The Regional Development Ministry has replied to the European
Commission’s preliminary audit on Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’
suspected conflict of interest.
According to the ministry the reply was handed over in person to officials at the Czech Republic’s Permanent Representation at the EU in Brussels.
In an interview for the Czech newspaper Deník N, Regional Development Minister Dostálová said the detailed reply contained contradictions to every sentence on every page of the audit.
According to the audit’s conclusion, Mr. Babiš has retained some influence on his company Agrofert,despite having placed it in trust funds, and therefore has a conflict of interest.
As a result, the Czech Republic may be forced to return about CZK 450 million in EU funding drawn by Agrofert.
The head of the Pirate Party, Ivan Bartoš, has called for the reply to be made public.
The Czech ambassador to Lebanon, Michaela Froňková, says the country is
exhausted by the migrant crisis and would prefer for international aid
streaming to the country in connection with migrants to go directly to
In an interview for the ctk news agency the ambassador said that that there was a notable change of mood in the country with growing hostility to the large number of Syrian refugees in the country.
"Before they welcomed aid from the Czech Republic and other states, now they are saying – take your money and help the Syrians in Syria," Fronkova told the news agency.
There are now over one million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon, and the authorities say there are around 550, 000 more Syrians who are unregistered. Many are employed illegally and the locals feel that they are taking away their jobs.
The World Health Organization has stripped the Czech Republic, Great
Britain, Greece and Albania of their "measles free status" after
a marked increase in cases in all of the said states.
The WHO announced the move in an annual report on the incidence of contagious diseases in Europe.
Thirty- five out of 53 European countries have retained their measles-free status.
The Czech health authorities registered 579 cases of measles in the first seven months of this year, compared to 203 in the previous year.
As in many other countries suffering renewed outbreaks, the spread of measles in the Czech Republic is attributed to the growing reluctance of some parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease.
Slavia Prague has secured a spot in the group stage of the Champions League
after beating Romanian side Cluj 1:0 in the second leg of the play-offs.
Slavia’s opponents will be decided at a draw on Thursday evening in
Monaco. The team has also secured a CZK 393 million for making it into the
Slavia won the previous leg in Cluj 1:0 and although the first half-hour of the game saw chances on both sides, the Czech team eventually became more dominant in the second half. The only goal of the game was then scored in the 66 minute when Slavia defender Jan Bořil scored with a hard shot in the penalty area.
It is only the second time in history that the Prague team has managed to advance into the group stages of Europe’s most prestigious tournament.
The amount of Lynx sightings has substantially decreased, zoologist Jiří
Flousek from the Krkonoše Mountains National Park told the Czech News
Agency on Wednesday. He says that, based on the single unconfirmed sighting
of a Lynx so far this year, he cannot confirm there are currently any such
predators in the North Bohemian mountain range.
Lynx sightings were steadily growing since park authorities started recording the events in 2000. However, sometime between 2011 and 2013 there was a change in the trend when the amount of sightings started going down. Mr. Flousek did not deny that poaching could be the reason for the change in data.
President Miloš Zeman called on Czech ambassadors to focus on economic
diplomacy during a meeting with the country’s representatives abroad at
Prague Castle on Wednesday. In his opinion, the country’s small, export
focused economy needs to succeed in foreign markets, while at the same
time, foreign investment need to be brought into the Czech Republic.
The president also said that he does not like reproaching foreign officials for human rights abuses, because this can cause unnecessary damages in areas such as tourism. Rather, he said that concrete help in the area of human rights is more effective. The country’s ambassadors have gathered for their annual meeting in the Czech capital this week to debate foreign policy, economic diplomacy, security and consular topics. Meeting the president is a traditional part of the annual meeting.
Javelin thrower Nikola Ogrodníková is the only Czech selected into the
European team which will compete with US athletes at September’s highly
anticipated intercontinental duel in Minsk. Called, The Match, the contest
will see four European and four US athletes compete in various athletic
Ms. Ogrodníková, a silver medal holder from the 2018 European Championships, is currently leading Europe’s rankings in javelin throwing. Her teammates on the European team will be Tatyana Chaladovich from Belarus, Līna Mūze of Lithuania and Alexie Alaïs of France.
Miloslava Vostrá, the negotiator for the Communist Party, which is
currently supporting Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s minority government,
will recommend her party supports Finance Minister Alena Šchillerová’s
2020 budget plan. The plan, which will be presented by the finance minister
to the government before it is sent to the Chamber of Deputies in
September, counts on a budget deficit of CZK 40 billion crowns in 2020.
The Communists originally wanted the government to reduce the planned deficit to CZK 30 billion crowns. However, following her meeting with the finance minister on Wednesday morning, Ms. Vostrá, who also chairs the Budget Committee in the lower house, agreed with Mrs. Šchillerová’s plan.
Communist Party Chairman Vojtěch Filip told the Czech News Agency that the party will decide on whether to support the budget after he meets with Ms. Vostrá.
The major South Korean manufacturer Nexen Tire opened its new factory, the
first in Europe, near the Czech city of Žatec this Wednesday. The CZK 22
billion factory, which will eventually employ 1,300 workers, is the third
largest investment project in the country that was mediated by CzechInvest.
The company plans to export three million tires by the end of the year and will have a total production capacity of 11 million when construction fully complete.
Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Petr Očko highlighted the fact that the facility also includes a research centre aimed at testing new technologies.