Around 400 Czech citizens are currently in Sri Lanka which was hit by a
series of terror attacks in churches and hotels on Easter Sunday, Czech
Television reports. The local Czech embassy says no Czechs fell victim to
the attacks which current reports say claimed 185 lives including those of
Czech leaders have reacted to the attacks. President Miloš Zeman expresed his condolences and called the attacks “monstrous”. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the news was “unbelievable” and “unacceptable”. Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček condemned the attacks while also expressing his condolences. He reminded Czechs that the local embassy and consulate are there for them.
The Czech Republic’s current oil reserves would only last for 83 days of net import, which is three days less than last year, the head of Administration of State Material reserves Pave Švagr told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The Czech Republic has not been fulfilling the European Directive on oil and crude reserves for three years now. According to the directive, EU countries with no oil of their own must maintain emergency stock of crude oil or petroleum products equal to at least 90 days of net import.
Minister of Justice Jan Kněžínek has announced his decision to step down
amid growing speculation that he would also be part of a pending government
reshuffle. Mr Kněžínek said he had considered resigning for some time.
Mr Kněžínek will be replaced in the post by Marie Benešová, who served as justice minister in the government of Jiří Rusnok.
The Minister of Justice said he would leave office on April 30. The two other ministers to be replaced are Transport Minister Dan Ťok and Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková.
Czech firefighters have had to deal with nearly 1700 fires since the
beginning of April, a spokeswoman for the Czech Fire Rescue Service said on
Thursday. In April, they were called to assist in 98 fires a day, which is
two times the average. Eight people died as a result of the fires and 71
Fires out in the open prevail these days and are mainly caused by people’s negligence as well as the unseasonably hot and dry weather. Ahead of the Easter weekend, firefighters have warned that burning garden waste and old grass is prohibited by law.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has refused to make public the so-called
national investment plan encompassing 17,000 projects worth 3.5 billion
crowns, despite his previous promise to do so.
Reacting to an inquiry by Social Democrat MP Zbyněk Stanjura, Mr Babiš said the plan was an internal material and was not intended for publication. The 11-year national investment plan summarizing the country’s infrastructure improvement needs was presented by the ANO party leader last November.
Officials at Mělník hospital say a healthy new-born boy was left in their
baby-box on Wednesday evening. According to the founder of the Czech
baby-box system, the boy was in good condition and was given the name
Since the system was introduced in 2005, altogether 188 children unwanted by their parents have been saved through baby-boxes. There are currently 76 such facilities, monitored by doctors, across the Czech Republic,
Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has dismissed the head of Prague’s
National Gallery Jiří Fajt and the head of the Museum of Art in Olomouc,
At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister of Culture said his
decision was made on the basis of an audit carried out in the institutions.
He said he had lost faith in the directors’ ability to efficiently manage
the institutions’ budgets.
Mr Staněk has also filed two criminal charges against Mr Fajt over an allegedly suspicious CZK 1.2 million contract and lease agreement. The chief post at Prague’s National Gallery will be temporarily filled by Ivan Morávek.
The EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra
Jourová is on the list of 100 most influential people of 2019 published by
Jourová said the placement was an honour not just for her but for her whole team and reflected the growing influence of the European Union in the digital world.
Jourová, a Czech politician, businesswoman and lawyer, has served as EU commissioner since November, 2014.
The Czech Republic has slid further down the press freedom index published
by the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders.
On a list on 180 countries, the Czech Republic now ranks 40th on the ladder, down from 34th the previous year.
In the press freedom index for 2014 the country ranked 12th in the world.
The US has also seen a marked slide and now ranks 48th, while press freedom is thriving in Norway, Finland, Sweden and The Netherlands.
Bottom of the ladder are North Korea and Eritrea.