Czech MPs have approved the government draft amendment to the Food and
Consumer Protection acts to impose steep fines on retailers selling “dual
quality” food and other products.
If signed into law, retailers who sell inferior quality products that appear to be the same as superior ones sold elsewhere in the EU could be fined up to 50 million crowns.
The Czech Republic has long pushed for the EU to ban “dual quality” product sales, arguing that the Single Market should not have de facto double standards.
Currently, for example, the same brand of frozen fish fingers sold in Germany may have 20 percent more actual fish (i.e. fewer fillers, such as breadcrumbs) than the version sold here.
Under EU law, if the packing accurately lists the ingredients or contents the practice is legal.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is expected this week to meet Czech
representatives of the international youth climate change initiative
“Fridays for Future”.
Among other things, they will likely discuss the future of coal mining in the Czech Republic, which is the fifth-biggest polluter in Europe and the 20th in the world in terms of CO2 emissions.
Working groups of the so-called Coal Commission are now drafting plans to end coal mining sometime after 2030 in order to reduce greenhouse gases.
French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian meets his
Czech counterpart Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) in Prague on
The ministers are due to discuss major European and international issues on which the two countries cooperate closely, most notably their joint contributions to the security and stability of the Sahel region of Africa.
Jean-Yves Le Drian is also due to meet former dissidents and Charter 77 signatories, in order to pay tribute to their commitment to democracy and freedoms.
He is also to deliver a speech on the legacy of 1989 for Europe, in the framework of an international conference held by the French Centre for Social Science Research (CEFRES), Charles University and other institutions.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Thursday praised Ukraine for
taking steps to resolve the conflict in the east of the country against
pro-Russian separatists on the basis of the Minsk Agreement.
Speaking on the margins of an OSCE conference in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, he said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had taken positive unilateral steps to open the door to advancing peace talks, including withdrawing heavy weapons from the region.
Petříček’s counterpart, Vadym Prystaiko, plans to make an official visit to the Czech Republic in early February 2020, when the speakers of the countries’ parliaments are also expected to make bilateral visits.
The foreign ministers also discussed the holding of the first meeting of the Czech-Ukrainian expert forum and the ninth meeting of the Czech- Ukrainian intergovernmental commission on economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation.
The Supreme Court has ruled that a Prague school was wrong to ban
headscarves for hygienic reasons in a suit brought forward by a Somali
schoolgirl who wore it for religious reasons.
The court ruled that religious pluralism must be respected and no religious group should be discriminated against or disadvantaged.
A lower court had ruled in favour of the school, which argued that since the Somali schoolgirl was yet not enrolled there, she could not have been discriminated against for wearing a hijab.
President Miloš Zeman has stood up for the embattled Czech prime minister
in the face of increasing pressure for him to resign in the wake of an EC
audit confirming that he has a conflict of interest and the decision of the
Supreme State Attorney to renew an investigation into whether he committed
EU subsidy fraud ten years ago.
In an interview for Barrandov TV President Zeman said Babiš should remain in office despite the renewed investigation, adding that the only reason for him to go would be if his party lost the next general elections.
The president confirmed that, at Babiš’ request, he would not use his right to stop the renewed investigation or pardon the prime minister.
A black man was attacked in the Flora shopping mall in Prague on Thursday
evening, the news site Novinky.cz reported. According to the Novinky’s
reporter who was there at the time, the man was stabbed in the neck by an
aggressor with whom he had engaged in a brief scuffle coming out of the
The injured man is reported to be in serious condition. The attacker was detained by the mall’s security and turned over to the police. It is not yet clear whether the attack was racially motivated.
The Czech Army will purchase eight 3D radars from Israel to the tune of 3.5
billion crowns. Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar signed an
intergovernmental agreement on the deal with Israeli representatives on
The radars will be delivered between 2020 and 2023. According to the defence minister they will significantly increase the country’s defence capacity. The radars from Israel will replace the military's outdated Russian technology.
Opposition parties debating the EC’s audit into the Czech prime
minister’s alleged conflict of interest in the lower house on Thursday
called for the audit to be made public and for the business consortium
Agrofert, which is behind the said conflict of interest, to cover the cost
of any EU funds which the Czech Republic may be forced to return as a
The Civic Democrats have also called for the setting up of a special commission which would monitor how the government implements the Commission’s recommendations in order to make sure that it acts in the best interests of the country, rather than those of the prime minister.
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