Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will propose that the Czech Republic
joins Hungary and Austria in withdrawing from a United Nations pact on
migration, saying that it blurs the dividing line between legal and illegal
migration. Mr. Babiš made the statement at an annual security conference
in Prague on Thursday.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) added that joining the pact at this moment would be counterproductive. The government is set to debate the issue next week. Mr Babiš said he would like to discuss the matter with the Social Democrats, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, prior to the government meeting.
The non-binding Global Compact for Migration, which aims to make migration safer, was approved in July by all 193 UN member states expect the United States that pulled out last year.
The Czech National Bank on Thursday raised the basic interest rate by a
quarter of a percentage point to 1.75 percent. It is already the fifth hike
in interest rates this year, as the bank response to rapid pace of wage
growth and the resulting impact on inflation.
According to Central Bank governor Jiří Rusnok, there will be no more hikes before the end of the year. The Czech National Bank has also downgraded its growth forecast for this year to 3.1 percent and for next year to 3.3 percent.
The national network of wild animal rescue stations in the Czech Republic
has treated over 22,500 animals in 2017, which in an increase by 1,686
percent since the station was established in 1998, Petr Stýblo of the
Czech Union of Nature Conservation announced at a press conference on
Over the 20 years of its existence, the network of rescue stations accepted over 213,000 animals. The most frequently treated animals were birds, namely kestrels, blackbirds and swifts. Hedgehogs and bats were the biggest group of mammals brought to the stations.
The Czech National Symphony Orchestra will mark its 25th anniversary with a
concert at Prague’s Municipal House on Thursday. The ensemble, led by
Libor Pešek, Marcello Rota and Vince Mendoza, will perform works by Ludwig
van Beethoven, Maurice Ravel and Duke Ellington.
Established in 1993 by trumpeter Jan Hasenöhrl and conductor Zdeněk Košler, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra has become one of the most sought after orchestras in Europe.
In 2015, they recorded a soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s Western The Hateful Eight, composed by Ennio Morricone, which won a Golden Globe, Bafta and Oscar. They also accompanied Morricone on several of his tours.
This year’s Christmas tree for Prague will come from the village of
Rynoltice near Liberec in the north of the Czech Republic. The 23-metre
spruce was selected by experts from some thirty trees, suggested by the
The tree will be raised on Prague’s Old Town Square on December 1, marking the launch of the city’s Christmas markets.
Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš has ruled out the
withdrawal of Czech soldiers from Afghanistan. Speaking at a security
conference in Prague, Mr Babiš said that the Czech Republic won’t fail
its allies and will continue fulfil its obligations.
His words came in reaction to criticism of Czech participation in the
Afghani mission from some Czech parties following the death of several
Czech soldiers in the past few months.
Mr Babiš also said the country had committed to increase defence spending with a view to reach the equivalent of two percent of gross domestic product by the year 2024.
The fifth edition of the annual conference, called ‘Our security cannot be taken for granted,’ takes place at Prague Castle on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. It is attended by top army and Defence Ministry representatives.
The number of long-term unemployed in the Czech Republic continues to drop,
according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday.
The number of Czechs who have been unemployed for more than a year has dropped over the past year to 29.9 percent (of the total number of unemployed). Last year, that figure stood at 37.5 percent.
In September, labour offices around the country registered 67,093 people who have been unemployed for more than twelve months. The total number of unemployed dropped to three percent in September, which is the lowest figure for that month since 1996.
The Chamber of Deputies voted on Wednesday not to lift the parliamentary
immunity of Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček so that police could pursue
defamation charges against him, lodged by former Presidential candidate
Horáček filed the charges in response to claims Ondráček made during the presidential campaign that he had collaborated with the Communist-era secret police (StB) and worked as an illegal moneychanger.
According to Ondráček, documents show that the StB had given Horáček the codename of “Sázkař”, which translates into English as “bookmaker” or “punter”.
MPs have given their initial backing to a proposal to establish a National
Sports Agency that, among other things, would take over responsibility for
distributing state subsidies in this area from the Ministry of Education.
Following a three-hour debate in a first reading on Wednesday, the Chamber of Deputies moved to establish the agency as part of a broader overhaul of state support for sport.
According to a survey of the Czech Union of Sports, which backs the proposal, most of the nearly 7,500 clubs lack money for hiring qualified trainers and children’s activities and believe a new system for allocating subsidies is needed.