Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has criticised the vulgar language used by
President Miloš Zeman in an interview on Czech Radio on Monday. Mr. Babiš
said he understood that the head of state became angry when referring to
the likes of Viktor Kožený, a 1990s financier wanted on an international
arrest warrant, and Zdeněk Bakala, the former owner of mining company OKD.
However, such language was inappropriate, the prime minister said.
The president used one of the strongest Czech expletives in the live interview. Mr. Babiš rarely questions the head of state in public.
Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of the approval by the Czechoslovak
government of the presence of Soviet troops on the country’s territory.
The move followed the invasion of the country in August 1968 by Warsaw Pact
soldiers. Previously Czechoslovakia was the only country in the Eastern
Bloc not to possess Soviet troop bases.
The text of the treaty document was drafted in early October 1968, when senior Czechoslovak Communist Party officials Alexander Dubček, Oldřich Černík and Gustav Husák held talks in Moscow on the conditions of the temporary deployment of allied troops. Russian soldiers finally left Czechoslovakia 23 years later.
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are to take part in
a special Czech Television discussion on the centenary of the foundation of
Czechoslovakia on 28 October, the news website lidovky.cz reported. The two
men will talk about key moments in Czechoslovak history, a spokesperson for
Czech Television said.
The programme will be pre-recorded without an audience at Prague Castle and will be presented by Czech TV journalist Světlana Witowská.
President Miloš Zeman appointed Tomáš Petříček of the Social
Democrats Czech minister of foreign affairs in a ceremony at Prague Castle
on Tuesday morning. Mr. Petříček, who is 37, had formerly been a deputy
The president rejected the Social Democrats’ previous nominee for the post of foreign policy chief, Miroslav Poche, and the party’s interior minister, Jan Hamáček, filled the role for a number of months in a caretaker capacity.
Tomáš Plekanec became the 11th Czech ice hockey player to reach 1,000
games in the NHL when he appeared for Montreal Canadiens in their 7:3 win
over Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The forward garnished the landmark
appearance with his first goal of the season.
Plekanec, who is 35, joined Montreal Canadiens in the 2001 draft and made his NHL debut for the club in the 2005–2006 season.
The Chinese Investment Forum, expected to draw more than 500 guests from 14
countries, gets under way at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Following the
opening ceremony will be a full day of panel discussions featuring
politicians, economists and business executives.
President Miloš Zeman is expected to take part in the gala evening, alongside the chairman of Chinese conglomerate CITIC. The forum cooperates with the so-called 16 + 1 format comprised of Central and Eastern Europe countries and China.
Zeman’ chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, earlier said the forum would be attended by some 250 guests from China, up to 150 guests from CEE countries and roughly 100 guests from the Czech Republic.
After some high-profile failed or lacklustre Chinese investments in the Czech Republic, organisers said they aim to make the forum more business-oriented and result driven.
President Miloš Zeman has warned the Social Democrats, who had a poor
showing in the recent municipal and Senate elections, of a possible split
in the party of which he was a long-time chairman.
In a wide-ranging interview with Czech Radio on Monday evening live from the presidential residence in Lány, Zeman again said he favoured a dissolution of the Senate.
He also defended his decision not to make appearances on 17 November, the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and on 21 August, the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops, saying it was enough for him to remember these dates in silence.
Zeman said he would speak on 28 October, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Czechoslovak independence, when State honours are given out. He also revealed that he will honour resistance fighter Josef Bílý posthumously.
The Czech president also recalled in the interview how he had used obscene expressions in a live broadcast four years ago. Despite protests from the moderator, Zeman once again used vulgar words in the live interview.
Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš travelled to Warsaw
on Monday to visit the headquarters of the European Border and Coast Guard
Agency, Frontex, which he says should focus mainly on returning migrants to
the country of origin or to the transit states.
Babiš has recently criticized the European Commission’s plans to increase funding for Frontex, arguing that it amounts to duplicating European security structures and boosting an agency that has not proven very effective.
In Warsaw he also met his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki. Among the topics on their agenda was the upcoming EU summit in Brussels and migration. They also agreed on the need to help source countries of migration improve conditions at home.
A bark beetle infestation that has affected spruce forests in the Vysočina
region is also threatening the protected natural area of Žďárské vrchy
in western Moravia.
Extensive felling of trees to combat the problem could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles, conservationists say.
The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst bark beetle infestation in at least 200 years. The amount of spruce wood damaged by the insects has risen steadily in recent years.
Experts are warning that the nation’s forests could be wiped out if the current monoculture forestry format remains unchanged.