.
The presence of the Czech finance minister was in response to a request from the Czech government for the Czech Republic to be granted observer status at Eurozone meetings despite the fact that it has not yet adopted the single currency. According to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka being involved in the debate would help prepare the country for Eurozone membership in due time.
The Czech Republic and Croatia have also been invited to attend the December Euro Summit as observers.
Lobbyist Marek Dalík, one-time advisor to prime minister Mirek Topolanek,
turned up at Prague’s Ruzyne prison to start serving a five-year sentence
for corruption on Monday. He was accompanied by his lawyer and refused to
speak to journalists.
Dalík, who was found guilty of soliciting a bribe in connection with a hardware military deal, earlier claimed he was innocent of the charges against him and petitioned the country’s Supreme Court over the first four-year sentence. He later even changed his testimony to partially admitting having requested a certain sum of money.
After reviewing the case, the Supreme Court upped his sentence from four to five years. He has already spent seven months in custody.
The Czech Republic’s human rights record came under scrutiny at the
United Nations on Monday. Among the recommendations made were for the
country to improve the integration of Roma in Czech society, step up the
fight against racism, xenophobia and islamophobia and strive for full
The Czech government was praised for ending the practice of segregating Romany children in special schools and reaching agreement on the buy-out of a pig farm located on the site of a former concentration camp for Romanies during WWII in order to make way for a dignified memorial to the victims.
The full list of recommendations should be made available by November 10th.
The Universal Periodic Review, through which each UN member country is examined once every five years, allows governments to review a country’s human rights record and make recommendations for improvements. In the last scrutiny the Czech Republic received 136 recommendations and fulfilled 129 of them.
President Miloš Zeman has collected 113,000 signatures from the public in
support of his presidential candidacy and has officially registered in the
race for president.
At a press briefing in Prague at which he appeared with his wife Ivana who supervised the team of volunteers collecting signatures, Zeman thanked his supporters and said he was ready to take on his rivals in the race. He refused to comment on who he considered the most serious rival for the country’s top post.
The deadline for registering in the presidential elections is Tuesday, November 7th. There are currently 12 candidates running for the country’s top post.
Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek has confirmed his intention to run
for president in next year’s presidential elections. Topolánek said he
had sought support across the political spectrum and had collected the
necessary ten signatures from senators. The former leader of the Civic
Democratic Party told Czech Television his decision was motivated by the
turn of events following the general elections and the possibility that a
government could run the country without a vote of confidence.
The head of the Civic Democratic Party Petr Fiala welcomed the decision saying Topolánek was an experienced politician with a good grasp of international affairs.
Czech economic growth is expected to accelerate to 4.5 percent this year,
as compared to 2.5 percent in 2016, according to the Czech Chamber of
Commerce. Next year the chamber predicts a slow-down of the GDP to 3.6
percent. This year’s eeconomic growth is driven by demand on foreign
markets and consumer spending.
In its latest forecast the Czech National Bank also upgraded its growth forecast for this year to 4.5 percent, up from the predicted 3.6 in August.
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