The flow of illegal migrants to Germany through the Czech Republic has
dropped since March, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats)
told the Czech News Agency, following a weekend meeting between German and
Czech police officials.
Hamáček, who is currently also acting as the Czech foreign minister, credited increased cooperation between the countries’ police forces for stemming the tide. He did not provide specific figures. But his overall assessment contradicted that of Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, who said the traffic was on the rise and has called for the Schengen border between Slovenia and Croatia to be protected by its own Frontex mission.
Most illegal migrants travelling on the so-called Balkan Route pass through Slovenia and Austria before arriving in Germany.
The Czech external trade balance in goods ended in a surplus of 6.9 billion
crowns in May, down 8.2 billion crowns in annual terms, according to
preliminary data published by the Czech Statistical Office on Monday.
Year−on−year, the total balance was unfavourably influenced mainly by a decrease of surplus in 'motor vehicles' and a larger deficit in 'coke and refined petroleum products', 'other transport equipment' and 'chemicals and chemical products'. A lower deficit in 'computer, electronic and optical products' had the main positive effect on the total trade balance.
From January to May, the trade balance surplus reached 80.9 billion crowns, a decrease of 13.2 billion crowns in annual terms. From the start of 2018, exports decreased by 2.6% year-on-year and imports increased by 0.6%.
Cardinal Dominik Duka, the archbishop of Prague, has called the incoming
ANO-Social Democrat coalition government’s plans to tax restituted church
property "scandalous" and pledged to sue in court to prevent it
Under a 2012 agreement on compensating churches for property seized by the Communists, over a period of 30 years the churches would receive 75 billion crowns worth of land and property and nearly 60 billion crowns in compensation.
The Communists have conditioned their support for the minority coalition government of Prime Minister Andrei Babiš, which faces a confidence vote on July 11, on its support for the tax.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said his centrist ANO party and the
centre-left Social Democrats plan to sign a coalition agreement on Tuesday,
and the Communists will sign a separate agreement the same day to tolerate
his minority government.
Mr Babiš will hold a confidence vote on Wednesday. ANO and the Social Democrats have only 93 seats in the 200-member lower house of Parliament and so will need the support of the Communists to win the vote.
Thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts rode through Prague on Saturday in
a Bikers' Parade to mark the 115th anniversary of the founding of the
iconic American motorcycle company.
An estimated 60,000 bikers, mainly from Europe, came to the Czech capital for the celebration, which includes a four-day exhibition at the Výstaviště fairgrounds in Holešovice that wraps up on Sunday.
“Smetana's Litomyšl”, an annual international opera festival
celebrating the works of Czech composer Bedřich Smetana, sold more than
29,000 tickets, a new record.
Now in its 60th year, the eclectic festival is a paradise for classical music lovers but also features everything from jazz to folk music.
Festival director Jan Pikna said there were 41 shows over the 24 days of the festival. Counting all visitors, including those who came to see free accompanying programmes, more than 35,000 attended, he said.
Minister of Justice Taťána Malá (ANO) should probably resign if it is
proven that she plagiarised sections of her university theses, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš said on Saturday. The matter is due to be discussed
on Monday at a party meeting.
Czech Radio reported last week that Ms Malá’s thesis on family law contained uncited passages from another student’s published work and in one instance she even copied text verbatim that included the original typographical errors.
Mr Babiš earlier had said that 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 Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst bark
beetle infestation in at least 200 years. The lower house of Parliament is
due on Tuesday to discuss both emergency and long-term measures to combat
the voracious insect, which kills spruce trees.
The amount of spruce wood damaged by bark beetles has risen steadily in the past few years, from 2 million cubic metres of spruce wood in 2015 to more than 5.5 million cubic metres in 2017. Experts are warning that the nation’s forests could be wiped out if the current monoculture forestry format is not unchanged.
Romanian director Radu Jude was awarded the Crystal Globe for Best Feature
Film at the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for his story of
a director who refuses to compromise with Holocaust deniers.
Jude’s film, entitled “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, conveys a little-known chapter of WWII in which the popular Romanian general Ion Antonescu led a massacre of Jews. It also ingeniously updates Hannah Arendt’s incisive work on the banality of evil.
The Grand Jury also awarded two Special Mentions, one for the Russian co-production film “Jumpman” and one for the Slovenian co-production film “History of Love”. The East of the West Award went to a distinctive debut by Elizaveta Stishova “Suleiman Mountain”, an original account of the life in Kyrgyzstan.
A Special Jury Prize in the East of West Competition was granted to Hungarian film “Blossom Valley”. The new film by Vitaly Mansky “Putin’s Witnesses”, also made in co-production with the Czech Republic, won the Documentary Films Competition. The Documentary Special Jury Prize was awarded to the film “Walden”.
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Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home