A question time session of the Chamber of Deputies was abandoned on
Thursday morning when no members of the ANO-Social Democrats cabinet turned
up, Novinky.cz reported. Government ministers excused their absences by
citing work commitments or international trips.
Around 90 members of the 200-seat lower house had been there for the 9 am start. One minister, culture department chief Antonín Staněk, arrived after the session had been suspended.
Some members of opposition parties joked that the government was “slogging away”, a reference to a slogan frequently used by ANO.
The State Security Council has taken note of a 2017 report on extremism in
the Czech Republic in the original wording drafted by the Ministry of the
Interior, the minister of the interior, Jan Hamáček, said on Thursday.
The study will now be debated by the government.
There have been media reports that discussion of the document was delayed after President Miloš Zeman’s office objected to its purported linking of extremism and Tomio Okamura’s anti-migrant Freedom and Direct Democracy party.
In the past the annual report on extremism was discussed in May. However, Mr. Hamáček has denied that political intervention caused a delay this year.
Retail sales in October, excluding car sales, rose by 6.4 percent in annual
terms, the Czech Statistical Office announced on Thursday.
The growth signals stronger than usual pre-Christmas holiday spending, analysts said, in line with Czechs’ rising purchasing power.
Online sales grew at an even faster pace, rising more than 24 percent year on year.
The office also noted a marked rise in sales of information and communication equipment in specialised stores, such as laptops and smartphones, which rose 18.1 percent.
President Miloš Zeman on Thursday will formally receive the credentials of
four new ambassadors, from the Vatican City, Georgia, Latvia and Albania.
The ceremony will take place at Prague Castle.
The new apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic is Charles Daniel Balvo, an American, who has already served at the Prague nunciature. He replaces Giuseppe Leanza, who has served as apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic for the past seven years.
Georgia will be newly represented by Mariam Rakiašvili, who previously served as Deputy Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. Latvia’s new ambassador, Gunta Pastore, previously served as a deputy in embassies in Denmark and Sweden.
The new Albanian ambassador to Prague is Ilirian Kuka, currently a counsellor of business affairs.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, founder and chairman of the centre-right
populist ANO party, remains the most trusted leader of a political party
now represented in parliament, according to a new poll by the CVVM agency.
According to the poll, the ANO leader enjoys the trust of 40 percent of the 1,100 people surveyed. In second place is Pirate party chairman Ivan Bartoš, at 33 percent, followed by Tomio Okamura of the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party at 31 percent. The head of the junior coalition party, Social Democrat Jan Hamaček, placed ninth in the survey, at 22 percent.
However, CVVM noted that the survey was conducted from November 2 to November 15 and “does not reflect political events that have occurred after this date.”
On November 12, the prime minister’s son, Andrej Babiš Jr, said in an interview he had be “kidnapped” and taken to Crimea to prevent him testifying in a corruption probe over his father’s alleged abuse of EU subsidies.
That allegation triggered a no-confidence vote on November 23, which the government of Mr Babiš survived with the support of the Communists.
A separate poll by the STEM agency, conducted more than a week after the first report on the alleged kidnapping, shows support for ANO has risen by 2.3 percentage points since the last poll, to a 35.7 percent, and would handily win parliamentary elections if held today.
Brexit could lead to a drop in the Czech gross domestic product by up to 55
billion crowns, or 1.1 percentage points, according to a study published on
Wednesday by the retail savings bank Česká spořitelna.
The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union could also trigger the laying off of up to 40,000 workers, according to the survey. Hardest hit will be the Czech automotive, electronics and machinery production sectors, it says.
Direct Czech exports to the UK total about 210 billion crowns per year, about 5 percent of total Czech exports and four percent of GDP, respectively. Indirect exports account for another 120 billion crowns.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is winding up a two-day trip to Morocco
on Wednesday by inaugurating a bilateral Business Forum in the city of
Morocco is the Czech Republic’s biggest economic partner in the region of North Africa. On the first day of the trip, Mr. Babiš held talks in Rabat with his counterpart, Saad Eddine El Otmani, after which the two leaders signed an economic cooperation agreement. They also discussed migration issues.
The Czech prime minister has been accompanied by Trade and Industry Minister Marta Nováková, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Miloslav Stašek, and a delegation of nearly 40 business leaders.
The Czech men’s floorball team has qualified for the quarter-finals of
the ongoing World Championships in Prague as group first. In a battle for
first place in Group A, the Czech Republic defeated Switzerland on Tuesday
evening by a score of 6:4.
In Group B Sweden obliterated Denmark by a score of 25:0 at the Arena Sparta to finish top of their group. Finland beat Norway 9:1 in the same group to move into second place. In Tuesday’s only match in Group C, Australia beat Thailand 4:3.
The Czechs will face either Denmark or Estonia in a match on Thursday.
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