Following foreign policy consultations at Prague Castle on Wednesday,
senior state officials expressed support for the idea to move the
country’s diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying that the
opening of a Czech House in the holy city should be a first step in this
The president, prime minister, lower house speaker and foreign and defense ministers also concluded that the European Union’s trade sanctions against Russia are justified and the reasons why they were introduced remain valid. This despite the fact that President Zeman has long opposed the sanctions on the grounds that they are ineffective.
The country’s senior officials also upheld the Czech stance against admission of migrants and stressed that the migrant crisis needs to be resolved in the countries of origin.
The sale of fair trade products has seen a steep rise in the Czech
Republic, the ctk news agency reports. The sale of cocoa saw a rise of 132
percent year-on-year, the sale of cotton was up by 68 percent, and coffee
sales rose by 16 percent.
According to the head of Fair Trade Czech Republic and Slovakia, the former sister states are way ahead of other post-communist countries in developing a market for fair trade products, and establishing shops and coffee houses which specialize in them.
The police authorities in Moravia have warned against a dangerous
consignment of synthetic marihuana that has appeared in the region.
Six people were hospitalized after taking the drug. A thirty-two-year-old addict died and another is in serious condition.
A homeless woman from Ostrava who also took the drug said she and her friends found several boxes of the substance on a garbage heap.
The police have warned there could be thousands of dozes of the substance in circulation.
IT expert Marek Šimandl was appointed head of the country’s civilian
intelligence agency on Wednesday. He replaces Jiří Šašek who was
dismissed in May of this year following an audit into the service’s
Šimandl previously served as deputy head of the National Cyber and Information Security Agency where he was in charge of cyber security.
Czech central bank governor Jiri Rusnok has said that due to the revved-up
economy the bank was likely to increase interest rates before the end of
the month and then one more time before the end of the year.
In an interview for Reuters Rusnok said he expected a serious debate on a possible interest rate move at a meeting of the bank board on September 26, saying a hike was a strong possibility and there were few arguments against it.
The Czech National Bank has lifted interest rates at its last two policy meetings.
Petr Hájek was named Czech Architect of the Year at a ceremony in Prague
on Tuesday evening. Mr. Hájek, who also teaches architecture, is known for
projects including the renovation of the Archdiocesan Museum in Olomouc and
an educational centre at Krkonošé National Park.
The architect recently designed the renovation of a water tower at Prague’s Letná and an extension to Prague’s DOX art centre.
There will be no representative of the Senate at a planned meeting of
President Miloš Zeman and senior state officials to discuss foreign policy
on Wednesday. Senate speaker Milan Štěch is abroad and unable to attend
and the Office of the President has rejected his proposed deputy, Miluše
Mr. Štěch said turning down Ms. Horská was unfortunate, a mistake and reflected President Zeman’s less than friendly relations with the upper chamber.
The Czech Confederation of Trade Unions has recommended that union
negotiators push for pay rises of seven to nine percent next year. The
issue was discussed at a meeting in Prague on Tuesday attended by around
1,300 delegates from throughout the country.
The confederation’s leader, Josef Středula, said the figures were a guideline and that unions would make pay demands depending on the situation at concrete firms.
Delegates also discussed working conditions, with union leaders saying they plan to press for reduced hours without a cut in earnings.
A former senior figure in Czech diplomacy, Tomáš Prouza, has become
president of the Czech Confederation of Industry and Tourism, the agency
announced on Tuesday. Mr. Prouza was previously the Czech Republic’s
state secretary for European affairs.
The trained economist said that he would work to achieve the best possible conditions for those sectors and to ensure Czechs benefited from being part of the large European market. Mr. Prouza takes up the new post at the start of October.
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