Less than half of Czechs aged under 35 have a positive view of the European
Union, according to research published by the Bratislava-based Globsec
institute. The survey found that young Czechs were more sceptical regarding
the EU than their peers in the other Visegrad Four countries, Slovakia,
Poland and Hungary.
Some 43.8 percent of Czech 18- to 24-year-old survey respondents said they regarded the EU as a good thing. Among those aged 25 to 34 the figure was 41.3 percent.
If there were a referendum on whether to remain in the EU, just under half of young Czechs would vote for staying. A quarter of those surveyed said they would opt for leaving.
The Czech Republic gained CZK 55.4 billion more from the European Union
budget than it paid in last year. The figure stems from data released by
the Czech Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.
In 2016 the country made a net gain of CZK 80.6 billion from the EU’s coffers. Ministry officials said this was because that year and in 2015 there was a cluster of payments from the 2007 to 2013 budget period.
The Czech Republic has been a net beneficiary in terms of funding every year since it joined the EU in 2004.
The Czech prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, says the only thing
he has in common with US leader Donald Trump is that they have had Czech
wives. Mr. Babiš, who has frequently been dubbed a “Czech Trump” in
the international media, made the comment in an interview published in the
German daily Die Welt on Wednesday.
The ANO chief also said he had virtually nothing in common with the freshly re-elected Czech president, Miloš Zeman. He said he did not always agree with the head of state but that the pair had supported one another.
Mr. Babiš said Mr. Zeman’s problem was that Western journalists copied every piece of nonsense written about him by his enemies.
Tomio Okamura has revealed the name of a company to which his Freedom and
Direct Democracy party paid CZK 7.4 million for PR and analyses, iDnes.cz
reported. Mr. Okamura had previously declined to reveal the name of the
firm but on Wednesday said it was Play Net, an agency that had turnover of
a total of just over CZK 1 million in three years, the news site said.
Mr. Okamura’s previous grouping Dawn broke up after colleagues accused him of asset-stripping the party, iDnes.cz wrote. The politician said, however, this had never been proved; he also said that he had no personal connection with the agency to which Freedom and Direct Democracy paid the money.
Czech ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr has signed a new contract with his
hometown club Kladno after arriving on a plane from the US. Jágr’s
glittering career in the NHL came to a close after his last club Calgary
Flames placed him on waivers.
The forward, who turns 46 next month, did not speak to the media on his arrival but is due to appear in a news conference after a Kladno training session on Thursday. He is expected to take to the ice in the club’s colours on Saturday.
Former ice hockey player Milan Hnilička has been named government
commissioner for sport. The ex-goaltender, who was elected an MP on the ANO
ticket, will take up the post at the start of March. He will be responsible
for creating a strategy for financing sport.
Mr. Hnilička told journalists on Wednesday that he planned to draft new legislation on support for sport in the Czech Republic.
He was part of the Czech national team that won gold at the Winter Olympics in Japan 20 years ago.
The average price of new apartments in Prague grew by 19 percent year on
year in 2017, according to a study produced by the property development
companies Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group. The number of new
flats sold last year declined by 17 percent, the report found.
The volume of new properties on the market in the capital last year was half the figure for mid-2015.
Critics say excessive red tape is preventing the construction of sufficient numbers of new apartments, creating a bottleneck and pushing up prices.
Andrej Babiš, the prime minister in resignation and ANO leader, says the
Czech state should exploit the country’s lithium deposits. He told
journalists on Wednesday that the government wished to task the state
enterprise Diamo with ascertaining how much of the mineral the country
Mr. Babiš says a memorandum signed by a previous Czech government and European Metals Holdings on the mining of lithium is nonsensical and invalid. However, he says the government’s lawyers will have to decide on how to proceed on the matter.
Mr. Babiš says that his minister of industry, Tomáš Hüner, acted wrongly by saying he would sign an addendum to the memorandum with the Australian firm without first informing the government.
The Czech Syndicate of Journalists has announced it is expelling one of its
members, Karel Slezák, from its ranks for his part in an incident at the
election headquarters of President Miloš Zeman last Saturday.
Slezák physically attacked another journalist for wanting to take pictures of a Zeman supporter who collapsed in the hotel, allegedly after consuming too much alcohol.
The journalist in question lodged a complaint soon after and police are investigating the incident as suspected breach of the peace.