The lower house of Parliament is debating the 2020 state budget in its
first reading.The session opened with an address by President Zeman who
said he was ready to sign the budget in its present form, but pointed out
possible reserves in the area of tax exemptions and state employees which
he said could both do with a significant reduction. The prime minister was
absent from the first reading due to a working visit to Japan where he
attended the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito.
The proposed draft, which envisages a 40 billion crown deficit, is expected to get support from the ruling ANO and the Social Democrats, as well as the Communist Party which is backing the government from the opposition. The right-wing opposition parties and the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party have said they will vote against it, criticizing the size of its deficit at a time of economic growth.
The Czech Republic needs to build new electric power plants if it wants to
maintain its self-sufficiency in the field of energy, according to leading
experts in the field polled by the ctk news agency.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš recently stressed that the question of future energy sources has become a major government priority, saying that it was vital for the Czech Republic to build new nuclear units even if they were to be in breach of European law. He defended the country’s right to decide on its energy mix.
According to the results of a recent study the country would become increasingly dependent on electricity imports from abroad by 2030, raising the commodity’s price, if no further construction takes place.
President Miloš Zeman is to attend the opening of a Czech House in
Bratislava together with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová on November 16,
the ctk news agency reported, citing the Office of the President.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will visit Bratislava on November 17th where he will attend the freedom celebrations on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
Prague Castle said earlier that President Zeman would not be attending any public events on the occasion and would mark the anniversary in private.
The lower house swept an isolated proposal for the introduction of
euthanasia off the table on Tuesday, making it clear there was scant
support for the idea in the Czech Republic.
The proposal, put forward by Věra Procházková from ANO, sparked a heated debate with the Christian Democrats, Civic Democrats, TOP 09 and the Social Democrats all pointing to the high risk of abuse. Support from the ruling ANO party itself is not clear.
Only the Pirate Party indicated it would be ready to consider the idea.
Turkey’s membership in the EU is inconceivable following its military
offensive in Syria, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petříček said in an
interview for the news site Novinky.cz.
Minister Petříček said Turkey fell short of fulfilling the basic requirements for membership such as rule of law, democracy and protection of human rights.
He said the EU should make the situation clear to Ankara and focus on expanding to the Western Balkans instead.
In an interview for Czech Radio on Tuesday Petříček made it clear he would support tougher European Union action against Turkey over its incursions into northern Syria.
Temperature records were broken in many parts of the Czech Republic on
Tuesday. Forty-five of the 150 weather stations in the country keeping
records for at least 30 years had not seen such a warm October 22.
The east of the country was especially balmy and the highest temperature, 23.9 degrees Celsius, was registered in Strání in the Zlín Region.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, says he would
support tougher European Union action against Turkey over its incursions
into northern Syria and attacks on Kurds. Speaking on Czech Radio on
Tuesday, Mr. Petříček said he would welcome further economic sanctions
against Ankara, but only if they were unanimously approved by the EU.
The Czech foreign policy chief called for more attention for the conflict at UN level, adding that a ban on arms exports was a strong signal that EU members did not want weapons made in their countries to be used in the fighting.
Mr. Petříček said that the Russian Federation and its ally in Damascus were benefiting most from the current situation in Syria.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to miss a lower house session on
Wednesday in which the 2020 state budget will get its first reading. The
ANO party leader is on a visit to Japan for the enthronement of the
country’s new emperor, at which he is deputising for President Miloš
Zeman, Novinky.cz reported.
Opposition MPs have slammed Mr. Babiš’s absence from such an important debate, the news site said.
While the PM will be absent, the president is set to attend Wednesday’s session of the Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Zeman was in hospital at the end of last week but was released on Sunday.
MPs should hold a vote on Czech Television annual reports on Thursday night
even if the session runs past 9 p.m. under a deal agreed by various
parties’ deputies groups. The Mayors and Independents and TOP 09 welcomed
the decision, which they said increased the chances of the reports for 2016
and 2017 being approved.
Voting on the reports has repeatedly been postponed. Attention is focused on the matter because failure to approve them could lead to the removal of the broadcasting council. That in turn could see the current director general of Czech Television being replaced.
Apartment prices in Czech cities increased by an average of 10 percent
year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, according to a report by
Deloitte quoted by news site Novinky.cz. In Prague property prices jumped
by 17.3 percent in the period in question.
The capital has the most expensive flats, with the average price per square metre standing at over CZK 84,000 between April and July. The second most expensive city is Brno, where that figure was CZK 60,500, according to Deloitte.
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