The European Union and the United Kingdom must do their utmost to negotiate
an agreement on Brexit, Angela Merkel said during a meeting with prime
ministers of the Visegrad Four countries in Bratislava on Thursday. The
German Chancellor believes that both parties would benefit from an orderly
exit of the United Kingdom.
Angela Merkel and the leaders of the V4 countries, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, also discussed the EU budget for the period from 2021 to 2027 and the upcoming elections to the European Parliament.
Car-maker Škoda Auto has won a 780 million crown tender announced by the
Ministry of Finance to provide passenger cars to various state
institutions. The car manufacturer will provide over 1,370 vehicles to 10
ministries and subsidiary organisations. The Czech Republic’s prison
service has already received 30 Škoda Octavia models.
Škoda Auto had also won a 250 million tender to provide 4x4 drive passenger cars to the police, but the tender was cancelled by the country’s anti-monopoly office, which claimed its requirements unfairly favoured the Czech car-maker Auto against other bidders.
Czech Prime Minister Andre Babiš has slammed a report by Deutsche Welle,
which said foreign workers employed in a company linked to Mr Babiš work
in very poor conditions. The report, which was published on Tuesday, also
said the foreign workers arrived in the Czech Republic in terrible
circumstances. The ANO party leader said the article was fabricated and
full of lies.
The author of the report cited a Vietnamese, who used to work in the poultry factory Vodňanská drůbež in Mirovice, about 80 kilometres southwest of Prague, which belongs to the Agrofert Holding, founded by Andrej Babiš.
Mr Babiš turned Agrofert into trust funds in 2017 in order to comply with the conflict of interest law, but his critics say he is still in control since the trusts are managed by his family members and lawyers
A two-day conference on digitalization got underway on Thursday in the
Czernin Palace, the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on
topics related to modern technologies and their impact on society and
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the Czech Republic must rise to the level of other EU countries in the areas of research, innovation and digital education. He also said the country must provide optimal conditions for researchers and scientists to prevent their outflow.
At the end of last year, his government adopted a program called Digital Czechia, promoting digitization of state administration.
Czech hotels and other accommodation facilities saw a record number of
tourists in 2018. According to the data released by the Czech Statistical
Office on Thursday, the overall number of tourists accommodated in Czech
hotels, bed and breakfasts and camps reached 21.3 million, which is an
increase of 6.4 percent on the previous year.
The number of overnight stays in the Czech Republic increased as well, reaching over 55 million. Over 10.6 million foreign tourists visited the country last year. The biggest number came from Germany, followed by visitors from Slovakia, Poland and China.
Investigative reporters Ondřej Kundra and Jaroslav Kmenta have each been
awarded the prestigious Ferdinand Peroutka Prize for their work in
uncovering corruption among politicians and businesses.
The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize, launched in 1995, is named after one of the most prominent Czech journalists of the 20th century. It honours those who show great integrity in work.
Both the recipients work for weekly magazines: Kundra, for Respekt, and Kmenta for Reportér.
President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday invited the self-proclaimed interim
president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, to visit the Czech Republic, and
congratulated the National Assembly leader on assuming the provisional
The gesture, announced by the president’s spokesman, came two days after the Czech government recognized Mr Guaidó as the legitimate leader of the South American country until free and transparent elections are called.
President Zeman noting that this year is the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and collapse of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia, said in the invitation, “I hope that your transition to democracy will succeed”.
Mr Guaidó took the presidential oath on January 23 after the National Assembly failed to recognize the second term of incumbent Nicolás Madura, who won re-election last year in a vote that international observers said was clearly rigged.
Václav Vorlíček, known for classic films such as “Who Wants to Kill
Jessie” and the fairy tale “Three Nuts for Cinderella”, died of
cancer on Tuesday at the age of 88.
Last year, Mr Vorlíček was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Kviff), officially known as the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema.
Mr Vorlíček studied filmmaking at Prague’s FAMU in the 1950s and began directing feature films in the early 1960s.
His beloved filmography includes several comedies made in collaboration with screenwriter Miloš Macourek.
A platform of NGOs focused on fighting corruption and increasing
transparency in government has filed a criminal complaint against the Czech
president’s chancellor for allegedly interfering with the independence of
A legal analysis compiled by the platform Rekonstrukce státu (State Reconstruction) alleges that Chancellor Vratislav Mynář tried to influence judges in key courts to take decisions on cases relating to the Office of the President or in which President Miloš Zeman had a vested interest.
Rekonstrukce státu says in the analysis that Mr Mynář may have committed the crime of interfering with judicial independence when he met with Constitutional Judge Vojtech Šimíček and sent a letter to another judge, Josef Bax, when he was led the Supreme Administrative Court.
President Zeman may also have committing the same crime, the NGO platform says. Mr. Zeman and his right hand man have been accused in recent weeks by a group of Senators, among others, of seeking to influence court decisions.