The state enterprise Diamo should become actively involved in a project to
mine lithium at Cínovec in Northern Bohemia, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
said on Tuesday. He made the statement in response to reports on Monday
that the Australian firm European Metals Holdings had acquired permission
from the Czech authorities to begin 13 test drills, an important step in
ascertaining the viability of the project.
Mr. Babiš said he would meet the ministers of the environment and industry and trade to discuss the matter. He said Diamo would have to be forced to be more active as it had done nothing to date.
The Czech state had signed a memorandum with European Metals Holdings on exploiting the mine but that was abrogated by Mr. Babiš’s government.
The divisive chairman of the lower house’s Security Committee, Radek
Koten of Freedom and Direct Democracy, received classified category
security clearance last week, the head of his party’s deputies club,
Radim Fiala, said on Tuesday. Mr. Fiala also hit out at MPs who questioned
Mr. Koten’s credentials for the position over his activities on social
Mr. Koten had promised to acquire the clearance when he was elected to head the Security Committee in November. His application for classified-level clearance means the committee will not have access to documents deemed top secret.
The Freedom and Direct Democracy politician allegedly joined Facebook groups calling for a referendum on the Czech Republic leaving the EU, referring to Islam as a fatal evil and naming Russia as the Czech Republic’s ally. He said he did not administer his Facebook page.
Prague’s leaders have selected the winner of an architectural competition
for a new bridge across the Vltava. The structure is set to connect Dvorce
on the east bank of the river in Prague 4 and Lihovar, which is south of
Smíchov train station on the west bank. The winning design was submitted
by the Tubes and Atelier 6 studios.
The future Dvorecký Bridge will cost around CZK 1 billon, officials say. However, no date has been set for the launch of construction. The architects say they were inspired by Cubism and that the structure should blend in with the banks of the Vltava.
Petr Štěpánek has withdrawn his candidature for membership of the
Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting. A number of opposition
politicians had called on governing party ANO to rescind Mr.
Štěpánek’s nomination and on Tuesday a number of its MPs, including
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, said they would not back him in a vote on
Opposition parties had slammed his nomination due to the fact that Mr. Štěpánek had spoken about wishing to blow up public broadcaster Czech Television, which he referred to as a criminal organisation.
Around 200 people protested against Mr. Štěpánek’s appointment outside the Czech lower house on Monday.
It takes Czechs considerably longer on average to save to purchase an
apartment than people in other European states, suggests a new study
produced by consultants Deloitte.
Comparing 12 states last year, the report found that a new flat in the Czech Republic is equivalent to 11.3 years of average pay. Belgians, meanwhile, need the equivalent of 3.7 years’ salary to cover the price of a property of 70 metres squared.
A lack of new apartments on the market is one factor forcing property prices up in the Czech Republic, said a representative of Deloitte. Mortgage regulations, lengthy permit procedures, high taxation and consumer sentiment are other factors.
Following consultations with the European Commission, the State Veterinary
Authority has reversed its order for imported pork products to undergo
tests for African swine fever.
The special measures concerned imports from countries where African swine fever has been confirmed and were to have come into effect this week.
The European Commission protested against the decision on the grounds that it would destabilize the trade in pork.
It moreover pointed out that in all of the states concerned, African swine fever had only been detected in wild boar, not in commercial pig farms.
The Social Democratic Party’s unsuccessful candidate for foreign minister
Miroslav Poche will leave his post at the foreign ministry as soon as a new
foreign minister has been appointed, the party’s new nominee for the
post, Deputy Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told journalists on
The announcement came following a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who is to discuss Petříček’s nomination with President Zeman later today.
Poche, whom the president refused to appoint foreign minister on the grounds of his pro-migrant views, has been serving in the post of political secretary at the ministry and chief aide to acting foreign minister, Jan Hamáček.
President Zeman has already signaled that he considers the party’s new nominee for the post of foreign minister acceptable.
The Czech Foreign Ministry is ascertaining how best to help Indonesia in
the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the island of
Sulawesi on Friday.
EU member states are currently coordinating their aid to the region with the help of local authorities.
The options are financial aid, humanitarian aid or sending rescue teams. A meeting of diplomats from EU member states is taking place on Monday.
According to the Czech Foreign Ministry a Czech national who was hit by the tsunami is reported to be uninjured and has been flown to Makasar. All other Czech tourists in the region are reported to be safe.
A 7.5-magnitude earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday followed by a massive tsunami, which killed more than 830 people. Hundreds are reported injured and tens of thousands have been displaced.