The Czech political scene is divided over the nomination of German defence
minister Ursula von der Leyen for European Commission president. While
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš hailed the nomination as a great success
for the Visegrad Four group, opposition Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartoš
said the vote had side-lined democratically nominated candidates. He also
criticised Mrs von der Leyen for not trying to appeal to voters beyond
Civic Democrat chairman Petr Fiala has welcomed the choice of the German minister over the Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans. He also expressed his hope that under her leadership, the European Union would be less activist and listen more closely to the individual EU member states.
Italian MEP David-Maria Sassoli became the President of the European
Parliament in the second round of the vote. Czech MEP Jan Zahradil of the
Civic Democrats, a candidate of the European Conservatives and Reformists
(ECR) group, finished a distant second.
Zahradil’s loss means that Central and Eastern Europe lost its theoretical chance to gain one of the top EU posts for the next five-year term. Still, Mr Zahradil said after the vote that he regarded the result a success, considering that the conservative ECR group only has 52 MEPs.
The election of the 14 vice-presidents was due to take place on Wednesday afternoon, with Czech MEP Dita Charanzová of the ANO party, a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group, running for one of the posts.
Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has advanced to the third round
of the Wimbledon singles main draw after beating Puerto Rican and 2016
Olympic gold medallist Monica Puig 6-0, 6-4.
Karolína Muchová has also advanced to the third round of the women’s singles, after defeating Madison Brengle of the U.S: 6-3, 6-4. In the men’s singles, Jiří Veselý defeated Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 4-6, 7-6, 6-4.
The European Union should be more flexible in allocating money to member
states and should take their individual needs into greater account, Czech
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his Maltese counterpart, Joseph Muscat,
agreed at a meeting in Prague on Wednesday.
Mr Babiš said that it was important for the Czech Republic to have its own say on how to use the EU funding it receives.
The two politicians also welcomed the outcome of the EU summit and expressed the hope that the European Parliament will confirm the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen as the European Commission president.
The Czech Federation of Jewish Communities recorded 347 anti-Semitic
incidents, which is more than in the previous years, the Czech News Agency
reported on Wednesday.
While physical attacks and discrimination remain uncommon, the incidence of anti-Semitic hate speech on the Internet is on the rise. Nearly 93 percent of all cases reported happened on the Internet, mainly on extreme right and anti-liberal websites.
According to the report, the Czech Republic still remains a relatively safe country in comparison to other central and western European countries.
Night-time temperatures dropped below zero in some parts of the Czech Republic. The lowest temperature, minus 2.3 degrees Celsius, was recorded at Jizerka in the Jizera Mountains in the north of the country. Freezing temperatures were also registered in the Šumava Mountains in the south west and in Krušné hory in the north-west.
Czech documentary film director Helena Třeštíková has been invited to
become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which
hands out the annual Academy Awards, known as The Oscars.
The Academy this year invited altogether 842 new members from 59 countries, including the singer Lady Gaga and actress Elisabeth Moss and director Christopher Miller. Czech actors and stuntmen Ladislav Lahoda and Pavel Cajzl were nominated to join the Oscar Academy’s Members-At-Large category.
The ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would win elections to the
lower house of Parliament with 32.5 percent of the vote, down by 1.5
percentage point since April, according to the results of an opinion poll
conducted by the STEM agency, published on Wednesday.
The Pirate Party is up by 4.5 percentage points since the last STEM survey
with 15.6 percent of the vote, closely followed by the centre-right Civic
Democrats, with 13.1 percent.
The Freedom and Direct Democracy Party finished in the fourth place, followed by the Communist Party, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has welcomed the outcome of the EU summit and
the compromise choice of Germany's Ursula von der Leyen as the nominee
for European Commission president.
Following three days of tortuous negotiations in Brussels, in which the Visegrad Four states fiercely opposed the nomination of the EC’s first vice president and the European Socialists Spitzenkandidat Franz Timmermans, Prime Minister Babiš said that he appreciated the compromise solution reached and the fact that the choice of candidates for key posts had received close to unanimous support.
The Czech Prime Minister said Ursula von der Leyen was an experienced conservative politician who understood Central Europe and the Visegrad region which would facilitate future negotiations. He said he hoped her nomination would be confirmed by the European Parliament and that Czech MEPs would support her.
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