Jiří Drahoš and Marek Hilšer, two former presidential candidates
elected to the upper house of Parliament, will join the senator’s club of
the Mayors and Independents (STAN). They announced their decision at a
joint press conference on Thursday.
With the overall number of senators in the Mayors and Independents increasing to 18, the party is likely to form the largest group in the upper chamber. Traditionally, the party with the largest group of senators gets to nominate the speaker of the house.
French President Emmanuel Macron will visit both the Czech and Slovak
capitals next week to take part in events around the 100th anniversary of
According to the French news agency AFP, he will be in Bratislava on October 26 and in Prague on October 27, during which time he will meet his respective counterparts and the country’s prime ministers.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has invited a number of statesmen to attend centenary celebrations but a list of confirmed names has yet to be published. The Czech Army previously said that on October 28, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis will attend several events.
Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats), the new minister of foreign
affairs, is due to outline his policy priorities at a debate on Thursday
evening organised by Association for International Affairs (AMO), a private
Petříček has said that he wants the Czech Republic to be securely anchored in the European Union and NATO and to actively promote respect for international law. In that regard, he told Czech Radio sanctions were among the few instruments available to the EU to influence Russia’s behaviour.
On another hot button issue, that of EU quotas for accepting refugees, Petříček said the Czech position is to rather work to stabilize countries or origin for migrants and refugees rather that to settle them abroad.
Social Democrat chairman Jan Hamáček has called for a vote of confidence
in the party’s Executive Committee to be held on Saturday, October 21.
Hamáček said he needs confirmation that party members agree on his agenda in the wake of poor showings in the recent municipal and Senate elections.
The Social Democrats failed to defend all but one of the 13 seats in the upper house being contested while their senior partner in the coalition government, the ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, secured only one new mandate in the 81-seat chamber.
The opposition Civic Democrats and Christian Democrats have 16 and 15 seats in the Senate, respectively, while the Social Democrats now have 13 and ANO have only seven.
The government has approved the hiring of 1,000 new police officers to
bolster the current force of 40,000.
The aim, according to Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrat), is to ensure that the Czech Republic remains among the most secure countries in the world.
About 150 of the new positions will be assigned to specialised police units tasked with fighting cybercrime, terrorism and extremism, or financial crime.
The overall crime rate has dropped about 7 percent last year in annual terms, but instances of cybercrime and online fraud rose by some 6 percent.
The average mortgage interest rate rose in September to 2.57 percent from
2.53 percent in August, according to Fincentrum Hypoindex.
Despite higher rates, the number of applicants surged as people sought to get mortgages before tougher lending guidelines came into effect on October 1.
Under the new guidelines set by the Czech National Bank, a borrower should not be eligible for a loan greater than nine times their annual net income or have to spend over 45 percent of their monthly net income to service the debt.
Italians and Czechs would be the least likely to vote to remain in the EU
if a referendum were held now, Euobserver reports, citing an as-yet
unpublished Eurobarometer poll.
According to the poll, circulated to some media on Wednesday, only 44 percent of Italians and 47 percent of Czechs would vote to stay in the bloc. In no other EU member state did that figure fall below 50 percent.
A majority of 53 percent in the UK, which voted for Brexit in a 2016 referendum, would now vote to remain in the EU, the survey also found.
An appeals court has reduced to seven years a prison sentence handed down
to a Czech woman who defrauded a Norwegian man out of 53 million crowns.
They had met on an online portal offering erotic services.
The woman, then 27, had asked her 60-year-old victim for loans for various things, such as to pay for knee surgery, to buy a car and purchase food for her cat, convincing the Norwegian she would pay him back later.
After havving been sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud the woman, Barbora Havířová, immediately filed an appeal.
The decision of the High Court of Appeal in Olomouc reduced her sentence by one year, a spokesperson for the Court of First Instance in Brno said. The judgment is final.
The Czech government has increased the budget for transport infrastructure
next year to CZK 86.3 billion, its press office said on Wednesday morning.
The amount to be spent on construction and renovation of the country’s
road and rail networks will be CZK 14 billion higher than in 2018.
Cabinet members have also given the green light to Strategic Framework 2030, a plan whose objective is described as to improve the quality of life of all inhabitants of the Czech Republic while respecting natural limits.