Czech car companies and car-parts suppliers saw record turnover last year
amounting to 1.1 trillion crowns (around 39 billion euros), which
represents an increase by seven percent on the previous year, the Czech
Automotive Industry Association announced at a press conference on
Czech car makers’ exports increased by six percent last year to 918 billion crowns. Some 84 percent of cars made in the Czech Republic are exported to the EU, mainly to Germany, Great Britain and France.
The US decision to pull out of the United Nations Human Rights Council
means that the Czech Republic is losing an important partner in protection
of human rights and freedoms, Irena Valentová of the Czech Foreign
Ministry’s press department told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, the Czech Republic shares some of Washington’s concerns over the functioning of the council, but it wants to remain a member to take part in its reform.
The US on Wednesday withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling it hypocritical and self-serving and accusing it of political bias against Israel.
ANO’s prime minister-designate Andrej Babiš will not announce the names
of the ministers in his planned cabinet until after a meeting between
President Miloš Zeman and the Social Democrats’s choice nominee for the
foreign affairs portfolio, Miroslav Poche. That’s according to Communist
leader Vojtěch Filip, who was speaking prior to a meeting with Mr. Babiš
on Tuesday evening.
ANO and the Social Democrats are attempting to form a minority coalition supported by the Communists on key votes. However, ANO, the Communists and the president are against Mr. Poche’s nomination. Mr. Zeman is due to meet Mr. Poche and other cabinet nominees on Friday.
The Social Democrats’ leader Jan Hamáček and Mr. Babiš also met on Tuesday evening but refused to comment on their discussion afterwards.
David Pastrňák has been presented with the Golden Hockey Stick for best
Czech ice hockey player of the year for the second time in a row. The
Boston Bruins forward, who is 22, finished ahead of Jakub Voráček of the
Philadelphia Flyers in the annual poll. In 2017 Pastrňák was the youngest
ever recipient of the award.
This year’s was the 50th edition of the Golden Hockey Stick. Jaromír Jágr has won it most times, with 12.
The Czech prime minister designate, Andrej Babiš, says the biggest problem
facing the European Union is illegal migration. He made the comments in a
keynote address at the opening of the three-day Prague European Summit in
the Czech capital.
Mr. Babiš told delegates that problems surrounding migration had led to a rise in political extremism and sparked discord between individual states. He added that the Prague government was ready to play in a role in the fight against illegal migration.
The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, is due to discuss
cabinet positions with the ANO prime minister-designate Andrej Babiš on
Tuesday evening. The parties are planning to enter a minority coalition
propped up by the Communists. However, Mr. Babiš has rejected the Social
Democrats nominee for minister of foreign affairs, Miroslav Poche.
Mr. Babiš has not revealed his own party’s list of candidates for ministerial portfolios and Mr. Hamáček said he would be keen to hear those names from the ANO leader. The Social Democrats leader says he hopes to resolve the dispute over Mr. Poche within a week.
President Miloš Zeman and the Communists are also against the appointment of Mr. Poche as foreign policy chief.
The acting Czech government has approved a major overhaul of the
country’s census system. Under the changes the Czech Statistics Office
will acquire most of the data it requires about citizens from public
registers or via the internet. The remaining information will be obtained
by Czech Post.
The changes stem from rules for the next census, due in 2021, rubberstamped by the cabinet on Tuesday morning.
Whereas in 2011 Czechs had to provide 47 pieces of information in three years’ time they will be required to submit 23. Questions on religion, family status or work position may be among those removed by the time the bill becomes law.
Actors Tim Robbins and Anna Paquin and director Terry Gilliam have been
revealed as special guests at the 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary
International Film Festival, which begins on Friday next week. They join
previously announced guests such as Barry Levinson and Richard Linklater,
who are both directors.
Terry Gilliam will introduce his latest movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Tim Robbins will present Bob Roberts and Cradle Will Rock, two films he directed; the Hollywood star will also perform a concert with his band at the festival.
The acting Czech government has approved an outline state budget for 2019
and a mid-term outlook for the economy for 2020 and 2021, an Office of the
Government spokesperson told reporters. The minister of finance, Alena
Schillerová, said before Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting that there
would be a maximum deficit of CZK 50 billion next year.
The 2019 draft budget envisages increased funding for teachers’ salaries and pensions as well as reduced social welfare benefits. Most ministries can expect more state money, except for the Ministry of Health, which is projected to take in more from health insurers.
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Czech companies struggling with labour shortage