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26-06-2018

Babiš: Zeman to appoint Hamáček caretaker foreign minister Wednesday

The prime minister, Andrej Babiš of ANO, says he expects President Miloš Zeman to appoint the Social Democrats chairman, Jan Hamáček, as caretaker foreign minister when he swears in a new cabinet composed of nominees from both parties on Wednesday. Mr. Zeman is opposed to the Social Democrats’ candidate for foreign affairs, Miroslav Poche. Mr. Hamáček’s “main” portfolio will be interior.

Some Social Democrats are in favour of a lawsuit against Mr. Zeman for refusing to respect a list of ministerial candidates – including Mr. Poche – put forward by prime minister-designate Babiš. However, the ANO leader said on Tuesday that he saw no reason for such a move.

The Social Democrats’ deputies group say they will discuss on Monday how to respond to the president’s likely overlooking of Mr. Poche when new ministers take their oaths on Wednesday morning. The MEP says he has not been invited to the ceremony.

ANO and the Social Democrats are forming a minority coalition that would be propped up during key lower house votes by the Communists.

Communists to decide Saturday on whether to back new coalition

The Communist Party say they will decide on Saturday whether to back the second government now being formed by Andrej Babiš of ANO. Mr. Babiš’s ANO-Social Democrats coalition will not have a majority and would require the support of the Communists during key votes in the Chamber of Deputies.

Communist leader Vojtěch Filip has expressed opposition to some of Mr. Babiš’s choices for the new cabinet as well as elements of the planned coalition policy programme. He says there is some distaste within his party for supporting such a government.

If the Communists do back the ANO-Social Democrat minority coalition it would be the first time they have had any share in power in the post-1989 era.

MPs: Appointing coalition supported by Communists on day of remembrance a mockery

MPs from the opposition parties the Mayors and Independents, the Christian Democrats and the Pirates have described the appointment of the first post-1989 government involving the Communists on the day of remembrance for the victims of communism as a mockery of those imprisoned and killed by the previous regime. The deputies made a joint statement to that effect at the lower house on Tuesday.

An ANO-Social Democrats minority coalition should be supported by the Communists on key votes in the Chamber of Deputies.

Responding to the criticism, the Social Democrats’ leader Jan Hamáček said the date had been selected by the president and the prime minister.

Victims of communism honoured in Prague ceremony

Associations of former political prisoners and other organisations paid their respects to the victims of Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime at a graveyard in the Prague district of Ďáblice on Tuesday. The event was held the day before the anniversary of the execution after a show trial of Milada Horáková; on June 27, 1950 she became the only woman put to death by the Communists.

The remains of around 200 victims of the Communist regime, including 40 children, are buried in the Ďáblice cemetery.

Stopping using caged hens in egg production would cost billions, says industry leader

Ceasing using caged hens in egg production in the CZech Republic would cost up to CZK 6 billion, the chairwoman of the national association of poultry breeders, Gabriela Dlouhá, told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday.

She said that many poultry farms were built in the 1960s and would require major investment to allow breeders to stop keeping hens in cages.

Following a recent Czech Television report on conditions at poultry farms a number of major retailers have said they will phase out eggs produced by caged hens by the 2025.

Summer Shakespeare festival gets underway at Prague Castle

The annual Summer Shakespeare festival gets underway at Prague Castle on Tuesday evening, with a performance of All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Jan Antonín Pitínský.

This year’s edition of the festival will present eleven plays, including Hamlet, the Merry Wives of Windsor or Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jiří Menzel.

The open-air theatre event, which runs until the beginning of September, was established in Prague in 1990 and has since spread to other cities, including Brno, Ostrava and Bratislava.

Weather forecast

It should be bright with the chance of rain in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Temperatures are likely to reach up to 21 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is expected for the remainder of the week.

26-06-2018