Former Czech prime minister and Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka has
announced he will step down as a member of parliament and from top level
politics and will from the start of April just be a member of the party.
Sobotka said on his Facebook and Twitter accounts that he had been
considering the move for several months and that the decision was motivated
by personal reasons. He wanted to devote more time to his family.
The move though has been interpreted in the light of the fact that he opposes the party’s moves to form a government coalition with ANO leader Andrej Babiš.
Sobotka said he would oppose such a coalition in an internal party referendum and had not hidden his opposition in recent weeks.
Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to meet with US House
speaker Paul Ryan in Prague on Monday. The news was confirmed by government
spokeswoman Barbora Peterová on Friday.
The top Republican will arrive in the Czech Republic for a private visit and will stay in the country for a few days, the Czech News Agency reported.
Mr Ryan is scheduled to appear at a student debate at Charles University in Prague and attend a conference in the Senate. He will also visit a special meeting of the lower house of parliament on Tuesday.
Jan Kantůrek, a renowned Czech translator of fantasy, science fiction,
comics and westerns from English, has died at the age of 69. The news was
confirmed on Thursday by the publisher Comics Centre.
Kantůrek’s best known translations include the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, which sold about 800, 000 copies in the Czech Republic. He also translated books about Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard and others.
Five of the six people who were killed in an explosion at a chemical plant
in Kralupy nad Vltavou, north of Prague, on Thursday, were Romanian
nationals. The news was announced by the Romanian foreign ministry, the AFP
agency reported on Friday.
Representatives of the Romanian embassy in the Czech Republic have already visited Prague’s Vinohrady hospital to make sure there are no more Romanian workers among those injured by the blast.
Former national football team captain Tomáš Rosický, who played for the
clubs Sparta Prague, Borussia Dortmund, and Arsenal, will officially end
his professional career at Prague’s Sparta stadium on June 9 of this
The star midfielder will play in a testimonial match at Sparta’s stadium in Prague, featuring fellow players from the national squad and international stars.
Organisers have not released a list of the players yet.
Czech foreign debt climbed during 2017 to stand at 4.372 trillion crowns by
the end of the year. That’s 875 billion crowns more than at the end of
2016, according to figures from the Czech National Bank. The total foreign
debt represents 86.71 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product
Around 72 percent of the Czech foreign debt is owned by private entities with the Czech government, state agencies, and majority owned state companies responsible for the rest. Around 44 percent of the overall debt is held by banks.
Police have confiscated a rare 1990 Czechoslovak postal stamp which was put
on the market after it emerged that it had been stolen during a stamp
exhibition in Tokyo twenty-five years ago. The stamp’s value is estimated
at around three and a half million crowns.
Czech collector Ludvik Pytlíček, who is selling his collection, says he swapped the stamp with another collector and was unaware that it was registered as stolen. The original owner of the stamp was a collector from the Netherlands. The matter is being investigated.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said the Czech Republic may expel a
number of Russian diplomats over the nerve gas attack on a former double
agent and his daughter in Britain.
Mr. Babiš made the statement at the close of an EU summit in Brussels in the early hours of Friday, saying he would discuss this course of action with Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky and other cabinet ministers.
Mr. Babiš earlier stressed the need for EU unity in responding to the incident. He said later that this had not been fully achieved but that several countries will consider expelling diplomats.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Czech prime minister held a short one-on-one meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
The number of foreigners residing in the Czech Republic has risen to
493,400, the highest number in the country’s modern history, the Czech
Statistics Office reported on Thursday.
The largest foreign minorities are Ukrainians, Slovaks and Vietnamese. Together these three nationalities make up more than half of the foreigners living in the country.
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