The former minister of finance, ANO boss Andrej Babiš, denies that he gave
anybody orders in a recording anonymously released on Sunday. The tape
appears to capture him saying that “his people” at the tax authority
had put pressure on a rival company to his Agrofert that later went
However, in an interview with Lidovky.cz on Tuesday, Mr. Babiš said the “pseudo-recording” was of a statement, not an order. He compared the words used to pub chat.
In addition, the ANO leader again accused the Social Democrat minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, of unduly influencing the security services.
The authorities in Prague are set to make alterations to the major
multi-lane road that cuts through the centre of the city. New crossings are
to be built on the road, known as the magistrále (mainline), while
adjacent parks and streets are to be cleaned up under a plan approved by
councillors on Tuesday.
Deputy mayor Petra Kolínská said the road was more than anything a barrier that divided different parts of the city from one another and was avoided by pedestrians. At present it has very few crossings while its underpasses are often in a poor state.
The Bosnian politician Bakir Izetbegovic has rejected a suggestion from
Czech President Miloš Zeman that his country could become a base of
Islamic State in Europe because of its ethnic composition, the Czech News
The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Izetbegovic described Mr. Zeman’s statement as xenophobic, Islamophobic and baseless.
The Czech president said in an interview on Sunday that if Islamic State lost territory in Iraq and Syria they could create a European base in Bosnia, where he said IS flags fly in a number of towns and villages.
The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union has not as yet
had any impact on bilateral relations between Prague and London, the Czech
ambassador to the UK, Libor Sečka, told the Czech News Agency. Mr. Sečka
said it would be necessary to see the balance of trade between the two
states at the end of the year before assessing the economic effect of the
The ambassador said his embassy had registered an increase in animosity against Czechs living in the UK immediately following Britain’s referendum last year. Every registered case was discussed with the UK authorities, Mr. Sečka said. However, the situation has since calmed, he added.
Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová has criticised conditions in Czech police cells
and the manner in which body searches are carried out, Czech Television
reported on Tuesday. A new report conducted by her office on the basis of
complaints received in the last two years found there were no set rules for
conducting body searches. Such rules must be introduced to preserve
suspects’ dignity, it says.
Some cells only contain a wooden bed without a mattress, which the ombudswoman described as unacceptable. She also said that all cells must be equipped with toilet paper and other necessary hygiene projects.
The Czech government has decided to renovate the country’s embassy in
Germany, dropping a previous plan to build a new diplomatic mission in
Berlin, Právo reported on Tuesday. The renovation and temporary relocation
will cost the state over CZK 700 million, the newspaper said.
The Czech embassy in Berlin is an example of Brutalism and was designed by the architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimir Machonin, who also did Prague’s Kotva department store and Hotel Thermal and Karlovy Vary.
The embassy was built to accommodate up to 500 staff but at present it used by fewer than 50.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová advanced in the opening round of
the US Open at Flushing Meadows on Monday. Kvitová edged Serbian player
Jelena Jankovic in a tough two-setter which finished 7:5, 7:5.
Kristýna Plíšková also advanced, beating Japanese player Misa Eguchi in three sets. Plíšková’s sister, Karolína - the women’s world No. 1 - faces Poland’s Magda Linette on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka confirmed on Monday that he would task
Finance Minister Ivan Pilný with looking into steps taken by the
country’s Financial Administration under former finance minister Andrej
Babiš in the case of company FAU. The issue to be investigated is whether
the ministry exerted unlawful influence on the bureau in steps which
eventually led to the Opava firm to declare bankruptcy.
The move comes after an audio recording surfaced online appearing to show ANO leader Andrej Babiš, who was finance minister at the time, saying “his people” had put pressure on the firm. It is not clear where and with whom the recording was taped. Mr Babiš declined to comment on the recording on Sunday but did not deny its authenticity. FAU declared insolvency last October and a court launched bankruptcy proceedings against it two months later.
Italian football club Roma and Sampdoria have reached a deal over Czech
striker Patrik Schick, the Czech News Agency reported Monday citing the
Italian news agency ANSA. The 21-year-old player, who was long sought by
Juventus before a minor heart issue during the summer, since resolved, will
first be loaned for six million euros with an obligation to buy by the end
of the season for an additional 30 million euros plus bonuses.
Schick will be Roma’s most expensive acquisition in the club’s history, ČTK reported, and the second-most expensive Czech player in the history of the game after Pavel Nedvěd, who was bought by Juventus from Lazio for roughly 41 million euros in 2001 (approximately 50 million adjusted).