President Miloš Zeman expressed support for Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
“in this complicated time” over a series of protests the latter has
faced recently, Mr. Babiš said after a meeting with the head of state on
Saturday night. The pair also discussed issues surrounding the European
Union and the Czech state budget.
While they had been expected to talk about the situation surround the arts minister’s post, Mr. Zeman had only said he would meet the Social Democrats’ choice for the job, Michal Šmarda, next week, the prime minister said.
Antonín Staněk of the Social Democrats said he would step down as culture minister by the end of May. However, Mr. Zeman refused to accept his resignation and the Social Democrats later called on ANO leader Babiš to dismiss him and resolve the situation by the end of this month.
The coming week will be very hot in the Czech Republic and above-average
temperatures for the time of year are also likely in the first three weeks
of July, according to a regular four-week outlook issued by the Czech
Forecasters say daytime highs in the next week will be markedly higher than the average for the last week of June, reaching well above 30 degrees Celsius several times. Precipitation should be around average for the time of year over the coming month.
The EPGC investment group owned by Czech Daniel Křetínský and Slovak
Patrik Tkáč, has submitted a public offer for the German business group
Metro. Reuters reported that EPGC had said in a press release that it was
offering amounts for shares that valued Metro at EUR 5.8 billion.
The bid is contingent on EPCG reaching sufficient shares to take control of Metro, a spokesperson for the former said.
Reuters said the investment was part of Mr. Křetínský’s strategy of diversifying his holding into the food and retail sectors. He already owns the tabloid Blesk and Sparta football club.
The former Czech football goalkeeper Petr Čech has been appointed
technical and performance adviser at English club Chelsea, where he enjoyed
the greatest successes of his playing career. Čech, who retired at the end
of last season, won 13 trophies with Chelsea, including the Champions
League and four Premier League titles.
The 37-year-old said he was very privileged to have the chance to rejoin the London club and help continue the success it has had in the last 15 years.
Saturday is the 30th anniversary of the publication of the dissident A Few
Sentences manifesto in the then illegal newspaper Lidové noviny, on June
22, 1989. The document demanded the end of criminalisation of
Czechoslovakia’s opposition, the release of political prisoners and the
lifting of a ban on public gatherings.
A Few Sentences is considered to have been officially declared on June 27, when its text was broadcast on Radio Free Europe. Over the coming months it was signed by around 40,000 people, making it the biggest action of its kind. Communism fell in Czechoslovakia five months later.
The minister of transport, Vladimír Kremlík, says annual stamps allowing
motorists to use the country’s motorways will not increase in price until
the main D1 motorway is completed. The ANO appointee made the comment on
Twitter. Under current plans road works on the D1 should be completed by
2021. Motorway stamps currently cost CZK 1,500.
Earlier this week ANO MP Martin Kolovratník proposed increasing the price to CZK 2,000. This would be unfair toward drivers, Mr. Kremlík said.
The Social Democrats say all of the party’s MPs will vote against an
opposition motion of no confidence in their coalition government with ANO
next Wednesday, Czech Television reported. However, the coalition’s
junior partner have set conditions for remaining in power with ANO.
The Social Democrats want the 2020 state budget to allow for the fulfillment of their programme targets, guaranteed independence of the judiciary and the resolution of the situation surrounding the minister of culture. The party’s occupant of that post had his resignation rejected by the president, who is due to hold talks with their nominee to replace next week.
The opposition has called the no-confidence vote over a European Commission preliminary audit that found Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in conflict of interest.
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are due to discuss
the situation surrounding the minister of culture in a meeting at the
president’s Lány residence on Saturday evening.
Antonín Staněk of junior coalition partners the Social Democrats said he would step down as arts chief by the end of May. However, Mr. Zeman refused to accept his resignation and the Social Democrats later called on ANO leader Babiš to dismiss him and resolve the situation by the end of June.
The president has said he will hold talks with the Social Democrats’ new choice for the post, Michal Šmarda, next week.
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