The killing of Iran's military leader Qasem Soleimani was “an
extraordinary step in a complicated situation”, Czech Foreign Minister
Tomáš Petříček told the CTK news agency on Friday. He said there was
no question Iran would retaliate, which would not only worsen the situation
in the Middle East but put at risk the progress made in the fight against
"I perceive the US air strikes in Iraq as an extraordinary step in a complicated situation. The guilt of people should be decided by the courts. I am not an expert in military strategy but similarly as the attack on the US Embassy, the killing of Iran’s military leader will not go unanswered. This will complicate the situation in the region and put at risk the progress made in the fight against Islamic State and international terrorism," Petříček said.
The Czech foreign minister said the top priority for Czech diplomacy now was to ensure the safety of posted Czech workers in Iraq, including diplomats, soldiers and police. The Czech Republic has an embassy and a consulate general in Iraq, as well as soldiers and military police serving in the country.
The fiscal year 2019 ended with a 28.5 billion crown deficit, Finance
Minister Alena Schillerová told reporters at a press briefing in Prague on
Friday. The 2019 state budget was projected with a 40 billion crown
deficit. Although it was narrowed by 11.5 billion, the deficit is still the
highest since 2015.
Opposition parties have criticized the result, arguing that there is no justification for a deficit budget at a time of solid economic growth. They moreover criticize the fact that large sums are spent on the social sphere rather than on investments.
The 2018 budget ended on a surplus of 2.9 billion, despite the projected 50 billion crown deficit.
The Czech cabinet is to debate a bill which would regulate the number of
invasive species in the Czech Republic, introducing a means of controlling
plants and animals that are a threat to native wildlife and cause
considerable ecological damage. Similar legislation is in effect in other
EU member states.
The number of non-indigenous flora and fauna species in Europe is around 12,000 and around 15 percent of those are considered invasive. The damage done is estimated at around 12 billion euros annually.
The number of non-indigenous or foreign species in the Czech Republic is estimated at around 2,000 and ten to fifteen percent of them are considered invasive.
The president of the Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský, has refuted
earlier claims that he might leave his post before his term in office
Judge Rychetský told the business daily Hospodarske Noviny that by some miracle his state of health had improved and he had the mental and physical strength required to handle his demanding duties in office for the remainder of his term which ends in 2023.
Judge Rychetský, 76, is serving his second ten-year term in office as president of the Czech Constitutional Court.
The Czech Health Ministry will appeal the Belgium verdict in the Diag Human
case at the country’s High Court, a spokesperson for the ministry said on
The verdict, according to which the Czech Republic should pay Diag Human 14.5 billion crowns for not protecting the company’s investments in the Czech Republic, was delivered at the end of December.
Diag Human sued the Czech Republic in several countries for thwarted business in blood plasma trade, but the verdicts in the USA, the Netherlands, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and the United Kingdom, all favored the Czech Republic.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has warned Czechs against travelling to Iraq,
citing the volatile situation in the country. Citizens who decide to take
the risk are advised to register with the ministry’s travel data base
DROZD which will facilitate assistance in the event of problems.
The Czech Republic expressed deep concern over Tuesday's attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad by an angry crowd of demonstrators.
The Czech Foreign Ministry called on the Iraqi authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the matter, pointing out that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations the Iraqi government is bound to “take appropriate steps to protect the premises of foreign missions against any intrusion or damage”.
Some 55 percent of Czechs believe that the modern history of their country
is being distorted, suggests an opinion poll conducted for Czech Radio by
the Median agency. This view was shared by 66 percent of respondents aged
60 or over.
The handling of a statue of Soviet commander Ivan Konev and the appropriateness of building a monument to the WWII “Vlasov army” have proven divisive topics in the Czech Republic in recent months.
With regard to the latter dispute, the new opinion poll indicates that almost two-thirds of Czechs are not in favour of removing monuments linked to WWII.
The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, will be among the guests at the
ceremonial reopening of the State Opera in Prague on Sunday, Lidovky.cz
reported, citing a government official. German Chancellor Angela Merkel,
Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki all
declined invitations to the event, the news site said.
Renovations at the State Opera, which is very near the top of Wenceslas Square, began in March 2017. The CZK 1.3 billion cost was considerably higher than the original budget.
The pictures Old-Timers and Owners have received the most nominations, five
each, in the Czech Film Critics’ Awards. Old-Timers is about a geriatric
pair seeking revenge on a communist-era prosecutor, while Owners centres on
a meeting of people who all have apartments in the same building. WWII
drama The Painted Bird got four nominations.
The winners of the Czech Film Critics’ Awards will be announced on February 1.