Czech dairy farmers look set to get aid to the tune of 10.4 million euros within increased subsidies for farmers across the block approved by the European Commission, Czech Television reported on Monday. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka has welcomed the move, saying the sum allotted to Czech farmers was the 10th highest in the 28-member block. National governments can top up this aid with subsidies from state coffers. Czech dairy farmers are facing severe problems due to a milk glut and low prices across Europe.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has stressed that even in the wake of a coup everyone should have the right to a fair trial. Speaking to journalists at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels Mr. Zaorálek said that although the EU condemned the coup attempt in Turkey, it must not serve as an excuse to bypass democratic values. In the present difficult circumstances it is essential that everyone should have the right to a free trial, Mr. Zaorálek said adding that the EU would be closely watching developments in the aftermath of the coup. In connection with calls for the return of the death penalty EUs Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini warned Turkey that no country with capital punishment could become an EU member.
Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksová has accused ANO leader and Finance Minister Andrej Babis of influencing the media he owns. Mrs. Marksová wrote on Twitter that a reporter for Mladá fronta Dnes daily, owned by minister Babis, had sent her a list of questions by mail, with a copy sent to an assistant to ANO deputy Radka Maxová who specializes in social issues. The assistant in question rejected the insinuation saying that the questions for Minister Marksová were also intended for deputy Maxová. Babis has repeatedly rejected claims that he influences the media in his ownership.
The summer school of Slavonic languages opened at Masaryk University in Brno on Monday to 140 students from 38 countries. It offers a four week intensive course in Czech language and literature, with film screenings, trips and dance lessons. Established in 1967 the summer school is traditionally attended by second and third generation expats and foreign students. The youngest participant is 13 years, the oldest 58.
The Agriculture Ministry is proposing an amendment to the law on electronic tax registers which would exempt farmer’s markets and small entrepreneurs making less than 5,400 crowns a month from the duty to register all sales electronically. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka who will present the proposed amendment to the cabinet said the requirement to use electronic cash registers would bring small entrepreneurs such as those selling their goods on farmers markets to bankruptcy. The proposal should be put to the lower house in September. Finance Minister Andrej Babis –who pushed through the law as an instrument in fighting tax evasion – is strictly against exemptions on the grounds that it would reduce its effectiveness. The law is expected to go into effect in December 2016 and the duty to use electronic tax registers will be implemented in several stages for different categories of entrepreneurs.
A travel warning for Turkey issued by the Czech Foreign Ministry on Saturday remains unchanged, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Irena Valentová told reporters following Monday’s meeting of a crisis committee set up to monitor developments in the country. The ministry has advised Czechs against travelling to Ankara, Istanbul and south-eastern Turkey. Tourists visiting other areas have been asked to remain vigilant, avoid large gatherings and crowded places and register with the ministry’s travel data base. The helplines for Czech tourists set up over the weekend remain in operation (0090 323 751 387, 0090 532 375 13 87 or 0090 532 244 45 26). Over 500 people are reported to have made use of them so far.
The town of Horka in Moravia has protested against the Industry Ministry’s decision to conduct geological tests for a potential nuclear waste storage site in the locality. It has also criticized the fact that the initial list of seven localities for potential tests had been cut down to two –Horka and Kravi Hora, who alone had not filed lawsuits against the government over the matter. The mayor of Horka Vladimir Boška said on Monday that if this was the main criterion in the selection process the town was also ready to file a lawsuit as well. The mayors of the other towns have also criticized the selection procedure as discriminatory and intransparent. Minister Mládek said on Friday the ministry would not enforce the decision and the nuclear waste site would only be built with consent from nearby localities.
Film director Marie Polednáková has been hospitalized after collapsing in her home, the news site idnes reported on Monday. The information was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Prague Military Hospital. According to idnes the 74-year-old film director, dubbed queen of comedy, suffered a stroke. The director had not been well. Several weeks ago she was airlifted to Jihlava hospital after suffering heart problems.
Czech police are preparing to use the DNA of plants and animals in detecting animal smugglers, poachers and marijuana growers, the news site novinky.cz reported on Monday. The project was launched in cooperation with forensic institutes abroad and should be applied in practice within the next five years.
The Czech Republic’s hopes of reaching the Davis Cup semifinals were dashed on Sunday by France’s 3-1 victory over the Czech team, weakened by the absence of Tomas Berdych. Jiri Vesely lost to Jo-Wilfriedem Tsongou 6:4, 6:7, 4:6 a 5:7. On Saturday Wimbledon doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert fought past Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to give France a 2-1 lead. The final singles was not played.