The designated Czech vice-president of the European Commission, Věra
Jourová has been approved by MEPs for the European values and transparency
portfolio in the new European Commission.
Ms. Jourová was grilled by members of the Constitutional Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees on how she would secure rule of law and media independence across the EU.
Potential measures mentioned by the vice president-designate included anti-censorship legislation, as well as legal and financial aid for those facing rule of law violations.
Ms. Jourová also responded to questions pertaining to the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, who, according to a preliminary EU audit has a conflict of interest.
The Czech nominee said she was determined to address rule of law issues across the block impartially and would not favour any state in defending the EU‘s core values.
The former governor of Central Bohemia David Rath reported to the Teplice
jailhouse on Monday to start serving the remainder of his prison sentence
The regional court in Prague sentenced the former health minister and governor of Central Bohemia to 7 years in jail for corruption in June of 2018.
Rath was arrested with seven million crowns on his person six years ago and accused of taking bribes to rig public contracts.He has appealed the verdict several times to no avail.
The Prague City Council has approved the loan of the famous Slav Epic cycle
of paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha to Moravský Krumlov for
a period of five years.
The city of Moravský Krumlov, which was in charge of the cycle of 20 outsize paintings from the 1950s to 2010, has said it can ready them for a public exhibition within a matter of months.
The two cities have disputed the right to house the famous paintings since 2010, when they were moved to Prague, despite the fact that the city is still looking for a permanent exhibition site for them.
The paintings were also at the centre of a drawn-out ownership dispute with the painter’s grandson John Mucha, but last year the Prague Municipal Court definitively ruled that they rightly belong to Prague to whom the painter donated them in 1928.
Prague City Hall has announced it will terminate the sister-city agreement
between Prague and Beijing, because the Chinese authorities are unwilling
to drop an article of the document in which Prague recognizes the policy of
The agreement was signed by the city’s former mayor, Adriana Krnáčová, and the Pirate Party, which heads the Prague ruling coalition, has been critical of it from the outset.
The dispute has caused a rift in Czech-Chinese relations with China recently cancelling a number of planned tours by Prague cultural ensembles.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček say that while the government respects the “One China” policy it cannot dictate anything to the democratically elected Prague leadership.
The outgoing European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
Tibor Navracsics begins a two-day working visit to the Czech Republic on
His talks with Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek and other top officials are expected to focus on cultural heritage protection in the digital age.
At a similar meeting in Dublin in April, Navracsics pointed out that only about 10 percent of the European cultural heritage has been digitised so far and called for the need to push ahead with this task so as to make it available to the broad public.
Navracsics has been a member of the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission since 2014. Its mandate will expire at the end of the month.
As in 2018, two Czech women will take part in this year’s WTA Finals,
which involves the top eight women’s tennis players from the season.
Petra Kvitová has just qualified and Karolína Plíšková had already
made the cut-off for the prestigious tournament, which this year is being
held in China’s Shenzhen.
Kvitová, who is 29, has taken part in the WTA finals seven times and lifted the trophy in 2011.
President Miloš Zeman says he will give the late Karel Gott the Order of
the White Lion, First Class, the country’s highest state honour, in
memoriam next year. Mr. Zeman said it would be too soon after his death to
bestow it on the singer this year on October 28, when such honours are
handed out. The president also said he would present a state honour to his
predecessor, Václav Klaus, next month.
Speaking in a radio interview, Mr. Zeman said he was not against state honours being accorded at the funeral of actress and ex-dissident Vlasta Chramostová, who died at the weekend. However, he said Constitutional Court chief Pavel Rychetský, who proposed the tribute, was not entitled to do so and should not neglect his own work.
The ANO-appointed minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, says that if the
Social Democrats put forward a special tax on the banking sector it would
be in breach of the coalition agreement.
The latter party’s minister for labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová, said last week that she would submit a bill on a banks tax herself if no agreement was reached with ANO on the matter.
Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Minster Schillerová said if her cabinet colleague actually put forward legislation to that effect it could spell the end of the coalition government.
Ms. Maláčová argues that Czech banks are making record profits.
The Czech Banking Association says 15 EU states have a bank sector tax.
The renowned Czech actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová has
died at the age of 92. Chramostová appeared in the classic 1969 film The
Cremator, the 1990s movie Sekal Has to Die and in Václav Havel’s film
adaptation of his own play Leaving, among other screen roles. The news of
her death was announced on Sunday by the Czech National Theatre, where she
was a member of the cast for many years.
Vlasta Chramostová was banned from appearing on screen, on TV or on radio following her rejection of the Soviet occupation that began in August 1968. After some short theatre engagements she was restricted to acting in underground productions, often in private apartments, until the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
Chramostová was active in the anti-Communist dissent and samizdat publication and was an early signatory of the Charter 77 protest document. In early 1989 she was convicted over her opposition activities.
She said that she had lived three lives: an acting life, a dissident life and a time of returns.
In 1998 President Václav Havel bestowed the Order of T.G. Masaryk on the acting legend for her contribution to human rights and democracy.