A report by the website Aktualne.cz suggests that US president-elect Barack Obama will not visit the Czech Republic in April next year. Previously, it had been suggested that the new president could be persuaded to attend an EU summit in Prague, held as part of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency. Though no formal announcement was ever made, some Czech politicians strongly suggested that the US president would attend. According to Aktualne.cz, this option has now been rendered moot, as then President Obama will be attending a G20 summit in London held at the same time.
After the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the Lisbon treaty was in line with the Czech constitution, ratification of the key document in the Czech Republic is arguably back on track. But even so, ratifying the treaty may not be easy. Opponents who fear the document erodes national sovereignty and cedes too much power to Brussels, have indicated they will do everything in their power to stop it from being passed. Supporters, meanwhile, would like to see the document ratified as soon as possible, preferably before the Czech Republic
Wednesday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that the European Union's Lisbon Treaty does not violate the Czech constitution has been welcomed and scorned from the two sides of the Lisbon debate. So what next for Czech ratification and the treaty itself? Radio Prague spoke to Roman Joch, director of the conservative think-tank the Civic Institute.
Supporters of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty were given cause for celebration on Wednesday morning as the Constitutional Court ruled that the treaty does not violate the Czech Constitution. This landmark ruling paves the way for the Czech parliament to begin the process of ratifying the treaty. The Czech Republic is the only EU member which has not voted on Lisbon, amid a dispute over sovereignty that has pitted the government against president Václav Klaus. But Mr Klaus isn’t giving up yet.
All eyes were on the Czech Constitutional Court on Tuesday, where a verdict was expected on whether the EU’s Lisbon treaty is in line with the Czech constitution. If the court had rejected Lisbon, it could well have thrown the EU into disarray. The opposite verdict would have paved the way for the Czech Parliament to vote on ratification. As it happened, the ruling has been postponed until Wednesday.
One of the key issues of the upcoming Czech EU presidency will be the future of the Lisbon treaty, but the Czech Republic is the only EU country that has yet not voted on the reform document. Six weeks before the Czechs take over, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has moved to deal with his party rivals and get the treaty out of the way.
The Czech government has suspended the issuing of long-term visas for Vietnamese nationals. The reason? The application process in Hanoi seems to be controlled by criminal gangs. What’s more, this move comes just days after a new report suggested Vietnamese citizens here in the Czech Republic were increasingly involved in organised crime.
The Czech president Václav Klaus has caused a diplomatic upset this week on his state visit to Ireland. His Irish hosts didn’t take kindly to comments at a press conference following a private dinner with British-born businessman Declan Ganley, who spearheaded the “No” campaign against the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. Reacting to the criticism, Mr Klaus accused the Irish foreign minister of “hypocrisy”.
A recent Austrian TV production depicting the aftermath of a fictional accident at a Czech nuclear power plant has touched a raw nerve in relations between the two countries, strained over the Czech use of nuclear energy. This time, the fictional movie even made Czech President Václav Klaus pick up the phone to complain to his Austrian counterpart.
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.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott