The Chinese ambassador to Prague, Zhang Jianmin, lied about a meeting he
had with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš just before Christmas, the
latter says. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Mr. Babiš said both
the Czech government and state had behaved correctly with regard to a
warning from the National Bureau for Cyber Security and Information that
products made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE presented a security
After the PM met Mr. Zhang the Chinese Embassy issued a statement saying that the warning was unfounded and that it took cognizance of the fact the Czech side was striving to make amends for its errors in this regard. This was subsequently interpreted as an apology from the head of the Czech government.
Mr. Babiš on Sunday described this suggestion as “nonsense and a lie”. He told Czech TV that the Czech Republic was a sovereign state and had nothing to apologise about, adding that Mr. Zhang’s actions were highly unorthodox.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, is due to meet the Chinese ambassador to discuss the matter, the PM said.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the minister of transport, Dan Ťok, has
been unable to sell the results he has attained. Speaking in a Czech
Television interview on Sunday, Mr. Babiš said that there had been
unprecedented investment and motorway construction since he had been in
However, the prime minister conceded that his cabinet had not handled ongoing repair of the country’s biggest motorway, the D1, well.
Mr. Babiš had previously said that Mr. Ťok needed to get tough with subordinates in order to get results. He has not ruled out a cabinet reshuffle this year.
Temperatures could fall to as low as minus 13 degrees Celsius in the east
of the Czech Republic on Sunday night, according to a warning issued by the
Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
People in some parts of the Moravian Silesian and Zlín regions have been advised to dress appropriately, while forecasters say that children, the elderly and the sick should spend as little time as possible outdoors.
The Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková has won tennis’s Brisbane
International in Australia. The one-time world number one, who is 26,
overcame Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 4-6 7-5 6-2 in Sunday’s final for the
12th title of her career. Tsurenko twisted her ankle in the deciding set.
Plíšková also began 2017 with victory in Brisbane. Her latest win means she will now climb above compatriot Petra Kvitová to seventh in the world rankings.
Prague City Hall has opened negotiations aimed at buying the building where
Jan Palach died with a view to it being turned into a museum of
totalitarianism, the news website deník.cz reported. The now rundown
former Borůvka Sanatorium on Legerová St. is also where priest Josef
Toufar died after being tortured by the communist-era secret police.
The current owners of the building, which is a short walk from the National Museum, received permission last year to convert it into a luxury hotel.
Prague’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party, told deník.cz that the city would abandon its plan if the owners demanded an excessive sum for the property. The Prague 2 authorities say the location, where traffic is very heavy, would be inappropriate.
Up to now a space beneath where a statue of Stalin stood on Letná Plain has been in the frame to house a new museum of totalitarianism.
A lack of certain medicines is impacting patients and doctors in the Czech
Republic, Czech Television reported. In response the Ministry of Health
aims to introduce stiff financial penalties for pharmaceutical suppliers
who make deliveries two or more days late.
However, the Pharmacy Chamber says such measures would be unnecessary. Its leaders argue that it would be sufficient to bar the export of specific drugs from the Czech Republic more frequently.
At present there is a shortage of the heart medicine Digoxin, though it is expected to appear in Czech pharmacies next week after the distributor decided to import it from Slovakia. Standard supplies will resume at the start of February.
Czech Communists are to hold a protest at which participants will wear
high-visibility yellow vests in central Prague on January 26, the news
website Lidovky.cz reported. The Communist Party and other groups have
called the demonstration against the high cost of housing, water,
electricity and gas.
A representative of the Prague branch of the Communist Party said they would not pretend they had not taken inspiration from France, where “yellow vest” protests – initially against a rise in duties on diesel – have been taking place since the middle of November.
2018 was the warmest year in Prague since 1775, according to records kept
at the city centre Clementinum weather station, which went into operation
back then. The average temperature in the capital last year was 12.8
degrees Celsius, which is 3.2 degrees above the average between 1775 and
2014, forecasters said on Saturday.
The majority of the 10 warmest years registered by meteorologists at the Clementinum since the late 18th century occurred after the year 2000.
A black ice warning has been issued for most of the Czech Republic from
Saturday evening to Sunday morning. The only exception will be the Karlovy
Vary and Plzeň regions in West Bohemia but even there sporadic black ice
is expected, according to a warning issued by the Hydro-Meteorological
The country has been hit by heavy snowfall in recent days. On Saturday the snow began to melt and rain that fell during the day is expected to freeze when temperatures fall below zero Celsius during the night.
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