A majority of Prague City Hall councillors have backed an initiative to
install a replica of the Marian Column on Old Town Square.
The Marian Column was torn down in 1918 shortly after Czechoslovakia became independent by people who saw it as a symbol of Habsburg rule.
Previous municipal governments have twice voted not to erect a replica. But on Thursday, most representatives of the United Forces for Prague coalition (Spojené síly pro Prahu), Civic Democrats and ANO parties, backed the idea.
The proposal was submitted by Jan Wolf (Christian Democrats) together with Jiří Pospíšil and Jan Chabr (both of TOP 09).
Sculptor Petr Váňa, who has been working on a copy of the Prague Marian Column for over 20 years, last summer attempted to place part of a balustrade on the site of the original.
About 67 percent of adults in the Czech Republic believe same-sex couples
should be able to marry, according to a poll conducted by the Median agency
in November and December.
That represents a slight increase in public support for letting gays and lesbians marry, rather than just have registered partnerships.
Nearly 78 percent of respondents agreed homosexuals should be able to adopt a child of their partners, and 62 percent that they should be able to adopt children from institutional care.
Last year, 15 percent of respondents polled by Media were firmly against legislation allowing same-sex marriages, up from 10 percent in 2018.
Forty-six MPs from six different political groups last year submitted an amendment to the Civil Code that would permit same-sex marriages.
Czech agricultural authorities plan to give permits to farmers to use
Stutox II, a rat poison, to combat an infestation of voles in fields,
orchards, meadows and vineyards.
Last summer, the Ministry of Agriculture put a ban on the poison’s blanket use after the Ministry of Environment warned it poses a threat to birds and other animals, including pets.
Now, only areas with five times the so-called harmful threshold of voles can apply for permits to use Stutox II. The authorities expect the first permits will be issued by late February.
A controversial order for the electronic motorway vignette in the Czech
Republic has been officially cancelled, Industry and Trade Minister Karel
Havlíček, announced on Thursday.
The 400 million crown contract, deemed overpriced by experts, had been awarded to Asseco Central without a tender.
Vladimír Kremlík was also formally dismissed from his post as Ministry of Transport, effective on Thursday, over the matter.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Monday he was considering merging the ministries of Transport and Industry and Trade. For the moment, Havlíček is in charge of the portfolio.
Škoda Auto unions fear partial production of the Fabia model could shift
to Seat, a Spanish subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, with the departure
of that company’s CEO, Luca de Meo.
Production of the Superb model in the Czech Republic is also still in jeopardy, Škoda trade union head Jaroslav Povšík is quoted as in the union weekly, saying it may move to Turkey.
Škoda Auto is the biggest Czech car producer and country’s top exporter. It raised its domestic production by 2.5 percent to 670,156 cars in the first nine months of 2019.
China’s Hainan Airlines is halting regular direct flights from Beijing to
Prague starting in March, Czech Foreign Ministry officials have confirmed.
Hainan Airlines gave no reason for the disruption. But bilateral relations have cooled significantly in recent months following a series of diplomatic spats.
Earlier in January, Prague signed a sister city agreement with the Taiwanese capital Taipei – after having scrapped one with Beijing in a dispute over a clause therein regarding the “One China” policy in October.
President Miloš Zeman, who has pushed for closer ties with Beijing, says he will not attend China's “17+1” summit being in April unless the country is ready to sign new deals with Czech entrepreneurs on specific projects.
Firefighters are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out on
Wednesday afternoon at a warehouse used by Prague’s famous film studio
It took six crews to extinguish the fire, which consumed some set decorations and construction materials. The full extent of the damage has not yet been reported.
Moscow authorities have given PPF Group, controlled by Czech billionaire
Petr Kellner, permission to build 1,500 flats in the Russian capital.
Separately, PPF is moving ahead with its mixed-use Comcity project in south-west Moscow, which will include two office buildings and a four-star Novotel hotel.
PPF now has six real estate projects underway or completed in Russia, including the Metropolis Administration Center and the South Gate Industrial Park in Moscow.
The Czech Republic has significantly worsened its standing in watchdog
Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index for 2019.
Under TI’s criteria, the country picked up 56 points compared to 59 in 2018, falling from 38th to 44th spot in the ranking of 180 countries. In Europe, the Czech Republic dropped to 19th spot from last years’ 16th, lagging behind the EU average by eight points.
According to Transparency International, the drop is caused by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ alleged conflict of interest stemming from the multi-billion crown agro-chemical empire Agrofert he owned and later placed in trust funds and EU subsidies to the said holding.
Transparency International’s annual Index has rated countries by perceived levels of corruption since 1995 on a scale of 0 to 2100, with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean.
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