The tunnel on the proposed high-speed railway between Prague and Dresden is
set to be designed by the German passenger rail company Deutsche Bahn,
according to an agreement on Thursday by Czech transport minister Dan Ťok
and his Saxon counterpart Martin Dulig.
The high-speed railway between Prague and Dresden could shorten the travel time to one hour as well as reduce heavy traffic through the Elbe valley. The construction of the new high-speed line is expected to start around 2030 and its costs are estimated as five billion euros.
Chief of the civilian intelligence service Jiří Šašek has been
suspended from duty, the Minister of Interior, Lubomír Metnar, announced
at a press conference on Thursday.
The dismissal of Mr Šašek, who has headed the Office for Foreign Relations and Information since July 2014, is connected with the investigation into the service’s financial management. The office will be temporarily headed by Mr Šašek’s deputy Radek Musílek.
Senators from the opposition Mayors and Independents Party want to propose
a treason charge against President Miloš Zeman over his claim that the
nerve-gas Novichok had been produced and tested in the Czech Republic.
The party’s senators’ club announced the news at a press conference on
Thursday, adding that by disclosing classified information from a military
intelligence report, the president has threatened the security of Czech
Mayors and Independents have 12 deputies in the Senate, while the constitutional complaint must be presented by at least one-third of the 81 senators. To accept the motion, a three-fifths majority is needed in the Senate. It must be also be confirmed by three-fifths of all members of the Chamber of Deputies or at least 120 of them.
Czech former world number one woman tennis player Karolína Plíšková is
likely to face a fine after a temper tantrum when she exited the second
round of the Italian Open in Rome.
At the end of her 6:3, 3:6, 5:7 loss to Greece’s Maria Sakkari, Plíšková went to the net and instead of shaking hands smashed her racket at the umpire’s chair three times, leaving a visible hole.
The sixth seed had a number of clashes with the umpire during the match but she appeared particular incensed when a smash was called out during a crucial point of the final set.
Czech Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček says the party’s Prague
membership appears to be in favour of taking part in a minority coalition
government with ANO. Hamáček’s comments followed a meeting with party
leaders on Wednesday. He added that the Prague atmosphere reflected that in
Hamáček has backed being the junior party in a coalition dominated by the ANO party of Andrej Babiš and supported by the communist party in parliament. But the final decision will be taken during a referendum of the party membership which will be completed in June.
Hamáček on Thursday is expected to communicate the names of the party’s proposed Cabinet ministers to president Miloš Zeman. The future foreign minister is tipped to be influential Prague party member and member of the European Parliament Miroslav Poche.
The Palestinian authority in the West Bank has announced it will withdraw
its ambassador from the Czech Republic and three other European countries,
Austria, Romania, and Hungary. The move is a response to representatives
from the countries attending a reception to mark the opening of the US
embassy in Jerusalem.
The Czech foreign ministry said that it had noted the move but would not be taking reciprocal action. Prague has said it will by the end of the month open an honorary consulate in Jerusalem and a so-called Czech House for cultural exchanges by the end of the year.
Czech defence minister Karla Šlechtová has warned that she does not
necessarily have to be in a new government headed by current prime minister
and ANO leader Andrej Babiš.
Šlechtová’s comments follow revelations in Wednesday’s edition of the daily Lidové Noviny that she paid hundreds of thousands of crowns for the use of the VIP airport lounges at Prague’s airport in her previous post as minister for regional development.
Šlechtová has accused the newspaper, which is owned by Babiš, of waging a campaign against her.
The minister was in recent months frequently floated as an alternative ANO leader who might be tasked with creating a new government if Babiš failed.
The number of Russian tourists visiting the Czech Republic is expected to
rebound this year according to the state tourist promotion office, Czech
It now predicts that around 600,000 Russians will visit the country. That compares with a drop to 548,000 in 2017. The record for Russian visitors was in 2013 when the total number of visitors was estimated at around 800,000.
One problem highlighted by the tourism office is the time taken to get visas, usually around a week whereas it is sometimes to three days in other countries.
ANO deputy leader Richard Brabec has said that communist party reservations
about Czech army foreign missions abroad could be dealt with on an
Brabec was responding to the threat from the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia that it would not support the proposed minority coalition government of ANO and the Social Democrats if a policy pledge to boost foreign missions remains. Communist party leaders said they had problems about increased 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.
Negotiations between party leaders are expected to take place Thursday. The support of 15 communist members of parliament is needed for the minority coalition in the lower house.
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