Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak representatives have signed a four-year
project that aims to improve the conditions of thousands of small farmers
in Kenya and contribute to dealing with the causes of illegal migration.
The chief manager of the project, worth 14 million euros in total, is the state-run Slovak Agency for International Developmental Cooperation. The project should support 15,000 farmers on the coast of Kenya.
The Czech University of Life Sciences and the Czech branch of the Fairtrade organization will represent the Czech Republic in the project.
President Miloš Zeman contacted Czech soldiers serving in the country’s
foreign missions on Thursday to thank them for their work in the fight
against terrorism. In a video-link with soldiers serving in Afghanistan,
Mali, the Sinai Peninsula, the Golan Heights and Iraq, the president
thanked them for their dedication and courage in serving the country abroad
and wished them well in the New Year.
The country’s new defense minister, Karla Šlechtová, also exchanged greetings with the heads of foreign missions.
The Czech Republic currently has close to 500 soldiers serving abroad. Their numbers could rise by several hundred next year as the country wants to increase its presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The country’s new prime minister, Andrej Babiš, would also like to send Czech soldiers to help protect Libyan borders.
The newly-appointed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is representing
the Czech Republic at a two-day EU summit in Brussels, has reaffirmed the
country’s negative stance to mandatory migrant quotas, highlighting its
strong engagement in helping to resolve the situation in the countries of
migrant origin. The Czech prime minister met with the heads of government
of the Visegrad Four states and with EC President Jean Claude Junker to
discuss the ECs decision to sue the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary over
their unwillingness to accept migrants.
The Visegrad Four announced at the summit that they will contribute 35 million euros to strengthen Libya’s borders and alleviate the plight of migrants in the country.
The regional court in Usti nad Labem has opened the biggest case of online
sexual abuse of children reported to date. The man charged allegedly abused
over 150 girls under 15 years of age in this manner getting them to send
him photos and videos of themselves and threatening to put them online
unless they deliver more.
The suspect faces seven different charges and if convicted could get up to 12 years in jail. The case has highlighted the need for parents to be more aware of their children’s activities on the Internet.
Strong winds battered the Czech Republic on Thursday complicating traffic in many parts of the country. Traffic police reported a heightened number of accidents due to adverse weather conditions and the D8 highway leading from Prague through central and north Bohemia to the German border was closed after a strong gust of wind overturned a truck on the road. Drivers have been warned to exercise caution.
Czech car makers are set to produce a record 1.4 million vehicles this
year, which is about 50,000 more than last year, according to figures
released by the Czech Automotive Industry Association.
Production of cars, trucks, motorcycles and busses grew by 4.5 percent between January and November, to 1.3 million, the association reported. Skoda is the driving force behind the growth in production followed by Tatra and Jawa Moto.
The newly-appointed minority government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is
unlikely to win a vote of confidence in the lower house. Only the Communist
Party has indicated that it might be willing to support the government
under certain conditions. The Party of Freedom and Direct Democracy, which
was considered a possible ally, said it has no reason to support the
government since it will not implement the party’s policy priorities.
Prime Minister Babiš said he would seek support from parties across the political spectrum as soon as he returns from the EU summit in Brussels.
The majority of opposition parties have said the new government should not make important policy decisions until it gets a vote of confidence. The new prime minister has indicated he will request a vote of confidence in January of next year.
The Czech army plans to invest about one billion crowns in the construction
of new training facilities and in the renovation of the existing ones
between the years 2019 and 2025, the Defense Ministry spokeswoman Jana
Zechmeisterová said on Wednesday.
The money will be used, among others, for the reconstruction and enlargement of the Military Academy and Training Center in Vyškov. According to Ms Zechmeisterová, around 17,000 to 18,000 soldiers pass through the military academy and training centre each year.
Over 30 percent of bridges in the Central Bohemian region are in a poor
state and 11 percent are in dangerous condition, Jaroslava Pokorná
Hermanová, governor of the Central Bohemian region, told journalists on
Only 10 percent out of the total 1,844 bridges in the Central Bohemian region are in excellent condition, according to the results of an annual monitoring of the state of bridges in the country.
Concern regarding the state of the country’s bridges was sparked after the collapse of a footbridge across the Vltava River on December 2, which left four people injured. Experts are still assessing what caused the bridge, which stood between Prague’s Troja with Císařský Island, to collapse.