Members of the proposed minority government led by Andrej Babiš have
continued to meet individually with the head of state, Miloš Zeman, ahead
of the government’s official naming next week.
Alena Schillerová, set to helm the Finance Ministry, told journalists priorities for her were to simplify the tax code and to balance the state budget.
Lubomír Metnar, a fellow member of ANO who is set to be the next Interior Minister, who also met with the president at Lány Chateau on Friday, stressed the aim of keeping the Czech Republic one of the safest countries.
The new government is to be named on December 13.
The countries of the Visegrad 4 – Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech
Republic, are set to launch a joint program to boost security on Libya’s
borders to try and quell the number of migrants trying to flee the country
as well as to try and improve the situation for them at home.
Former prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka expressed support for the project ahead of an EU summit which will be attended by his successor Andrej Babiš.
Czech financial daily Hospodářské noviny reported that 200 million crowns could be pledged by the Czech Republic towards security and aid. Money donated by the V4 would go to the EU Trust Fund for Africa.
So far, the Czech Republic has already provided funding worth 42.42 million crowns or 1.66 million euros.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he does not agree with the idea that
the Czech Embassy in Tel Aviv could be moved to Jerusalem. President Miloš
Zeman brought up the possibility after expressing backing for US President
Donald Trump who officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital this
Prime Minister Babiš told Czech Radio’s flagship station Radiožurnál that it was important not to create new conflicts in the Middle East, saying that the Czech Republic was a “small country which should try and work for peace”.
The locality of Magdaléna u Jistebnice in the Tábor area will, in all
likelihood, not be included on a list of suitable locations for a deep
storage site for nuclear waste, the mayor of Jistebnice, Vladimír Mašek,
has said. The mayor said assurances had been given that Environment
Minister Richard Brabec would respect public opinion and recommend the site
not be included.
The Czech Republic is planning to narrow options down to four locations for a deep repository to be completed by 2065. Preparations up to 2020 are expected to cost 1.7 billion crowns. A final location should be agreed by 2025.
Slavia Prague’s run in football’s Europa League came to an abrupt end
on Thursday night when they were defeated by Kazakh club Astana in Prague.
Astana scored in the closing minutes of the first half following a mistake by Slavia’s defence and goalkeeper. Slavia has numerous chances to equalise but did not find the back of the net. The final score was 1:0.
The broader leadership of the Communist Party is meeting on Friday to
assess how its negotiation team, led by outgoing chairman Vojětch Filip,
has handled post-election talks and how to approach the next rounds. This
week ANO’s Andrej Babiš was named prime minister and next week his
minority government will officially be named and will have 30 days to get
backing in a confidence vote.
The Communists are the only party so far which has said it would be willing to tolerate an ANO government (including unaffiliated ministers) under certain circumstances, namely an agreement on a list of demands, including taxation of church restitution funds.
Prime Minister Babiš has said he will begin negotiations with parties in the lower house beginning on the 18th of December.
The new US ambassador to the Czech Republic, Stephen B. King, said at a
meeting with journalists on Thursday that his primary goal is to support
the development of economic relations between the two countries.
Ambassador King, who handed his credentials to President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday, said the meeting with the Czech head of state had been honest, open and fruitful. He expressed the hope to soon hold talks with the country’s new prime minister, Andrej Babiš, and Martin Stropnický who is to head the Foreign Ministry.
The new EU ambassador released a video on Facebook in which he introduced himself to the Czech public.
Czech President Milos Zeman has defended US President Donald Trump’s
decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US
embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Zeman said EU member states
should follow the US example.
Meanwhile, the Czech political scene is divided on the issue. The right-wing Civic Democrats and the SPD welcomed Trump’s decision, while TOP 09 took a reserved stance and the Communist Party sharply criticized the move.
The Czech Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it considers Jerusalem the future capital of both Israel and the future state of Palestine, in line with EU policy. It said Prague would not transfer its embassy to Jerusalem without discussing the issue with its partners in the EU.
The traditional New Year fireworks display in Prague will be a celebration
of the centenary since the birth of independent Czechoslovakia and 25 years
since the birth of the Czech Republic, Prague Mayor Ardriana Krnáčová
told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday.
The fireworks display will take place at 6pm on January 1st, kicking off a year packed with anniversary events in the Czech Republic. The show was moved from midnight to the first day of the year so that it can be enjoyed by families with children.