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Babiš for FT: the EU should do less and more efficiently

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has stressed the need to reform the European Union and return power to national capitals.

In an interview for the Financial Times, Babiš said the principle should be that the EU does less and more efficiently. Over-regulation kills innovation and business, Babis argued.

The Czech prime minister also criticized the EU approach to migrant crisis, calling it “unworkable”. He said the EU should protect its borders better and establish “disembarkation platforms” outside of Europe for migrants rescued at sea.

We have to make a deal, as we did with Turkey, with north African states like Libya and Tunisia and help countries of migrant origin such as Syria in order to resolve this crisis, Babiš said.

Babiš ready to discuss illegal migration with Italian PM Conte

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is ready to discuss ways to tackle illegal migration to Europe with his Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte and will try to persuade him to accept the Czech stance, he told reporters in the Senate on Wednesday.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte sent an open letter to his Czech counterpart, who refused to take any of the 450 migrants rescued by Italy at the weekend, inviting him to visit Rome and discuss the migration crisis with him in person. Babis called the Italian approach to immigration “a road to hell”, while Conte said it was “a road of legality and shared responsibility”.

Mr Babiš said he did not expect to change his view after a meeting with Conte. "He will not persuade me, but I will do my best to persuade him," he told reporters.

Czech consulate in Hanoi no longer accepting long-term residence applications

The Czech consulate in Hanoi has stopped accepting visa application requests and requests for work permits from Vietnamese nationals until further notice, the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its web page on Thursday.

This is largely due to security reasons as well as the fact that the Czech consulate is overwhelmed by applications and has problems processing them.

According to Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, who is also in charge of the foreign ministry portfolio, Vietnam has become a security risk in terms of exporting organized crime.

Hamáček said the authorities would in future prioritize long-term residence applications made of the grounds of merging families.

Deputy PM: Babiš is entitled to chair government’s anti-corruption council

Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček of the Social Democrats has said he will not challenge the fact that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is to chair the government’s council for coordinating the fight against corruption.

The opposition Pirate Party vehemently protested against Babiš taking up this position saying that not only was the prime minister charged on suspicion of abusing EU funds, but he and his ANO party had blocked the approval of several anti-corruption amendments in the lower house.

Hamáček said it was the prime minister’s right to chair the council and he would not challenge him on that ground.

Aero unveils new fighter aircraft at Farnborough Airshow

Czech plane manufacturer Aero Vodochody unveiled a new cost-effective, combat proven fighter attack aircraft at the Farnborough Airshow near London this week.

The F/A-259 Striker, which is a successor to the L-159 Alca, was made in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries.

It offers state of the art technology and is suited for counter-insurgency operations and border patrolling with interception capabilities.

Heavy rain swells rivers in Moravia-Silesia

Persistent rain has swollen rivers and flooded houses in the Moravia-Silesia region in northeast of the Czech Republic. Firefighters were called out to dozens incidents on Wednesday and in the early hours of Thursday.

The lowest, level-three flood warning remains in place on several rivers in the region. Heavy rain is set to continue in the Frýdek-Místek region until Friday morning.

The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute has issued second-degree flood warning for the regions of Prague, Beroun and Pilsen, which will remain in place until Friday morning.

Weather forecast

Friday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius.