The Social Democrats, who are in government with ANO, have called on the
latter’s leader Andrej Babiš to respond to suggestions his son was
kidnapped. The Social Democrats’ deputy chairman Martin Netolický said
they would analyse a report on TV station Seznam Zprávy in which Mr.
Babiš’s son said he had been forcibly moved to the Crimea as his father
wanted him to “disappear” out of the way of a corruption investigation.
The Social Democrats’ leader, Jan Hamáček, said the situation was serious and his party would not rule out any possible scenario as regards future cooperation with ANO.
The deputy leader of the opposition Civic Democrats, Alexandra Udženija, called on Mr. Babiš to resign as prime minister over the matter. Another opposition party, TOP 09, have also called for the PM to step down.
Mr. Babiš says his son is mentally ill and left the Czech Republic voluntarily. The PM is facing a criminal investigation into allegations he wrongly acquired CZK 50 million in EU subsidies for the Stork’s Nest complex near Prague. He says the case is politically motivated.
The police have broadened an investigation into the Czech Football
Association and its former president, Miroslav Pelta, Czech Television
reported. The investigation centres on allegations of corruption linked to
the allocation of sports subsidies. Czech Television said police are also
looking into a fresh suspicion of bribery.
Police allege that Mr. Pelta supplied a free Prague centre apartment to a deputy minister of education and sport, with whom he agreed on the divvying up of sports grants. The ex-FA chief denies any wrongdoing.
US-based Czech pianist Tomáš Kačo launched his debut album My Home with
a recital at Prague’s Convent of St. Agnes on Monday evening. The concert
sold out quickly and a second show at the same venue will take place on
Tomáš Kačo comes from a large Roma family in a small town in Moravia and won a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He now lives in Los Angeles.
The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes on Monday handed out
awards for civic courage to 12 Czechs and foreign nationals.
Among the personalities honoured are Charter 77 signatory Daňa Horáková who ran a samizdat undercover organization together with Vaclav Havel, Russian journalist and dissident Alexandr Podrabinek who in the 1970s reported about the abuse of psychiatric institutions in Russia and Bulgarians Alexandr Dimitrov, Eduard Genov and Valentin Radev who as students had the courage to protest against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Among the Nazi resistence fighters honoured was 98-year-old war hero Bernard Papanek who fought at Dunkirk and Tobruk and Helena Steblová who helped resistence fighters during the war and whose whole family was sent to a labour camp as a result.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ younger son claims he was forcibly detained
in Crimea by his father’s associates at the time of the investigation of
the Stork’s Nest affair in which the prime minister is suspected of EU
Babiš Jr. told the news site seznam.cz that he had been given the option of “taking an extended holdiday” in Crimea or being locked up in a mental home.
He said he had spent some time in a psychiatric institution in the past. Babiš Jr. also revealed that he had signed some papers, but had no idea what he was signing.
The opposition parties are demanding an immediate explanation from the prime minister and have threatened to call a vote of no-confidence in his government over the matter.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, on Monday wound up his three-day visit to Paris, at the Pompidou Centre where in a discussion with its head Serge Lasvignes he expressed the desire to one day open a branch of the centre in Prague. Later today he will fly to Palermo, Italy where he is to take part in an international conference on the situation in Libya.
The number of Czech families who have a problem making ends meet on their
family budget has dropped to its lowest since 2012, according to the
results of a survey conducted by the CVVM agency.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said they had no trouble meeting their needs on their present income, while 43 percent said this presented a difficulty. Twenty-two percent of households consider themselves poor, and 12 percent are in serious financial straits.
The number of households which consider themselves poor in the over-60 age bracket is 32 percent. According to CVVM, the financial situation of Czech households has gradually been improving since 2012.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will visit the Czech Republic on
Friday, November 16th for talks with his Czech counterpart, Tomáš
Petříček, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Transport Minister Dan Ťok,
the ctk news agency reported.
The Czech Republic and Hungary cooperate closely within the Visegrad Group states. They have a similar stand on the migrant crisis, both reject mandatory migrant quotas and both are unwilling to sign the UN’s Global Compact for Migration, citing ambiguities in its interpretation.
The incoming mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib from the Pirate Party, is
against the prime minister’s idea of creating a government quarter in
Prague. Mr. Hřib said at a press briefing on Monday that he did not
approve of creating a monothematic quarter in any part of the city.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who has long propagated the idea of a new government quarter which would bring together over eleven thousand public service employees, save operation costs and allow the sell-off of lucrative real estate in the centre of the city, has run into problems finding an appropriate location.
His plan to build such a quarter in Prague’s Letnany district was criticized by the Institute for Planning and Development and his idea of locating it in Holešovice is opposed by the mayor of that district Jan Čižinský.
Babiš wrote on Twitter on Monday that he would like to exchange real estate in some part of Prague in return for Veleslavín Chateau.