On Friday afternoon Prime Minister Babiš is to hold talks with Austrian
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna. The two heads of cabinet are to
discuss Austria’s upcoming EU presidency, the debate on a new EU budget,
migration and bilateral relations.
On Sunday, the Czech prime minister will visit Finland for talks with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila.
Mr. Babiš has stressed the need for the Czech Republic to be more vocal in the EU and more active in defending the country’s interests as well as seeking new allies in the bloc.
Attending the Globsec Security Forum in Bratislava on Friday, Czech Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš criticized the concept of a two-speed European
The Czech prime minister said that the fact that different EU member states needed to go at their own pace in reaching the common goal should not be a divisive factor and should not be allowed to impede the functioning of the common market.
Babiš argued that an elite club would only undermine EU unity and that debates relating to the future of the European Union should be open to all members, without regard to their economic pace and degree of integration.
The Social Democratic Party leadership meets on Friday to agree on its
ministerial line-up in the emerging coalition government with ANO. Under
the agreement reached, the Social Democrats should be in charge of the
ministry of the interior, foreign affairs, labour, agriculture and the
Although the Social Democrats and ANO are finalizing the details of the new coalition government, the agreement could still be scuppered by a referendum in the Social Democratic Party which is to vote on whether to enter into a coalition with ANO. The result of the vote should be made public in mid-June.
The Chinese consortium CEFC has protested against the financial group
J&T’s decision to take control of CEFC Europe after the latter failed
to pay back a debt on time.
J&T said on Thursday it had taken over shareholder rights and installed crisis management at CEFC Europe, the Czech-based part of the troubled Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy.
CEFC’s Czech representative Jaroslav Tvrdik said on Friday that CEFC China Energy would meet all the company’s commitments and had pledged to send 475 million euro to its Prague account by 2pm on Friday.
The Senate on Thursday approved the planned reinforcement of some of the
current military missions abroad as well as presence of new troops in the
Baltics. However, the missions are yet to be approved by the lower house,
the Chamber of Deputies, whose defence committee did not issue any
recommendation last week.
Communist party leaders said last week they had a problem with increased Czech participation in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the possibility of the Czech army playing a role in a NATO rapid reaction force in the Baltic States.
They have warned that they could refuse to support a proposed ANO-Social Democrat minority coalition government if the missions are boosted.
In ice hockey, the Czechs lost their quarter final world championships duel with the United States 2:3 on Thursday night. The result means that the Czechs will leave the championships for the sixth time in a row without a medal. Although the Czechs put up a fight and evened the score in the second period, the US team's Captain Patrick Kane found the net for a second time seven minutes into the third.
Prague City Hall will announce a public tender for the renovation of the
bottom part of Wenceslas Square, city councillors decided on Thursday. The
cost of the project is estimated at 250 million crowns.
The plan by the Cigler-Marani studio, which was approved by city hall in autumn last year, envisages a traffic-free zone with more greenery more space for pedestrians, and a wider promenade, with car traffic severely restricted.
A collection of CDs marking the legacy of the world-renowned Czech
conductor Jiří Bělohlávek will be released by Supraphon in June this
year, the Czech record label announced on Thursday. The Music and Artistic
Director of the Czech Philharmonic died last year at the age of 71.
Mr. Bělohlávek has also served as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and has collaborated with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, and the Vienna State Opera, among others.
The series of CDs, entitled Recollection, will contain a selection of recordings made by Jiří Bělohlávek for Supraphon between the years 1971 and 2016. It will include pieces by Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček and many others.
The European Union should provide the six West Balkan states with a
calendar concerning their accession to the EU, outgoing Czech prime
minister Andrej Babiš said at an EU summit in Sophia, Bulgaria, on
Mr Babiš said the Czech Republic, along with other V4 countries, including Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, were critical towards the EU for not providing the West Balkan states with any specific dates. He also said the countries’ membership of the EU was in the best interest of the whole Europe.
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