The opposition centre-right parties have said they are not satisfied with the explanation proffered by Finance Minister Babiš. Civic Democrat leader Petr Fiala said the prime minister now had no alternative but to dismiss Mr. Babis from office. The prime minister made his position clear; now it is time for action, Fiala said. His words were echoed by TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek who told the ctk news agency the ball was now in the prime minister’s court.
The result of October’s general elections should not influence the Czech position in the Brexit talks, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told the ctk news agency ahead of an EU summit on Brexit in Brussels. The leaders of 27 member states are due to meet on Saturday to try to set a common negotiating line in the Brexit talks. Mr. Sobotka said the Czech position was the result of a broad consensus between the ruling and opposition parties. The Czech Republic has highlighted protecting the rights of Czechs living and working in Great Britain and maintaining the present level of Czech exports to the country as its main priorities.
A convoy of historical U.S. military vehicles set off on its traditional ride through Prague on Friday at the start of celebrations marking the country’s liberation from Nazi rule. The convoy stopped at the US Embassy and in the coming days will ride through South Bohemian towns and villages which were liberated by the 3rd U.S. army under General George Patton´s command. It will culminate with a ceremonial parade through Plzen next weekend, the highlight of the town’s Freedom Celebrations.
Czech President Miloš Zeman will be the only EU head of state to attend a summit on a new Silk Road to be held in Beijing in May, the daily Lidové noviny reported Friday. The summit is to be attended by dozens of heads of state from Asia along with Russian President Vladimir Putin. EU countries are either sending their prime ministers or ministerial delegations to the summit. President Zeman’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said the fact that Miloš Zeman would be the only EU head of state present played to the country’s advantage. It will be President Zeman’s third visit to China since taking office.
Tension is high in the Czech ruling coalition after Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Social Democrats indicated he might dismiss Finance Minister Andrej Babis over his private financial transactions. The prime minister hit out at Mr. Babiš on Thursday, accusing him of hurting the reputation of the government and the Czech Republic by failing to explain his controversial business activities. The lower house of Parliament has asked Babiš to provide a satisfactory explanation by the end of April. Following a verbal cross fire on Thursday, when the finance minister hinted he was ready to go if the prime minister wanted to sack him, M. Sobotka said he would wait for his explanation before deciding on how to proceed. Babiš has denied any wrong doing and is reported to have sent the speaker of Parliament a letter explaining his business transactions relating to tax-free bonds.
The Czech film Ice Mother directed by Bohdan Sláma has won Best Screenplay in the International Narrative Feature Film category at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The film which tells an unusual love story with warmth and humour had its international premiere at the festival. The prize comes with a financial award of $2,500.
The new generation of Škoda Yeti will be known as the Škoda Karoq, the Czech car-maker Škoda Auto has announced. The new compact SUV will have its world premiere in Stockholm on May 18 and will go into production in the second half of 2017. The new generation of Škoda Auto’s SUV will be manufactured in the company’s plant in Kvasiny. The Karoq name refers to the language of Alaska’s indigenous people.
Around 10,000 Czech homes were left without electricity on Friday morning following heavy snowfall at night, particularly in the South Bohemian region. The heavy and wet snow also felled trees, complicating conditions on roads and causing delays on the country’s railway routes. A state of calamity is currently in place in a number of districts in South Bohemia. In north Moravia and Silesia, the lowest level of flood alert was declared in places after persistent rain caused some rivers to swell. Heavy rain is expected to continue in the region until noon on Saturday.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called on Finance Minister and ANO Party leader Andrej Babiš to provide a satisfactory explanation about his financial dealings by the end of April. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Mr Babiš owed the public and the government answers to a number of questions, adding that threatens the credibility of the whole government. The criticism focuses on his use of so-called one crown bonds as an alleged tax dodge and other explanations about the financing and accounts of the Agrofert group. Mr Babiš said he was ready to answer the questions by Friday.