Czech-German business cooperation, European issues and the possible impacts
of the trade war between the US and China topped the agenda of President
Zeman’s talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.
The German president said that as neighbours and EU members the Czech Republic and Germany were closer than ever and had a joint responsibility in helping to overcome the drawn-out European crisis and preventing another division of Europe into East and West.
During talks with Angela Merkel President Zeman praised Czech-German business ties, but criticized US protectionist measures, saying a trade war would benefit no one and could spark a new global crisis. He was also critical of the sanctions against Iran, saying Czech firms were interested in doing business with the country.
President Zeman said the talks with German officials had been friendly and constructive and migration issues had only been discussed marginally.
Observers noted that for the first time Czech-German top-level talks dealt exclusively with present-day issues and did not dwell on the past.
The Probation Service has begun putting electronic bracelets into operation
for convicts allowed to serve sentences outside of prison. A defect in the
monitoring devices delivered in an earlier tender had scuppered a previous
Despite two general amnesties and efforts over the past decade to promote alternative sentences, such as house arrest and work-release programmes, the Czech penal system remains at overcapacity.
In 2016 there were 203 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants in the country, about 25 more than in other post-communist EU countries, at twice as many as in Austria and Germany, where alternative sentencing is common.
Bells in Czech churches, town halls and other historic buildings will ring
out on Friday evening from 6:00 to 6:15 on the occasion of the
International Day of Peace.
In Europe, the Czech Republic and more than a dozen other countries will ring bells simultaneously to commemorate the end of World War I a century ago, and the start and end of the Thirty Years’ War in the year 1618.
Slavia Prague defeated French team Girondins Bordeaux at home crowd 1: 0 on
Thursday evening in the opening match of the Europa League group stage.
Czech midfielder Jaromír Zmrhal, who scored the only goal of the match, described it as the most beautiful one of his career. Meanwhile, Jablonec lost 2:1 to French side Stade Rennes.
An exhibition about the Roma in Czechoslovakia has opened in the New Town
Hall in Prague. Sections of it examine the life of the Romani minority
during the First Republic, the Nazi occupation, under the communist regime,
and after Velvet Revolution of 1989.
The travelling exhibition will be on display in Prague until November 10th, after which it will be shown in other big Czech and Slovak cities.
The Czech Republic should stand up for Hungary in its dispute with the
European Union, not only because it is a close ally, but because the Czechs
themselves could one day find themselves in a similar position, President
Zeman said in an interview for commercial TV Barrandov on Thursday.
The Czech head of state criticized the European Parliament’s decision to launch a procedure against Hungary over its alleged breach of core EU values.
Mr. Zeman said Hungary was defending itself against pressures to conform and the other countries of the Visegrad group – the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia – could find themselves in a similar situation in the future.
Twenty-eight senators have sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej
Babis urging him to take steps enabling the Czech Republic to admit 50
Syrian orphans from overcrowded camps in Greece.
The signatories of the letter say that orphans in need deserve unconditional and immediate help and the Czech Republic should be among the countries offering this kind of assistance.
Among the signatories is the Speaker of the upper chamber Milan Štěch of the Social Democrats.
The prime minister earlier rejected the idea of taking in 50 orphans saying the country was not ready to accept migrants and this case was no different.
The popular Czech music awards Český slavík - or the Czech Nightingale
–will not be held this year, the daily Právo reported, citing Jaroslav
Těšinský of the Musica Bohemica agency organizing the event.
The winners of the competition are chosen in a public poll and the organizers want to set down new rules and prevent the present system on online voting from being abused.
This is being done at the instigation of the competition’s main sponsor Mattoni after last year’s results in the best band category were questioned.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in an interview for the BBC that he was
“very unhappy” that the U.K. is leaving the bloc and he would like to
see the country hold another referendum that might overturn the result.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat expressed a similar position.
Speaking to EU leaders in Salzburg British prime minister Theresa May, ruled out such a possibility, saying the U.K. would not push back the deadline in negotiations or hold another referendum on Brexit.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott