Daily news summary Daily news summary

28-11-2017

ANO leader presents cabinet line-up to president

ANO leader Andrej Babiš has met with President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday afternoon to present the line-up for his minority government. Babis said earlier that he had secured candidates for all government posts which would be filled by members of his ANO party and unaffiliated experts.

iDnes.cz reported that the new government will include ANO ministers in the previous cabinet, such as Robert Pelikán as justice minister and Dan Ťok to again head transport. The two politicians also debated the time-frame for the appointment of a new cabinet. President Zeman said earlier he planned to appoint Andrej Babiš prime minister on December 6th and his minority government in mid-December.

Agrofert found to be farming land illegally

The conglomerate Agrofert Holding, formerly owned by ANO leader Andrej Babiš, is farming 1700 hectares of land which does not belong to it and which it has not legally rented out, according to Czech Radio’s flagship news station Radiožurnal. Radiožurnal reported moreover that Agrofert was receiving EU grants on the land. According to lawyers this is a criminal offense.

When challenged to comment on the situation, Agrofert spokesperson Jan Pavlů did not deny the claim, saying the conglomerate was trying to straighten out the situation by tracing the rightful owners of the land.

Andrej Babiš built up the multi-billion crown farming and chemical conglomerate, but was forced to put it into a trust fund last year following the approval of a strict conflicts of interest law.

Some 700 people in Czech Republic unaware they are infected with HIV

Around 700 people in the Czech Republic are unaware they are infected with the HIV virus, a quarter of all who have the disease in the country. The news was confirmed on Tuesday by the head of the Czech AIDS Help Society Robert Hejzák. The society is launching a new campaign to encourage people to get tested or to get timely treatment.

December 1 is World AIDS Day.

Monitoring of the spread of the HIV virus, which can lead to AIDS, began in the former Czechoslovakia in 1985.

Supreme Court rejects appeal by Czech who travelled to Turkey to try and join IS

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Jan Silovský, found guilty of trying to join the terrorist organization Islamic State, in Syria. The news was confirmed by the 22-year-old’s mother, who said his lawyer would file a complaint with the Constitutional Court.

The decision by the Supreme Court was taken in September but the written result was sent to the Regional Court in Plzeň only last week. Mr Silovský comes from Spálené Poříčí in the Plzeň area. Last year, he was arrested in Istanbul.

Czech Army to invest in new drones

The Czech Army is planning to invest in drones with combat capability by the year 2020, the Czech News Agency reports. The army is ready to invest one billion crowns. Currently, the Czech military uses unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance only.

At a press conference in Prague on Tuesday, the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, General Josef Bečvář, confirmed that the army would also buy new ScanEagle drones at the cost of some 200 million crowns. The army is already using the drones, supplied by the US, in Afghanistan.

General Bečvář confirmed that next year would see an increase in the number of Czech soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq if approved by Parliament. As many as 650 soldiers could serve on the missions.

Christmas tree goes up at Old Town Square

A 22-metre tall spruce felled near Křivoklat, South Bohemia, has gone up on Prague’s Old Town Square for Christmas. This year’s Christmas tree on the square grew for 66 years.

It will be decorated and illuminated for the first time on Saturday, December 2, to mark the opening of the Christmas market. Last year, the ceremony was seen by 12,000 people.

Weather

Wednesday is expected to be cloudy with a chance of rain or snow showers. Daytime temperatures will reach highs of only around 3 degrees Celsius.

28-11-2017