Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has denied that the Czech Republic is among
the fourteen European Union countries which reportedly agreed to sign deals
with Germany to take back asylum seekers who had previously registered
Babiš said during a visit to France on Saturday that he had not discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the EU summit earlier this week and would, in any case, never consent to an agreement that would mean accepting any number of illegal refugees.
According to the DPA and Reuters news agencies, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, all countries which have opposed any scheme to share-out asylum seekers across the continent, have said they are open to signing such an agreement with Germany.
Under the EU’s Dublin convention asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.
Several hundred green activists protested at the Bílina coal mine in the
north of the country on Saturday.
Two dozen of them managed to enter the mine in the early hours of the morning and chained themselves to the excavator. When other protesters tried to force their way into the mine the police intervened, detaining over 170 people.
The protest was organized by the group Limity jsme my which is striving to get the mine closed.
The Communist Party will support the newly-appointed minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats at its upcoming vote of confidence on July 11th. The Communist Party leadership met on Saturday to take a vote on the pre-negotiated tolerance agreement with the two parties in government. Fifty-four members of the party leadership voted in favour, 23 were against and one abstained. The Communist Party linked its support to a number of conditions, such as a law on national referenda, a minimal wage hike and support for a law taxing church restitutions.
French President Emanuel Macron met with the Czech and Slovak prime
ministers in Paris on Saturday, on the occasion of celebrations in France
marking the birth of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago.
On June 29 the government of France officially acknowledged the right of Czechs and Slovaks to independence, and the next day 6,000 Czechoslovak legionaries took an oath of allegiance to the new state in the presence of the French president.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš thanked France for its crucial role in assisting the birth of independent Czechoslovakia and said the seven decades of coexistence had helped Czechs and Slovaks to develop into the strong, sovereign, democratic states they were today.
After the meeting the French president and Czech and Slovak prime ministers signed framework agreements on strategic partnership outlining future cooperation in security, the fight against terrorism, research and development and student exchanges.
Nine people have been detained on suspicion of manipulating contracts for
two Prague hospitals, Na Františku and Na Bulovce, the ctk news agency
Among those charged are the head of the Na Františku hospital Robert Zelenák, and influential north Bohemian entrepreneur Tomáš Horáček.
The anti-corruption police have been conducting raids on dozens of homes and medical institutions and old age home in Central Bohemia in connection with the case.
The newly-appointed justice minister, Tatana Malá, has denied allegations
of plagiarism in connection with her university thesis.
Czech Radio reported earlier this week that Malá's thesis on family law, contained undeclared passages from a thesis by someone else, written at Masaryk University in Brno five years earlier. In one case, Malá even copied the original text along with two typing errors, Czech Radio said.
Malá denied that she had plagiarized the work, saying she had spent months of hard work on her thesis and had defended it successfully at her university.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the accusations were part of a campaign against her and argued that she should be given a chance to prove her worth as justice minister.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has honoured the Oscar-winning
actor, director, screenwriter and producer Tim Robbins with its prestigious
Crystal Globe award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema.
Robbins, who is the main star at this year’s festival, will personally introduce a screening of his films Bob Roberts and Shawshank Redemption on Saturday night.
In his thank you speech at the award ceremony on Friday night Tim Robbins expressed his admiration for two Czechs, the late president Vaclav Havel and film director Milos Forman who died earlier this year and whose film Loves of a Blonde opened this year’s film festival as a tribute to his work.
The lower house of Parliament has approved a government proposed amendment
to the pensions’ law which would increase old age pensions for all, with
a special focus on people over the age of 85.
The bill would increase the fixed component of old-age pensions to 10 percent of the average salary from the current 9 percent, and a further increase would be linked to the merit-based component of the pension.
The pensions of people over 85 would be increased by 1,000 crowns a month on the argument that they need to spend more money on medical care.
All pensioners should get an increase of at least 540 crowns per month in addition to the regular pensions' indexation.
The cost of the pensions' increase would reach 14.5 billion crowns. The bill still needs to win approval in the Senate and be signed by the president.
The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment which aims to
facilitate and accelerate preparations for expanding the Czech Republic’s
energy, communications and transportation infrastructure.
Part of those preparations includes the expropriation of land via a
so-called interim decision. This means construction can begin on plots even
before the amount of compensation owed to the landowner is determined.
The amendment lists specific buildings and plots for fast-track expropriation, including areas where motorways and railways are to be expanded or new metro stops to be built.
Of the 160 MPs present for the vote, 156 were in favour while 4 abstained. It will now go to the Senate for debate, where it is expected to pass. The amendment could come into force in September.
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