Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the country is the “most active” when it comes to combating the coronavirus COVID-19 in Europe. The State Security Council has certainly issued many executive orders in recent weeks to help fight the sickness. Here is a rundown of what is in place in some key areas as of Wednesday, March 11.
The Czech state railways administration has been quietly developing a new, uniform audio announcement system that will do away with unique station jingles, beloved by train-spotters and many a nostalgic commuter. Over the past two months, such jingles – directly associated with specific destinations – have disappeared from Frýdek-Místek, Pardubice, Hradec Králové, Valašské Meziříčí and even Brno. But a petition is afoot to stop the move in its tracks.
The minister of transport, Karel Havlíček, says a planned online sales
system for motorway vignettes should now cost around CZK 128 million, far
lower than the CZK 401 million price agreed in a previous tender process.
Mr. Havlíček told the Deník N news site that the savings would mainly
come in the sphere of security. His predecessor in the post, Vladimír
Kremlík, was dismissed following the initial tender process.
Mr. Havlíček, who is also minister of industry and trade, said the new system may also draw on the results of a hackathon last month in which volunteer programmers created an alternative system.
Trade and Industry Minister Karel Havlíček took over the transport
ministry portfolio on Friday morning, following the dismissal of Vladimir
Kremlík from the post earlier this week.
Minister Havlíček will remain in charge of the Transport Ministry for the remainder of the government’s term in office at the prime minister’s request.
He said on Friday he would be making personnel changes at the ministry and open competitions would be held for all managerial posts. Previous considerations regarding a possible merger of the ministries will not be brought about.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš dismissed Transport Minister Vladimír Kremlík over an overpriced tender to operate a new online system of motorway vignette sales. The 400-million crown deal has been scrapped.
China’s Hainan Airlines is halting regular direct flights from Beijing to
Prague starting in March, Czech Foreign Ministry officials have confirmed.
Hainan Airlines gave no reason for the disruption. But bilateral relations have cooled significantly in recent months following a series of diplomatic spats.
Earlier in January, Prague signed a sister city agreement with the Taiwanese capital Taipei – after having scrapped one with Beijing in a dispute over a clause therein regarding the “One China” policy in October.
President Miloš Zeman, who has pushed for closer ties with Beijing, says he will not attend China's “17+1” summit being in April unless the country is ready to sign new deals with Czech entrepreneurs on specific projects.
The Czech transport minister has been sacked for mismanaging a tender to operate a new online system of motorway vignette sales. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš moved swiftly on Monday to stop a 400-million crown deal going ahead, accepting an offer from IT specialists who said they would work for free to produce a fully functional online sales system by next Monday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has announced his decision to dismiss
Transport Minister Vladimír Kremlík over an overpriced tender to operate
a new online system of motorway vignette sales.
The prime minister said the 400 million crown contract awarded to Asseco Central Europe had been badly organised and put together. He said the matter had not been consulted with him and the transport minister had refused to accept the blame and abrogate the tender.
Mr. Babiš said he would put Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček in charge of the transport ministry portfolio. According to Czech Television President Zeman has accepted the prime minister’s decision.
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