Daily news summary Daily news summary

19-02-2019

Babiš holds wide-ranging talks with Netanyahu in Israel

The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, held talks with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The Office of the Czech Government said that the pair had discussed cooperation in the fields of innovation and research, cyber security, effective water management and mutual trade.

The two leaders also discussed a planned intergovernmental meeting that will see Mr. Netanyahu and members of his cabinet visit Prague.

The meeting was scheduled after the cancellation of a Visegrad Four summit in Jerusalem when Poland withdrew due to a diplomatic row with Israel.

PM to take no action against minister over data prices comment

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he will not take action against the minister of industry and trade, Marta Nováková, over comments she made about mobile data prices. The minister, who was appointed by Mr. Babiš’s ANO party, attracted a lot of criticism for suggesting that data was relatively expensive in the Czech Republic because not enough people were availing of the service, which operators had invested a lot of money in.

Mr. Babiš said Ms. Nováková had expressed herself poorly and that everybody made an unfortunate comment sometimes.

Petříček demands senior party post to stay at foreign ministry

The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, says he may quit the cabinet if he is not elected a deputy leader of the Social Democrats. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, he said if he failed to win the post at a congress in March it would be a signal that his policies lack sufficient backing within the party.

Mr. Petříček, who is 37, says he intends to advocate for modern left-wing policies at the Social Democrats congress.

The pro-European politician has faced consistent criticism from President Miloš Zeman. He is also unpopular with the Communist Party, who support the ANO-Social Democrats minority coalition on key votes.

Former minister and CzechTourism chief gets suspended sentence

A former minister of regional development, Rostislav Vondruška, has received a suspended sentence for corruption. On Tuesday the Prague 2 District Court found him guilty of using gift vouchers paid for by the CzechTourism agency – which he then headed – for his own private purposes. He also gave them to friends.

Mr. Vondruška, who served in a caretaker government nine years ago, was also ordered to pay almost CZK 150,000 in compensation.

Apple Pay service launched in Czech Republic

US company Apple launched its Apple Pay service in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The contact free system, which is linked to payment cards, allows people to use their Apple mobiles and watches to make payments.

Google Pay, a similar product, was already available in this country for users of phones and watches using the Android operating system.

Jágr returns to ice with Kladno after over year out

Ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr made his first appearance in over a year for the club Kladno on Monday evening. The locally born star, who is now 47, played for nearly 18 minutes as the Czech second division side overcame Havířov 2:0.

Jágr is a 13-time NHL All-Star and is the most productive player ever to have appeared in the league.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be bright in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 9 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should range between 4 and 9 degrees Celsius for the following week.

19-02-2019