The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, has visited the
Eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the second day of a trip to the
country. On Tuesday he and his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin,
travelled from Kiev to the coastal city, which is a few kilometres from the
frontline between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.
Mr. Petříček said he had got a first-hand impression of the human and economic hardship caused by the Russian-backed armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. He said he had expressed the conviction that the country’s citizens had the right to live in dignity and peace.
Czech MPs may have their salaries cut if they fail to turn up for lower
house sessions or meetings of committees of which they are members. Pirate
Party MP Jakub Michálek told iDnes.cz that representatives of different
parties’ parliamentary groups had agreed to discuss the matter later this
A law docking deputies’ salaries and benefits if they do not officially excuse themselves from two or more sessions or committee meetings has been on the statute books for two decades. However, no body has been charged with implementing the legislation.
Mr. Michálek has proposed that the lower house’s Organisational Committee assume responsibility and begin fining MPs for unexplained absenteeism, iDnes.cz reported.
The crime rate in the Czech Republic declined by 4.9 percent in 2018,
according to police figures released on Tuesday. It was the fifth year in a
row that the number of reported crimes was down.
Just over half of the crimes reported last year involved property. Some 116 murders were registered, 30 fewer than in 2017. The police said they had managed to clear up 54.9 percent of all the crimes they dealt with.
The Czech minister of health, ANO-appointee Adam Vojtěch, says his
ministry will propose legislation under which the state would pay for 90
percent of the cost of medical marijuana. The maximum amount covered under
the scheme would be 30 grams a month. At present patients using medical
marijuana are themselves responsible for the entire cost.
Last year an average of 67 patients a month were prescribed medical marijuana. Average usage was 6.3 grams a month. However, some patients complain that the permitted dosage is insufficient for their needs.
The Slovak president, Andrej Kiska, has warned against the spreading of
distrust in the state and populism in a speech at Brno’s Masaryk
University. Rector Mikuláš Bek said that Mr. Kiska was maintaining the
traditions of Masaryk and Štefánik in Czech and Slovak politics, adding
that he had not gone in for vulgar humour or cheap witticisms.
The Slovak head of state received Masaryk University’s Grand Gold Medal during a ceremony on Tuesday morning. On Monday the institution celebrated the centenary of its foundation.
The Czech Republic has improved its standing in watchdog Transparency
International’s Annual Corruption Index for 2018. The country has moved
four rungs up the ladder to 38th spot in the worldwide rankings.
Under TI’s criteria, the Czech Republic picked up 59 points compared to 57 in 2017. However, it is still lagging behind the EU average by six points.
Transparency International’s annual Index has rated countries by perceived levels of corruption since 1995 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean.
The 18th century Villa Bertramka in Prague, notable for its connection to
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has been declared a national cultural monument,
the Ministry of Culture announced on Monday.
The villa, which was turned into a museum dedicated to the famous composer several years ago, has been closed for over two years for reconstruction. The Mozart Society running the museum has had problems revitalizing the property and making it attractive for visitors.
According to the ministry, the status of a national cultural monument would help the society in its endeavour.
Mozart stayed in this villa on his visits to Prague in 1787 and 1791. The museum has acquired some of the composer’s valuable manuscripts, his harpsichord and a lock of his hair.
The band Lake Malawi will represent the Czech Republic at this year’s
Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv, Czech Television announced
The indie-pop band, formed in 2013 by the charismatic frontman Albert Černý, collected most of the votes in the national round, leaving behind seven other contestants.
Last year, Czech singer Mikolas Josef finished sixth in the final, achieving the highest ever placing for a Czech artists in Eurovision.
The owner of the publishing house Ekonomia, financier Zdeněk Bakala, left
the organisation’s statutory bodies on Monday, as has his wife Michaela.
Mr Bakala remains the sole shareholder of Ekonomia, which publishes, among other titles, the business daily Hospodářské noviny, the weekly Ekonom and the liberal intellectual weekly Respekt.
In a press release issued Monday, Mr Bakala said that he regarded the publishing house as an important investment, through which he wants to promote independent journalism in the Czech Republic.
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