The Social Democrats, who are currently in a minority government with Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party, will not support the government’s
proposal to ease the legislation regarding the issuing of some public
tenders, the leader of the Social Democrat deputies in the lower house Jan
Chvojka told Czech Television on Sunday. He said future support could only
come if the current proposal were further amended by the Chamber of
Meanwhile, Pavel Kováčik,the leader of the deputies of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which supports the minority government, said that his party would be in favour of the proposed change in legislation. However, only under the condition that it would be used in a state of crisis, such as the one declared during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government justified the amendment by saying it would ease the administrative burden on issuing tenders in times of crisis. The proposal has been condemned by anti-corruption organisations Transparency International and Reconstruction of the State (Rekonstrukce státu).
Speaker of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil of the Civic Democrats said on TV
Prima he will take a decision about whether to travel to Taiwan at the
latest by the end of June. He said he will first discuss the idea with
foreign policy experts, economists and human rights advisors.
The trip to Taiwan had been planned already by his predecessor Jaroslav Kubera, who then died suddenly in January. The trip has been heavily opposed by the Chinese Embassy and the Czech president. China does not recognise Taiwan and there are fears, as stated in a letter from the Chinese Embassy, but possibly penned by the Office of the President according to some media reports, that the trip would result in punishing economic measures by China on Czech businesses.
Mr Vystrčil said after a meeting with President Zeman two weeks ago that, if China dictates terms, his trip to Taiwan will become “ever more realistic”.
Some 56 percent of adults in the Czech Republic and 13 percent of children
do not wear a helmet when cycling, according to a new analysis conducted by
the Transport Research Centre in Brno. The latter number is particularly
alarming given the fact that not wearing a helmet among cyclists below the
age of 18 is illegal.
The author of the analysis, Kateřina Bucsuházy, says that the head is the most likely place of injury on the cyclist's body in case of an accident and that if a cyclist wears a helmet their likelihood of an injury statistically decreases by 28 percent.
The massive decline in the number of tourists visiting Prague this year as
a result of coronavirus border restrictions will be felt by the whole
country with many businesses in the service sector also being dependent on
tourism, the Prague Councillor for Culture and Tourism Hana Třeštíková
told Czech Radio’s news site iRozhlas.cz in an interview published on
She said the real size of the losses caused by the pandemic will be counted in the autumn of this year, but she also stressed the positive fact that no large cultural institution has thus far been forced to close.
Ms Třeštíková also said that the sudden crash in tourism could be used as an opportunity to reform some of the tourist locations in Prague, removing what has been called the “visual smog” in the capital, such as the many Thai massage parlours.
Earlier this week, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib posted on his Facebook account that the city had created a new “Manual for a Cultivated Prague”, which delineates visual esthetic practices for the capital’s businesses.
The International Roma festival Khamoro, which would normally have started
this Sunday, had to be called off due to the threat of the COVID-19
coronavirus. However, organisers say that individual events will be taking
place from June to December 2020.
The first of these is a visual exhibition by the artist Emília Rigová in the ArtivistLab gallery in Prague. The exhibit presents a project on which Rigová began to work during her stint in New York two years ago. It is partly focused on raising the profile of Romani culture or searching for its aspects in non-Roma majority culture.
Prague has hosted the Khamoro festival since 1999. It has regularly attracted around 10,000 visitors in recent years and includes Romani musicians, singers and dancers.
There were 34 new registered cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Czech
Republic on Saturday, the lowest rise in nine days. No casualties were
reported. In total there have been 9,233 infections in the country over the
past three months, since the first infection case was registered in the
country. However, the amount of tests carried out, some 2,796, was the
lowest since March 23.
A large segment of new infections was registered around the Darkov Mine complex, which has been declared one of the hotspots of the epidemic in the country.
The body of a four-month-old baby boy was discovered after a two-day-long
police search in the Central Bohemian village of Hořín. The search began
on Friday after the mother called police saying she had lost the baby and
the carriage in the village park. Police used a helicopter and drones in
their search. The exact location of the discovery has not yet been released
to the public.
An autopsy found that no outside actor had been responsible for the baby’s death. Police spokeswoman Lucie Nováková said further information will be released on Monday.
The Prague Zoo opened its new Darwin Crater pavilion on Saturday which features more than 20 animal species from the Australian fauna. However, the pavilion proved so popular that the Zoo was forced to close it just hours later as the allowed quota of 8,500 visitors, put in place as a coronavirus precaution, was already filled up. Prague Zoo director, said that the zoo had expected a large number of visitors and that the limitation measures are an unfortunate reality. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said that the city is currently negotiating a close to the capacity limitation.
The Czech Republic’s contribution to the NATO budget could increase by
CZK 43.9 billion starting from 2021. The payment rise will be discussed by
the government on Monday, Jakub Fajnor from the Defence Ministry Press
Department told the Czech News Agency.
The increased contribution is based around last year’s London Summit meeting between NATO member states, where the allies agreed to raise the portion of money paid by European members while decreasing payments made by the United States.
The Czech Republic currently contributes just under 1 percent of the total NATO budget. If the expected rise were put in place, this contribution would rise to 1.0558 percent from 2021. Most of the extra money would come from the Ministry of Defence, while a further CZK 5 million would be contributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.