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.
The number of foreigners working living legally in the Czech Republic last
year exceeded half a million for the first time, according to Ministry of
the Interior figures cited by the Czech News Agency. Of the 524,000
non-nationals registered in the country in 2017 over 40 percent came from
Ukraine or Slovakia. There were 14 refugees in the country last year.
The number of foreigners in the Czech Republic has risen by over 130,000 in the last decade.
A large percentage of non-nationals registered in 2017 were from the EU. These included 111,500 Slovaks, over 20,300 Poles, nearly 21,300 Germans, around 3800 French citizens and 5,300 Brits.
Czech women knocked out in Melbourne doubles quarter-finals
All of the Czech women left in the doubles competition in the Australian Open have been knocked out in the quarter-finals. Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková and her Taiwanese partner Latisha Chan were beaten on Tuesday by the Hungarian-French pairing of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic. Last year’s winner Lucie Šafářová and her current partner Barbora Strýcová lost to the Chinese-Taiwanese pair of Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai.
The Czech Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal against being held in
custody from Yevgeny Nikulin, who is wanted in the US on hacking charges.
Judges ruled that his appeal was unsubstantiated and lodged too late.
Mr. Nikulin was arrested in Prague in 2016. He is accused of hacking the computers of major internet firms such as LinkedIn and Dropbox and could face up to 30 years in jail if found guilty.
A Prague court has ruled that the 30-year-old can be extradited. It is now up to the Czech minister of justice to decide whether he should be handed over to the US or to Russia, where is wanted on a relatively minor charge.
President Miloš Zeman appeared in a television “debate” alone for the
second time on Monday evening. His opponent in the second round of
presidential elections, Jiří Drahoš, declined the invitation to meet the
incumbent on the commercial station TV Barrandov, instead concluding his
public appearances at a concert at the Prague venue Lucerna.
President Zeman, who had consistently refused to participate in such discussions before the first round, had previously taken part in a solo “debate” on a different channel.
On Tuesday he and Mr. Drahoš will hold the first of two debates on the commercial station Prima. They will meet again on Czech Television on Thursday, the evening before the second round begins.
A Czech pensioner has received a 27-year jail term in Hong Kong for drug
smuggling. The man, who is 69 years old, was caught with three kilogrammes
of cocaine in his luggage. He said he was unaware of the substance, which
was apprehended on a flight from South America, and had received the
suitcase as a gift.
Czech Radio reported that the man speaks no foreign languages and is almost deaf.
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Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
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Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
More than a third of over 40s believes their lives were better under communism, study shows
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home