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18-10-2018

New foreign minister Tomáš Petříček to present policy vision

Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats), the new minister of foreign affairs, is due to outline his policy priorities at a debate on Thursday evening organised by Association for International Affairs (AMO), a private think tank.

Petříček has said that he wants the Czech Republic to be securely anchored in the European Union and NATO and to actively promote respect for international law. In that regard, he told Czech Radio sanctions were among the few instruments available to the EU to influence Russia’s behaviour.

On another hot button issue, that of EU quotas for accepting refugees, Petříček said the Czech position is to rather work to stabilize countries or origin for migrants and refugees rather that to settle them abroad.

Chief-of-Staff Opata: attack an Afghanistan not targeted at Czechs

A bomb attack in Eastern Afghanistan did not target Czech soldiers specifically, but was part of a wider assault on a fleet of coalition vehicles, the Czech general chief-of-staff Aleše Opata said at a press conference on Thursday.

Five Czech soldiers were injured on Wednesday by a car bomb blast while patrolling near Bagram Air Base, the largest U.S. air base in Afghanistan.

Four members of the military personnel suffered minor injuries, while one of them was severely injured and had to undergo several operations. According to Mr Opata, the soldier is now in a stable condition.

In total, 346 Czech soldiers are now serving in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s 16,000 strong Resolute Support Mission.

Emmanuel Macron to visit Prague for centenary celebrations

French President Emmanuel Macron will visit both the Czech and Slovak capitals next week to take part in events around the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s founding.

According to the French news agency AFP, he will be in Bratislava on October 26 and in Prague on October 27, during which time he will meet his respective counterparts and the country’s prime ministers.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has invited a number of statesmen to attend centenary celebrations but a list of confirmed names has yet to be published. The Czech Army previously said that on October 28, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis will attend several events.

Newly elected senators Drahoš and Hilšer to join Mayors and Independents

Jiří Drahoš and Marek Hilšer, two former presidential candidates elected to the upper house of Parliament, will join the senator’s club of the Mayors and Independents (STAN). They announced their decision at a joint press conference on Thursday.

With the overall number of senators in the Mayors and Independents increasing to 18, the party is likely to form the largest group in the upper chamber. Traditionally, the party with the largest group of senators gets to nominate the speaker of the house.

Report: most crystal meth in Europe comes from Czech Republic

Most of the crystal methamphetamine available in Europe is produced in the Czech Republic, suggests a report by Germany’s federal drug commissioner Marlene Mortler, which was released on Thursday.

According to the annual report, the Czech-produced methamphetamine is mostly consumed in the southern and eastern parts of Germany which border with the Czech Republic, such as Saxony, Bavaria, and Thuringia. Consumption of the drug in western parts of Germany is significantly lower, the report says.

Last year, German police recorder more than 1200 drug offences related to Czech methamphetamine.

Famous Czech pre-war paintings to go on sale on October 28

Paintings by famous pre-war Czech artists, such as Josef Čapek, Jan Zrzavý and František Kupka, will be auctioned at the Mánes Exhibition Hall in Prague on October 28.

The auction will include three oil-paintings by Toyen, Jindřich Štyrský and Antonín Procháuka, which come from a collection by Austrian collector Ivo Rotter, and have been exhibited at the National Gallery Belvedere in Vienna on long-term loan.

Among other items on sale will be paintings by Antonín Chitussi and Kamil Lhoták, and a photo by František Drtikol, one of the most important Czech photographers of the 20th century.

Weather

Friday is expected to be mostly overcast, with occasional rain showers and daytime highs ranging between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius.

18-10-2018