The Social Democrats say they will accept Andrej Babiš as prime minister
despite him facing criminal charges of abusing EU subsidies if their party
gets the post of minister of finance or interior in a coalition with Mr.
Babiš’s ANO. Following further talks on Tuesday evening between the
parties on forming a minority government, representatives said a number of
issues remained to be resolved between them.
ANO are offering the Social Democrats four seats in cabinet but the latter are demanding five. Other sticking points include various aspects of taxation.
Winners ANO received almost 30 percent of the vote in elections in October. The Social Democrats got less than 7.7 percent and finished sixth.
There have been suggestions the two parties could create a minority government supported by the Communist Party during important votes.
If the Social Democrats insist on ANO leader Andrej Babiš not heading a
coalition of the two parties then there is no point holding talks on
forming a government, ANO’s Jaroslav Faltýnek said on Tuesday. Social
Democrats chairman Jan Hamáček said that his party wished to discuss Mr.
Babiš’s remaining in government as they have issues with the fact he is
facing criminal charges of abusing EU subsidies.
Mr. Faltýnek said Mr. Babiš was ANO’s only candidate for prime minister. The winning party received almost 30 percent of the vote in elections in October. The Social Democrats got less than 7.5 percent and finished sixth.
There have been suggestions the two groupings could form a minority government supported by the Communists during key votes.
US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan delivered an address to the
Czech Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday afternoon. During the speech, the
senior Republican said that Russia was spreading disinformation and seeking
to undermine the alliance between Prague and Washington. He also praised
the Czech Republic’s decision to expel Russian diplomats and praised
cooperation between the country and the US within the framework of NATO.
Prior to his address Mr. Ryan and the speaker of the Czech lower house, Radek Vondráček, signed a joint declaration that referred to America’s part in the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The US politician has been in Prague on a three-day private visit.
The remodelling of the upper part of Prague’s Wenceslas Square could
begin in 2020 or 2021, councillor Jan Wolf told the Czech News Agency. The
cost of carrying out the project is estimated at up to CZK 1.7 billion, Mr.
The renovation will follow a plan created back in 2005 by Cigler-Marani Architects. Work has already begun on improving the lower half of Prague’s main thoroughfare.
Police raided Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior buildings in
Prague on Tuesday, Euro.cz reported. The news site said that the operation
was linked to contracts for computer programmes. The raids were carried out
in conjunction with the Military Police and the national organised crime
squad and were overseen by the Supreme State Attorney.
A representative of the Supreme State Attorney’s office told Euro.cz that the operation had included raids on sites relating to the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff of the Czech Army and the Police Presidium. No charges have yet been made, the news site reported.
The conceptual artist Kateřina Šedá has unveiled plans for a new project
aimed at countering the predominance of tourists in the South Bohemian town
of Český Krumlov. Šedá is seeking to hire a number of families to live
in the historical centre for three months in the summer and “visibly
pursue normal life in the streets of the town”, iDnes.cz reported on
Entitled UNES-CO, the project is part of the Czech Republic’s entry in Venice’s Architecture Biennale.
Heavy tourism means that few locals now live or spend much time in the centre of Český Krumlov.
The Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy’s plan to sell off its global
property portfolio does not relate to assets in the Czech Republic, a
spokesperson for the company’s European branch told the Czech News Agency
on Tuesday. Bloomberg had earlier reported that CEFC was set to offload the
entirety of its property portfolio around the world.
CEFC has investments of CZK 38 billion in the Czech Republic and employs over 4,000 people in the country. As well as owning numerous Prague properties it controls Slavia Prague football club and brewers Pivovary Lobkowicz.
CEFC’s founder, who has served as an advisor to Czech President Miloš Zeman, was recently arrested.
Karolína Plíšková has reached the fourth round at tennis’s Miami
Open. The Czech women’s number one and world number six overcame Zarina
Diyas of Kazakhstan, who withdrew from their third round match in the
second set. Plíšková will face Victoria Arazenka of Belarus for a place
in the semi-finals in Miami.
Her compatriot Petra Kvitová will not reach that stage of the tournament after a fourth round exit to Jelena Ostapenko on Monday.
The country’s defense minister Karla Šlechtová has backed President
Miloš Zeman’s task for the counterintelligence service BIS to
investigate whether the Czech Republic ever produced or stored the deadly
nerve agent novichok. The minister said the decision was not redundant and
expressed the hope it would confirm earlier information released.
Novichok was used in an attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter in Great Britain recently, drawing a sharp response from the EU, the US and Canada on Monday, in the expulsion of more than 100 Russian diplomats.
Earlier, Russia listed several states including the Czech Republic as possible countries linked to the nerve agent, which drew a sharp response from the Czech government and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš himself on Monday.
Novichok was developed in the former Soviet Union in the 1970s.
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