Daily news summary Daily news summary

17-12-2018

PM Babiš not to chair government council for EU funds

Prime Minister Andrej Babis sent a letter to EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger on Monday informing him that he had left the board of the government Council for the EU Structural and Investment Funds, which makes recommendations for the distribution of EU money. Under a draft amendment to the Regional Development Act, approved by the government on Monday, the council can be chaired by another cabinet member.

The Czech Prime Minister made the move in reaction to the EU’s criticism of the Czech prime minister over potential conflict of interest. MEPs on Friday voted for the suspension of all EU payments to Agrofert, a company linked to Mr Babiš, until his alleged conflict of interests is settled.

Czech army has unused properties, buildings worth billions

The Czech Army has property worth some 6.5 billion crowns sitting idle and in varying states of disrepair or even ruin, according to a report by the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ).

To administer the properties, which include many former military barracks, the Army spent about 32 million crowns last year in upkeep, the report says.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said that by the end of 2020 assets identified as unneeded will be prepared for transfer or sale.

Czechs to vote against UN migration pact

Czech diplomats will vote against the Global Compact on Migration, set to take place at the General Assembly of the UN on Wednesday, foreign minister Miroslav Petříček told the Czech News Agency on Monday. According to the government’s previous statements, they were likely to abstain from the vote.

The cabinet announced earlier that it would withdraw from the pact citing ambiguities in its interpretation. Czech officials argue that the compact doesn’t draw a clear line between legal and illegal migration or state that illegal migration is undesirable.

In an interview for the daily Právo, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hasn’t yet officially announced the Czech Republic’s withdrawal from the compact. Around a dozen countries, including the US, Austria, Hungary and Poland have also refused to support it.

Police investigating apparent bomb threat on Manchester-Prague plane

Czech police on Sunday evening searched a plane arriving from England to check if a bomb was on board. This followed a request by the pilot, after a stewardess found a photo of a bomb in the passengers’ toilet, taken to be a threat.

Police have found no evidence of an actual device. The plane, which ran between Manchester and Prague, was carrying 183 passengers. Upon arrival, they were questioned by the police as to whether they had witnessed anything suspicious.

Czech Republic EU’s biggest toy exporter

The Czech Republic is Europe’s biggest exporter of toys, suggests an analysis carried out by UniCredit bank. Czech production of toys last year amounted to a total of 51.6 billion crowns.

The Czech Republic, along with Slovakia, has been the fastest growing toy exporter in the EU since 2004. The growth is fuelled mainly by production of LEGO brick sets, which had been gradually moved to the country. LEGO, along with dolls and miniature models, belong the most exported items.

Rosický appointed Sparta’s sporting director

The former Czech football captain, Tomáš Rosický, has been appointed sporting director for Sparta Prague football club. He will replace in the post Zdeněk Ščasný, who will continue to serve as the club’s coach. Rosický, who began his career at Sparta, will be responsible for the team’s long-term sporting strategy and will oversee the club’s transfers.

Weather

Tuesday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional snow showers and daytime temperatures ranging between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.

17-12-2018