The country’s ambassadors around the world should be proud of the Czech Republic and talk up its achievements. That was the message from Andrej Babiš to Czech diplomats currently gathered in Prague. The prime minister also emphasised the importance of the Visegrad Four and repeated his opposition to euro adoption in a broad-ranging speech.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) will attend a ceremony in the
Slovak town of Banská Bystrica on Thursday to mark the 75th anniversary of
the outbreak of anti-fascist military action that came to be known as the
Slovak National Uprising.
In its simplest telling, the uprising was the culmination of years of planning by Slovak partisans, 18,000 of whom fought alongside 60,000 Czechoslovak soldiers against the Nazi Germany and the puppet state of Slovakia led by the priest Jozef Tiso.
Under communism, the role played by the Czechoslovak government-in-exile, the Allies, and non-communist partisans was discounted, and the uprising glorified as a unified action by the Slovak people against fascism in favour of socialism.
Poland has acknowledged it was wrong to proceed with changes to the
Bogatyne city plan, which opened the way for the expansion of the Turów
brown coal mine in the close proximity to the Czech border, the Czech
Environment Ministry said on Thursday.
The unilateral move raised protests from both the Czech Environment Ministry and the Liberec region. According to them, the Polish side did not wait for the conclusion of bilateral consultations on changes to the land-use plan and failed to take the Czech Republic’s reservations into account. The Czech Republic called for an extraordinary meeting on the issue last week.
Despite unfinished negotiations with the Czech Republic, Bogatyne earlier approved a change to the zoning plan, which, among other things, allowed the extension of the mine by 14.6 hectares towards the border with the Czech Republic.
The Czech side had requested information on the impact of the change on water resources, agricultural land and other habitats, as well as air and noise pollution on the Czech side of the border.
The Polish Directorate-General for Environmental Protection should deliver the information before Wednesday, August 28, when the Czech and Polish governments are to hold a joint session in Warsaw.
After failing to reach a decision during over 18 hours of talks on Sunday and Monday, EU leaders are reconvening in Brussels to try to agree who should lead the bloc’s institutions for the coming five years. Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans, a frontrunner for European Commission president, faces strong opposition from the Czech Republic and fellow Visegrad Four states.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, says it is important that none of
the so-called “spitzenkandidats” received majority support to become
president of the European Commission at a European Council meeting last
week. Spitzenkandidats are the leaders of the parties in the European
Parliament that did best in elections in May. Some of them don’t like the
territory of the Visegrad Four countries, Mr. Babiš said at a conference
on economic diplomacy at the Czech Foreign Ministry on Monday Morning.
The Czech leader said it was important that the successor to Jean-Claude Juncker not comment on political matters but rather focus on implementing the conclusions of the European Council.
The newly installed Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová, who visited Prague
on Monday, expressed her understanding for people who are demonstrating
against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and for independent judiciary.
Speaking at a concert in her honour at Prague’s Kampa island, the Slovak head of state said drew analogy with last year’s demonstrations in Slovakia against the government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico. "What these demonstrations have in common is their peaceful tone", Mrs Čaputová said.
A series of protest took place in the Czech Republic in recent weeks against PM Babiš and his appointment of Marie Benešová as justice minister. The most recent rally in Prague was attended by an estimated 120,000 people. Another demonstration is due to take place on June 23 on Prague’s Letná plain, the venue of the largest anti-regime demonstrations of November 1989.
The prime ministers of the Visegrad group states did not agree on a joint
candidate for European Commission president at their talks in Budapest on
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said it was necessary to choose a candidate who would be best for all, adding that the Visegrad Group, comprising the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia had no ambitions to try to push through a candidate of their own choice.
Hungary indicated last week that the group of four might present a joint position as regards the filling of crucial posts and support candidates who take the V4 region seriously and support its interests.
Outgoing Slovak President Andrej Kiska has arrived in the Czech Republic
for his final foreign trip as head of state. He was received by Czech
president Miloš Zeman at Lány Chateau on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Kiska steps down in mid-June to be succeeded by Zuzana Čaputová. The first official visit of the newly elected Slovak president, who will be sworn in on June 15, will also lead to the Czech Republic.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček is in Bratislava for an informal
meeting on Monday between representatives of the Visegrad Group and Eastern
The Eastern Partnership was launched in Prague in 2009 during the Czech Presidency of the European Union.
The aim was to boost cooperation between the EU and the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
The tenth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership will be celebrated in Brussels from 13-14 May.
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