The Czech ombudswoman, Anna Šabatová, has been presented with France’s
Legion of Honour in a ceremony at the French Embassy in Prague. The former
dissident was given the top accolade for her life-long work promoting human
rights and the rule of law.
France’s president, Emannuel Macron, bestowed the medal on Ms. Šabatová, who on Monday received it from the country’s ambassador to Prague, Roland Galharague.
She said had been honoured and gratified to get the award, which recognised that she had fought for human rights both prior to 1990 and in the present day.
The European Union’s proposed budget for the next programme period is
“absolutely unacceptable” to the Czech Republic, according to Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš. He said on Monday that the future budget was flawed
in a similar manner to the one that is currently in operation. Mr. Babiš
said the EU had dictated programmes for the 2014 to 2020 period in which
large sums were earmarked for social areas but were hard to access.
The Czech leader said his government was therefore mapping fields in which investment was required and would push for more funding for those in the period beginning 2021.
President Miloš Zeman may hold the key to resovling the situation
surrounding the Social Democrats’ nomination of Miroslav Poche for
foreign minister, according to top party members quoted by the news website
The Social Democrats insist Mr. Poche get the post, despite opposition from potential coalition partners ANO, the Communists, who would support such a government, and Mr. Zeman.
Social Democrats deputy chairman Roman Onderka said that party boss Jan Hamáček cannot replace Mr. Poche as his nomination has been approved by the leadership.
Mr. Poche is due to hold talks with President Zeman, who reportedly plans to tell him to step aside. Mr. Onderka said that meeting may shed light on a possible way forward, adding that it could lead to talks between the head of state and the leaders of ANO and the Social Democrats.
Hundreds of people including several senior Czech politicians attended a
ceremony at the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in central Prague on
Monday commemorating the heroes of Operation Anthropoid.
New plaques were unveiled in the pavement by the church honouring Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, who assassinated Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich, and other resistance men who met their deaths there 76 years ago this year.
Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček said the killing of Heydrich had been one of the most important acts of resistance in Europe and was certainly the most important on Czech territory. He said the men had laid down their lives for their nation’s freedom and deserved to be respected and remembered.
Senior Social Democrat Milan Štěch says the party should pull out of a
deal with ANO to form a coalition if it is broken before it can even come
into effect. The speaker of the Senate was responding to ANO leader Andrej
Babiš’s refusal of the Social Democrats’ nominee for the post of
foreign minister, Miroslav Poche.
Mr. Babiš said ANO would not accept Mr. Poche just after the membership of the Social Democrats voted in an internal ballot to enter a minority coalition with ANO.
Such a government would be backed by the Communists, who also reject Mr. Poche as foreign minister. President Miloš Zeman is likewise opposed to the MEP’s nomination.
The chairman of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, says Mr. Babiš had been aware that Mr. Poche was their candidate. Mr. Hamáček says his party have done all they can to reach a coalition deal and have no room to make further concessions.
The Czech Republic is one of the weakest states in the European Union when
it comes to combatting climate change, according to Climate Action Network
Europe. The Brussels-based organisation placed the Czech Republic 20th in
the bloc on the basis of criteria including efforts to reach targets for
the year 2020 set by the EU and enacted into legislation nine years ago.
The Czech Republic was directly behind Slovakia in the table created by Climate Action Network Europe. Sweden was judged the most successful EU country in tackling climate change while Poland was seen as having most to do.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with President Zeman at Prague Castle on
Sunday to present him with the new cabinet line-up. Mr Babiš said after
the meeting that his advisor and former labour and social affairs minister
František Koníček will not be part of the new cabinet. However, he
refused to disclose the names of ANO nominees for ministerial posts.
The appointment of the new government may be postponed due to a dispute over the Social Democrat’s choice of foreign minister, Miroslav Poche, who is opposed by the president and by the Communist Party.
The president claims that Mr. Poche, who had openly supported his opponent, Jiří Drahoš, in the recent presidential elections, is soft on migrants. Mr. Zeman said he will meet with Mr Poche next week and ask him to reconsider his nomination.
The Czech Communist party will not support the minority government created
by PM and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš if the Social Democrats stick to
MEP Miroslav Poche as their nominee for the post of foreign minister.
Communist party leader Vojtěch Filip made the statement in a debate programme on Czech Television on Sunday, calling Mr. Poche an untrustworthy person.
Leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, insists on the nomination of Mr Poche, but admits that the ultimatum from the Communist Party may be a serious obstacle in forming a viable government.
The Trebbia foundation for artists and art benefactors will hand out its
annual awards at a ceremony in the Spanish Hall of Prague Castle on Sunday
evening. The prize for lifetime achievement will go to Czech opera singer
Slovak photographer Zuzana Mináčová and Czech-born Darja Klimentová, former Prima Ballerina of English National Ballet, will be among the recipients of the award for creative activities.
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Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott