Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his Bulgarian counterpart Bojko Borisov have stressed the need to find a reasonable compromise on migrant issues in the EU. During talks in Sofia on Monday Prime Minister Babiš said he was relying on Bulgaria, which took up the rotating presidency of the European Council at the beginning of the year, to resolve the thorny issue of migrant quotas in a manner acceptable for all member states. Babiš said a mandatory redistribution of migrants was unacceptable and divisive. Prime Minister Borisov said his country’s priorities during the months of the presidency would be security, stability and solidarity. The Czech prime minister likewise expressed support for Bulgaria’s ambition to join Schengen.
A hat made in honour of Jiří Raška, the 1968 Olympics ski jumping champion, that is the highlight of the 2018 Winter Olympic collection is reported to be hugely successful. Jan Došlý, marketing Director of Alpine Pro said the hat was practically sold out and the company was scrambling to put several thousand more pieces on the market ahead of the games. The hat dubbed “Raškovka” closely resembles the hat in which Raška won his first gold in ski jumping at the Olympics in Grenoble in 1968. Jiří Raška was named the best Czech skier of the 20th century in a 2003 poll of journalists and members of the Czech Ski Association.
The damage caused by the fire that killed four people at Prague’s
Eurostars David hotel on Saturday night will exceed 20 million crowns,
according to a preliminary estimate released by fire crews which took part
in the rescue operation.
The results of an investigation as to what caused the fire should be known in a matter of days or weeks. Among the dead are a twenty-one-year-old German man and a twenty-year-old woman from South Korea.
Police are still searching for the identity of the two women who succumbed to their injuries in hospital several hours later.
Jiří Drahoš, challenger to incumbent president Miloš Zeman in the
second round of presidential elections, has stated that while he is against
a dictate from Brussels regarding the number of migrants the Czech Republic
should accept, he feels that the country is strong enough, both from the
administrative and security aspects, to take in a certain amount of
Mr. Drahoš made the statement in an interview for Novinky.cz. The incumbent president has a strong anti-migrant stance.
President Milos Zeman has indicated that he will give the ANO party which won the last general elections by a broad margin a second chance to form a government. In a debate on TV Nova on Sunday the president said he would prefer a minority cabinet made up of ANO party members supported by the Social Democrats and Communists or the Social Democrats and the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party. Mr. Zeman said he would leave it up the party to decide whether Andrej Babis should head the next cabinet, after he was stripped of his immunity and released for criminal prosecution. Babis, who had been promised a second chance to form a cabinet, has indicated that he would bow to the will of the ANO party and might leave the top post to a party colleague if such a step would secure a viable government.
Brno Contemporary Orchestra has commissioned music compositions from
domestic and foreign composers to celebrate the centenary of the birth of
Czechoslovakia which it will perform in the course of 2018 in the Moravian
One concert will be titled From Czechoslovakia while the one featuring the work of foreign composers will be titled For Czechoslovakia. The Czech composers working on the celebratory compositions are Petr Bakla, Marián Lejava and Luboš Mrkvička. The foreign composers involved are American composer Elliot Sharp and Swiss composer Roland Dahinden.
Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová has acknowledged a problem with a
contract on the purchase of eight mobile radars for the Czech army from
Israel, prepared by her predecessor in office Martin Stropnicky.
In an debate on commercial TV Prima, Šlechtová said the radars had not been approved by the National Institute for Cyber Security and unless approval was granted the radars could not be linked up to NATO systems and put to effective use.
Šlechtová has commissioned a legal expertise on the matter, saying the contract might need to be reviewed.