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22-10-2019

Petříček for tougher sanctions against Turkey over military action

The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, says he would support tougher European Union action against Turkey over its incursions into northern Syria and attacks on Kurds. Speaking on Czech Radio on Tuesday, Mr. Petříček said he would welcome further economic sanctions against Ankara, but only if they were unanimously approved by the EU.

The Czech foreign policy chief called for more attention for the conflict at UN level, adding that a ban on arms exports was a strong signal that EU members did not want weapons made in their countries to be used in the fighting.

Mr. Petříček said that the Russian Federation and its ally in Damascus were benefiting most from the current situation in Syria.

PM Babiš to miss budget debate due to Japan visit

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to miss a lower house session on Wednesday in which the 2020 state budget will get its first reading. The ANO party leader is on a visit to Japan for the enthronement of the country’s new emperor, at which he is deputising for President Miloš Zeman, Novinky.cz reported.

Opposition MPs have slammed Mr. Babiš’s absence from such an important debate, the news site said.

While the PM will be absent, the president is set to attend Wednesday’s session of the Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Zeman was in hospital at the end of last week but was released on Sunday.

MPs agree to late session for keenly observed vote on Czech TV reports

MPs should hold a vote on Czech Television annual reports on Thursday night even if the session runs past 9 p.m. under a deal agreed by various parties’ deputies groups. The Mayors and Independents and TOP 09 welcomed the decision, which they said increased the chances of the reports for 2016 and 2017 being approved.

Voting on the reports has repeatedly been postponed. Attention is focused on the matter because failure to approve them could lead to the removal of the broadcasting council. That in turn could see the current director general of Czech Television being replaced.

Czech apartment prices jump 10 percent in second quarter

Apartment prices in Czech cities increased by an average of 10 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, according to a report by Deloitte quoted by news site Novinky.cz. In Prague property prices jumped by 17.3 percent in the period in question.

The capital has the most expensive flats, with the average price per square metre standing at over CZK 84,000 between April and July. The second most expensive city is Brno, where that figure was CZK 60,500, according to Deloitte.

French author Michon receives Franz Kafka Prize

The French writer Pierre Michon is due to receive the Franz Kafka Prize in Prague on Tuesday. He becomes the 19th recipient of the international award, which is presented by the Franz Kafka Society. Previous winners include Philip Roth Margaret Atwood, Václav Havel and Haruki Murakami.

Michon’s 1984 novel Small Lives is considered a masterpiece of modern French literature and he has won a number of prizes for it and other works.

Forty percent of Czech households include dogs

Two out of five Czech households include dogs, suggests a survey by the STEM/MARK agency released on Tuesday. Forty percent of Czech owners allow their dog into their bed. Of those that do have a dog, only one in five possess more than one, the study found.

Mid-sized dogs, weighing between six and 24 kilogrammes, are the most popular.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast on Wednesday in the Czech Republic, with daytime highs of up to 19 degrees Celsius. Temperatures should go down slightly in the following days before falling significantly on Monday.

22-10-2019