The average price of new apartments in Prague grew by 19 percent year on
year in 2017, according to a study produced by the property development
companies Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group. The number of new
flats sold last year declined by 17 percent, the report found.
The volume of new properties on the market in the capital last year was half the figure for mid-2015.
Critics say excessive red tape is preventing the construction of sufficient numbers of new apartments, creating a bottleneck and pushing up prices.
Andrej Babiš, the prime minister in resignation and ANO leader, says the
Czech state should exploit the country’s lithium deposits. He told
journalists on Wednesday that the government wished to task the state
enterprise Diamo with ascertaining how much of the mineral the country
Mr. Babiš says a memorandum signed by a previous Czech government and European Metals Holdings on the mining of lithium is nonsensical and invalid. However, he says the government’s lawyers will have to decide on how to proceed on the matter.
Mr. Babiš says that his minister of industry, Tomáš Hüner, acted wrongly by saying he would sign an addendum to the memorandum with the Australian firm without first informing the government.
The Czech Syndicate of Journalists has announced it is expelling one of its
members, Karel Slezák, from its ranks for his part in an incident at the
election headquarters of President Miloš Zeman last Saturday.
Slezák physically attacked another journalist for wanting to take pictures of a Zeman supporter who collapsed in the hotel, allegedly after consuming too much alcohol.
The journalist in question lodged a complaint soon after and police are investigating the incident as suspected breach of the peace.
The speaker of the lower house of Parliament Radek Vondráček paid his
first working visit to Brussels on Tuesday, emphasizing the Czech
Republic’s pro-EU orientation in talks with EC President Jean-Claude
Juncker. Vondráček said it was essential to assure the European
Commission of the governing ANO party’s commitment to the EU.
The visit came just a day after Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš held one-on-one talks behind closed doors with the EC president on migrant-related issues and the EC’s decision to sue the Czech Republic for its reluctance to accept asylum seekers. He stressed the importance of communicating the Czech stand and seeking allies among EU member states.
Czech Defence Minister Karla Šlechtová paid a visit to Czech soldiers serving in Afghanistan on Monday and Tuesday, the ctk news agency reported. The minister visited the Bagram military air base and the airport in Kabul, which Czech soldiers are protecting. It was her first official visit abroad in her new post. The Czech Republic has over 230 soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The two-day visit was kept low-key for security reasons.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has criticized Trade and Industry Minister
Tomáš Hüner for failing to consult with the government the decision that
the Czech Republic and the Australian-based metals company, European Metals
Holdings (EMH) would sign an addendum to the memorandum on lithium mining
in the Czech Republic.
The memorandum, which was signed by the former trade minister, has come under fire from several parties including Prime Minister Babiš’ ANO party for allegedly selling out the country’s national interests. Minister Hüner said following talks with EMH representatives last week that the interested parties had clarified their positions on the memorandum, its interpretation as well as the legal implications and would sign an addendum to the document within a week.
The Communist Party which is considering supporting or tolerating the prime minister’s new government was so outraged by the news it threatened to withdraw from the talks.
The government is planning to invest close to 600 million crowns to
increase security at the country’s international airports in Brno,
Karlovy Vary, Ostrava and Pardubice. A special commission is to be set up
to assess their needs.
Prague’s Vaclav Havel International Airport has significantly increased security in recent years, bringing security measures in line with European norms. On Tuesday the airport’s security department received new equipment for the detection of radioactive and chemical substances. Altogether 200 million crowns have been spent on increasing security at Prague's main airport.
Outgoing Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has told the Brussels news site
Politico he is the country’s best and possibly last chance to prevent the
anti-European radicalization of Czech society.
In an interview for Politico Babiš presented himself as a pro-European politician who defended the EU project as such, but he said Euroscepticism in the Czech Republic would grow if Brussels continued to make mistakes such as that of trying to enforce mandatory migrant quotas on member states.
He said such mistakes strengthened the position of parties such as the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party of Tomio Okamura which would clearly be in favour of the Czech Republic leaving the EU.