Over 20,000 homes, predominantly in Central Bohemia, have been left without
power due to strong winds that battered the Czech Republic in the night
Emergency crews have been working around the clock to clear roads and railway lines from fallen trees. A number of rail links have had to be scrapped and Czech Railways has arranged for a bus replacement service.
A high wind warning remains in place throughout the day. No injuries have so far been reported.
The regional council of Central Bohemia has halted an infringement
procedure against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on the grounds of a
complaint regarding a possible conflict of interest.
The news was confirmed by Babiš’ lawyer Václav Knotek, who said the regional council had found no evidence that Andrej Babis had any influence over the companies he had placed in trust funds to meet a strict new conflict of interest law.
A complaint against the prime minister was previously debated by the Černošice council which arrived at the opposite conclusion and meted out a 200,000 crown fine for the offense. Babiš appealed the decision.
The Czech branch of Transparency International filed a complaint with the Černošice council - a small municipality just outside Prague where Babiš lives - because Czech law states that conflict of interest complaints must be registered with the relevant local authority.
The vast majority of Czechs who remember the communist days, say they would
never again queue up to buy goods, according to a poll conducted by the
agency STEM/MARK in connection with the upcoming 30th anniversary of the
fall of communism.
Cues were a regular part of daily life in the communist days, and people stood in line for hours to get goods in short supply or even overnight to buy a colour TV or a car.
Seventy-two percent of respondents over 60 said they would no longer be willing to stand in line more than a few minutes for any kind of goods.
A poll conducted among respondents born after 1989 revealed that only 41 percent of respondents felt so strongly about standing in line. The majority of young people said they could image doing so for something they wanted badly.
Film director Jan Schmidt has died at the age of 85, Czech Television reported citing family sources. Jan Schmidt directed sixteen films between 1960 and 1995, including Late August at the Hotel Ozone (1967),The Lanfier Colony (1969)and The Death of a Talented Cobbler (1983).The also cooperated on Miloš Forman’s Oscar-winning Amadeus.
President Miloš Zeman will continue using Czech-made Skoda cars in office,
the Office of the President reported.
On the occasion of the president’s 75th birthday on Saturday, Skoda Auto representatives presented the head of state with a new, third-generation Skoda Superb. He will also have a new SUV, a Kodiaq, at his disposal.
As Zeman posed for photographers in front of the new Skoda, he reiterated the view that a Czech president should ride in a car made in the Czech Republic.
The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry will ask the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for an analysis of the Czech
Republic’s pension system and a set of ensuing recommendations on reform
which would make it sustainable long-term.
The study should be the basis of a government reform which could be concluded in 2021, the ministry said. Reforming the country’s pension system was one of the government’s stated policy priorities, but no plan for reform has so far been unveiled.
Several hundred people gathered on Brno‘s main square on Saturday to
protest against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Ondřej Zeman, from Steps
Towards Democracy, which organized the event said that although the
investigation of suspected EU subsidy fraud on the part of the prime
minister had been halted, he still clearly had a conflict of interest.
Former constitutional court judge Eliska Wagnerova said that while Babiš may not have committed a crime under the laws of the time, his conduct was not ethically above-board and it was up to the public to decide whether such a man should lead the government.
A plaque was unveiled at Liben railway station in Prague on Saturday in
memory of the East German exodus via the Czech capital in the early autumn
Around 13,000 East Germans who camped out on West German embassy grounds for days, boarded special trains from Liben railway station to West Germany after being granted free passage by the authorities.
The plaque’s unveiling, by the former federal minister for special affairs Rudolf Seiters, who helped negotiate their free passage, was one of a series of events in Prague marking the anniversary of the exodus.
The German Embassy in Prague organized a festival titled The Way to Freedom on the embassy grounds that included panel debates and meetings with former politicians and witnesses of the events.
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