In a speech at a Holocaust conference in 2015, President Miloš Zeman falsely claimed one of the nation’s most respected journalists had penned a pre-war article titled “Hitler is a gentleman”. Ferdinand Peroutka, he claimed, was an admirer of the Nazi dictator. On Monday, a Prague court ruled against his granddaughter, who had sued for an apology.
Václav Klaus Jr., The son of former Czech president and prime minister Václav Klaus, is the country’s “most trusted” politician, suggests a new poll conducted by the CVVM agency. The leader of the newly-formed, right-wing oriented Tricolour achieved a 42 percent positive rating among respondents, putting him ahead of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. I asked political scientist Jiří Pehe why exactly Klaus Jr. is so popular.
Public service media in Central Europe reflect growing populism in the region but are not the cause of it. That’s the view of New York Times CEO Mark Thompson, who was recently in Prague. Thompson shared his views on the media landscape in this region with Czech Radio’s Lenka Kabrhelová – and also explained a move to end Czech language broadcasting while he was director-general of the BBC.
The Regional Council of Central Bohemia has halted an infringement procedure against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on the grounds of a complaint regarding a possible conflict of interest. The regional council has thus invalidated a decision by the Černošice Council, the municipality where the prime minister lives, which arrived at the opposite conclusion and fined the prime minister for the offense.
A bid by opposition MPs to remove President Zeman from office failed on Thursday, as the lower house rejected a proposal to file a constitutional complain against the Czech head of state. The complaint, approved by the Senate, accused the president of repeatedly overstepping his powers in breach of the constitutional order and trying to create a semi-presidential system.
President Miloš Zeman has said he would halt a criminal investigation into the so-called Stork’s Nest case that has dogged Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) for years. His talk of a possible ‘pardon’ has been widely condemned as an attempt to undermine the judiciary – and contradicts a vow he made before being re-elected president.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ cabinet approved the 2020 draft budget on Monday, just hours after trade union leaders and employers expressed support for it. The compromise proposal which respects a 40 billion crown deficit ceiling should see more money spent on pensions, social services, teachers’ wages, parental benefits as well as research, sport and investments.