Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš is set to attend
the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. On Thursday, he is
scheduled to meet with his counterparts from Luxembourg, Portugal, Estonia
and Israel. Among other things, he will be discussing European issues and
Czech-Israeli cooperation in science, innovation and economy.
The Czech prime minister is also set to take part in a panel debate, focused on creating common visions for the EU and hold talks with the president of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajčák. Mr Babiš will also have lunch with other European politicians, including EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker.
Mr Babiš said last week that the World Economic Forum was one of the most important meetings of world leaders and a welcome opportunity for the Czech Republic to make new partners and allies.
The Czech crown jewels returned to the Prague’s Saint Vitus’ cathedral
on Wednesday, after having been on public display for the last 10 days.
Over the last week and a half, more than 32,000 people visited Prague
Castle to view the valuable artefacts, which only go on display on special
This year, the jewels were shown as part of a major exhibition marking the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia. Seven representatives of the church and state gathered on Wednesday evening to return the crown jewels to their protective chamber within Saint Vitus’ Cathedral.
The 21-year-old Czech woman detained by customs officials at Pakistan’s
Lahore airport earlier this month with nine kilos of heroin in her
possession is set to remain in custody. A court in Pakistan has extended
her detention until the end of January, the Czech Foreign Ministry told the
Czech News Agency on Wednesday.
The Czech, who denies responsibility for the heroin found in her baggage, was set to appear in court for the first time on Wednesday but the hearing was postponed due to safety reasons.
The number of cars on Czech roads exceeded 5.5 million last year, according
to data released by the Car Importers Association on Wednesday.
The number of passenger cars in the car registry reached 5.6 million at the end of December 2017, an increase by 224,000 on the previous year. The average age of cars in the Czech Republic has increased year-on-year from 14.48 years to 14.62 years.
President Miloš Zeman accepted the resignation of Andrej Babiš’s ANO
minority government on Wednesday, a week after it failed to pass a first
vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies. The president has already
said that he will immediately give Mr. Babiš a second chance to put
together a government and will appoint the ANO chief prime minister again
Wednesday’s resignation ceremony comes two days before the runoff in the Czech presidential elections. Mr. Babiš came out in support of Mr. Zeman’s candidacy before the first round.
The Czech government will send some 225 million crowns (nearly nine million
euros) to the EU Trust Fund for Africa. The proposal was made by Interior
Minister Lubomír Metnar and approved by the cabinet on Wednesday. The
Czech donation should be used in Libya to improve medical services and ease
the return of immigrants to the country. The money should be delivered to
Libya by the end of February.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the EU summit in Malta in 2015 to tackle the EU’s biggest ever migration crisis. The Czech Republic has previously donated more than 42 million crowns (around 1.6 million euros) to the fund.
Political marketing experts say incumbent Miloš Zeman edged the first
televised debate with his challenger for the post of Czech president,
Jiří Drahoš, on commercial station TV Prima on Tuesday night. Martin
Joachymstál, a political marketing specialist, told the Czech News Agency
that Mr. Zeman had outdone his rival. He said also that the clash had been
influenced by the poor performance of the host of the debate, who had
failed to keep the rowdy audience in check.
This view was shared by Alžběta Králová of the Institute of Political Marketing, who said that Mr. Drahoš had attempted to hold a serious debate in an unserious environment. She said that the aggressive and confrontational style of the event had suited Mr. Zeman and that his rival had failed to prevent the incumbent from interrupting him.
The two candidates are due to meet again in a second and final debate on Thursday night. Voting in the second round runoff begins on Friday afternoon.