The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, is due to meet George Bush
before he steps down as US president on January 20, the news website
ihned.cz reported. Mr Topolánek cancelled a meeting with the American
president planned for last week due to tensions within his party the Civic
Democrats following poor election results.
The two leaders had been due to discuss the financial crisis and US plans to build a radar base in central Bohemia, as part of a global missile defence system. The rescheduled meeting is expected to take place at the end of this year or in January.
The Czech government and Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek in particular have signaled their intention to invite Barack Obama - the new President-elect of the United States - to the Czech Republic in early 2009. The purpose: to attend an informal EU summit to be held in Prague in the spring. The visit would coincide with the Czech Republic’s term presiding over the EU, which begins on January 1. Dominik Jun spoke to political commentator Erik Best and asked him how important a visit by the newly sworn-in President Barack Obama would be:
President Václav Klaus makes a three-day state visit to Ireland next week, where he’s to meet his Irish counterpart Mary McAleese and other senior officials. But it’s his plans to attend a private dinner with leading Irish euro-sceptic Declan Ganley that has ruffled feathers, with some Irish politicians complaining that Mr Klaus is meddling in Ireland’s internal affairs. The Czech Republic takes over the revolving presidency of the EU on January 1st, and one of its tasks will be trying to resuscitate the EU’s Lisbon Treaty – rejected by Irish voters
Barack Obama has been congratulated on his election victory by President Václav Klaus, opposition Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek and Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek. But what does Obama's victory mean for the controversial missile defence project, a subject that has so divided Czech politicians? Is the new U.S. president for missile defence, or against?
The Czech Republic will not, after all, ratify the Lisbon treaty before it takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union in just eight weeks’ time. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, who only a fortnight ago gave assurances that Prague would ratify the document by January 1, now says Parliament will not vote on it until next year.
The whole world was watching on Tuesday night as American voters cast their ballots in one of the most heated US presidential campaigns – including Prague’s American expat community. Several election night parties were held around the city where supporters of both camps stayed up all night, awaiting the results.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, battling a seemingly inevitable leadership challenge at home, has made a surprise visit to Afghanistan. During the trip, the PM met with Czech troops serving in the country and awarded several troops honorary medals for their efforts. The visit was made to commemorate the anniversary of the Czechoslovak day of independence – the day in 1918, in which independent Czechoslovakia came into existence. Mr Topolánek visited the Afghan city of Kandahar, where Czech troops are serving as part of allied forces fighting Taliban anti-government forces. The visit is Mr Topolánek’s second to the country, and aides say it was planned well ahead of time but kept secret for security reasons. The PM is expected back in Prague late Tuesday.
The Czech government has said that the country’s upcoming EU presidency has not been put in jeopardy by the plans of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France’s head of state reportedly wants to increase the influence of the Eurogroup – a group of countries to which the Czech Republic does not belong, and which, during the Czech presidency, Mr Sarkozy himself would like to head. Czech officials have warned against the move, calling it 'divisive'.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek told German leader Angela Merkel during her visit to Prague on Monday that the Czech Republic could ratify the Lisbon treaty by the end of the year: before the beginning of the country’s EU presidency. But the odds are now against Mr Topolánek, for whom the Lisbon treaty is just one of many battles.
Regional and Senate elections took place in the Czech Republic over the weekend in which the opposition Social Democrats defeated the parties of the governing coalition. The strongest opposition party scored a comprehensive victory, winning in all of the 13 regions of the Czech Republic. Social Democrat candidates also made it to the second round in all but one of the 27 electoral districts for the Senate where the poll was held. The relatively high turnout – just over 40 percent – suggests that Czech voters took these elections more seriously
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