People around the country on Wednesday paid homage to the victims of
communism. The day of remembrance coincides with the anniversary of the
execution of politician Milada Horakova after a show trial on June 27,
At a ceremony commemorating Horakova, the widow of the late president Vaclav Havel, Dagmar, said it was a sad paradox that on the day of remembrance of the victims of communism President Zeman had appointed a government that would have to rely on support from the Communist Party.
Social Democratic Party leader Jan Hamáček has said the party will not
push for court action over the president’s refusal to appoint party
nominee Miroslav Poche to the post of foreign minister.
Hamáček said at a press briefing shortly after the Cabinet’s appointment that he wanted to resolve the problem through dialogue since taking the issue to court would only exacerbate the situation.
The president refused to appoint Poche foreign minister on the grounds that his pro-migrant stance was at odds with the country’s anti-migrant policy. Social Democrat chief Jan Hamacek, who is interior minister, will temporarily head the foreign ministry.
Neither Hamáček nor Prime Minister Babiš wanted to comment on whether the president had overstepped his rights by refusing to make the appointment.
In cases of compulsory acquisition of land in the public interest the state
will still be bound to offer a suitable replacement along with financial
The Constitutional Court on Wednesday scrapped an amendment to the law that would only require the state to compensate owners financially as of July 1, on the grounds that it would set a dual standard with regard to various restituents.
The amendment was successfully contested by a group of 18 senators.
The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland
will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron before the opening of a
two-day EU summit on migration in Brussels on Thursday.
The meeting was confirmed on Twitter by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis who said the leaders of the Visegrad Group wanted to clear up “some unfortunate statements about migration and French opposition to EU enlargement”.
The leaders of the Visegrad Four opted not to take part in an EU mini-summit on migration held at the initiative of German Chancellor Angela Merkel last Sunday.
A spokesman for the French government said later that the Visegrad “boycott” of the mini-summit would make the regular EU summit difficult.
President Macron also said last week that EU countries that refuse asylum seekers should be sanctioned.
The regional court in Prague has sentenced the former health minister and
governor of Central Bohemia, David Rath, to 8.5 years in jail for
Rath was arrested with seven million crowns on his person six years ago and accused of taking bribes to rig public contracts.
The Regional Court passed the same verdict three years ago, but it was overturned by an appeals court, which ruled that wiretaps used to prosecute him were inadmissible.
The Supreme Court subsequently ruled such that recordings could be used as evidence. Rath has once again appealed the verdict.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, appointed a government coalition of ANO
and the Social Democrats in a ceremony at Prague Castle on Wednesday
morning. A previous government headed by ANO leader Andrej Babiš failed to
win a vote of confidence in the lower house. The new government does not
have a majority and expects to count on the backing of the Communist Party
in crucial votes.
Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček was named minister of interior and foreign affairs, with the second post expected to be for a limited period. The president had refused to appoint his party’s nominee for foreign affairs, Miroslav Poche.
Mr. Zeman told the new ministers he would support their government in person at a vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies on July 11, nine months after ANO secured almost 30 percent in general elections.
It is the first time since 1989 that the Communist Party will have any share of power in the Czech Republic.
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Two Thousand
Words manifesto, one of the key symbols of the Prague Spring movement. The
declaration was written by author Ludvík Vaculík and appeared in several
Czechoslovak newspapers on June 27, 1968.
The document, whose full title was Two Thousand Words that Belong to Workers, Farmers, Officials, Scientists, Artists, and Everybody, assessed hitherto progress during the Prague Spring, suggested ways the process of democratic reform could be intensified and called for civic engagement in politics.
It was signed by a number of prominent intellectuals and over 100,000 ordinary citizens.
Ceasing using caged hens in egg production in the CZech Republic would cost
up to CZK 6 billion, the chairwoman of the national association of poultry
breeders, Gabriela Dlouhá, told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday.
She said that many poultry farms were built in the 1960s and would require major investment to allow breeders to stop keeping hens in cages.
Following a recent Czech Television report on conditions at poultry farms a number of major retailers have said they will phase out eggs produced by caged hens by the 2025.
MPs from the opposition parties the Mayors and Independents, the Christian
Democrats and the Pirates have described the appointment of the first
post-1989 government involving the Communists on the day of remembrance for
the victims of communism as a mockery of those imprisoned and killed by the
previous regime. The deputies made a joint statement to that effect at the
lower house on Tuesday.
An ANO-Social Democrats minority coalition should be supported by the Communists on key votes in the Chamber of Deputies.
Responding to the criticism, the Social Democrats’ leader Jan Hamáček said the date had been selected by the president and the prime minister.
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