Jan Hamáček was re-elected leader of the Social Democratic Party at a
two-day election conference in Hradec Kralové on Friday. Hamáček, who
has led the party since February 2018, ran unchallenged. The candidates for
the remaining five deputy posts include Foreign Minister Tomáš
Petříček, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Maláčová and deputy
chair of the lower house Tomáš Hanzel.
Foreign Minister Petříček, whose pro-European policy has come under fire from the Communist Party and President Miloš Zeman, said earlier that if he was not elected to a deputy post he would consider quitting as foreign minister.
According to the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body GRECO (Group of
States against Corruption) the Czech Republic has not fully complied with
any of the agency’s last 14 recommendations with regard to fighting
corruption in politics and the judiciary.
In its latest compliance report on the Czech Republic, GRECO says that only around half of the recommended measures have been implemented in some degree and urges the authorities to rectify matters by June 30th of this year.
Among the recommendations made were moves aimed at securing greater transparency as regards the activities of parliamentary committees and individual members of Parliament, making available information regarding meetings with lobby groups, setting down rules about gifts received and so on.
Several MEPs have issued a joint statement criticizing the European
Commission for allegedly back- peddling on a planned expansion of the
Prague-based European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA)
which runs the EU’s satellite navigation programmes.
Czech MEP Evžen Tošenovsky said the EC had made a last minute U-turn on the planned expansion, agreed on by representatives of the EC itself, the European Parliament and individual member states and was now blocking the deal.
The EC said shortly after the agreement was concluded that it had strong reservations about a number of points and did not consider the negotiated compromise final.
At present, GSA is responsible for the EU's Galileo satellite navigation system. In line with the agreement reached this week its scope would be extended to include also the Copernicus European system for monitoring the Earth.
Czech veterinary inspectors say they have traced a delivery of poultry from
Poland that is infected with the Salmonella virus.
The shipment of 1,200kg of poultry from the firm Inter-Natural 2000 was reportedly delivered to restaurants and canteens in the Hradec Králové, Zlín and Olomouc regions.
It is not yet clear how much of it has already been consumed.
The Czech Veterinary Authority introduced strict controls on all beef imports from Poland last week after deliveries of over 2 tons tested positive for Salmonella.
Addressing the Social Democrats election conference, President Miloš Zeman
said he would give the party his vote in the upcoming European elections.
He praised the party for its decision to enter into a coalition with the ANO party rather than resorting to what he described as “a more comfortable role in the opposition”.
The president gave his full backing to party leader Jan Hamáček who, he said, had not put a foot wrong in office so far, but criticized Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, saying that his election to a deputy post would be “repeating past mistakes”.
Zeman said the party had capable politicians, but did not always make good use of their potential.
The National Museum in Prague re-opened to the public on Friday after a
month-long temporary closure. Visitors will have the chance to access the
dome, which offers a spectacular view of Wenceslas Square, as well as the
The newly-renovated historical building symbolically re-opened to the public on October 28th on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia, after being closed for seven years.
Nearly 300,000 people visited the National Museum before the end of the year, when admission was free of charge.
Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib has announced that he is scheduled to meet with
the head of the Tibetan government in exile Lobsang Sangay, who will be in
the Czech capital to attend the opening of the One World International
Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. The meeting will take place on
Prague City Hall will also for the first time take part in the Flags for Tibet initiative, expressing support for Tibetan independence. Tibetan flags will be hoisted on two of Prague City Hall's buildings from March 8 to 11.
The spell of unseasonably warm weather broke records around the country on
Thursday. Ninety-six measuring stations that have been keeping records for
more than 30 years saw their warmest ever temperature for the day.
The highest temperature – 18.8 degrees Celsius, was registered in Kobylí in the Břeclav region. Temperatures are set to get colder on Friday as cloud and rain move in.
Czech President Miloš Zeman attended a meeting of heads of state of the
Bucharest Nine, the countries making up the eastern flank of NATO, hosted
by Slovak president in Košice on Thursday. The main objective of the
meeting, which was also attended by NATO Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg, was to commemorate the 70th anniversary of NATO and to discuss
the current security situation in Europe and its neighbourhood.
During the meeting with his counterparts, Czech President Miloš Zeman defended the military mission in Afghanistan, head of the president's foreign policy team Rudolf Jindrák wrote in Twitter.
Following a bilateral meeting with Mr Stoltenberg, Slovak president Andrej Kiska said it was crucial to discuss defence and security in peacetime, since it was the obligation of any government to provide security for its citizens.
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