Ahead of Friday’s no-confidence vote in his government, Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš said in an emotional speech before parliament that the
“lies” journalists had spread about the “kidnapping” or coerced
disappearance of his son had trigged the vote, and he has no intention of
The opposition had initiated the vote following Mr Babiš’s son saying in an interview that he was deliberately kept abroad to avoid him being questioned about his father’s alleged illegal use of EU subsidies worth about 2 million euro. The Czech prime minister insists that his son is mentally ill and went to Crimea during the period in question of his own free will.
The no-confidence vote is due to fail as the junior coalition party, the Social Democrats, will abstain from the vote, and the opposition is nine votes short of the 101 needed for the move to pass. However, the Social Democrats are calling for Mr. Babiš to resign and for another member of his ANO party to take up the post.
In his speech to the lower house, Mr Babiš said he would never step down over this “pseudo-affair” and again accused journalists of exploiting his son’s condition to obtain what he called “a false and unethical report.”
Owners of the TPCA car factory in Kolín, central Bohemia, may soon be
parting ways. PSA of France and Toyota of Japan have agreed to end
production of small cars at the Czech site by 2021, the French daily Les
The car companies Toyota, Peugeot and Citroën formed the TPCA joint venture in 2002. The Japanese carmaker is expected to take over PSA's stake, but no final decision has been announced.
The TPCA plant in Kolín has an annual production capacity of 330,000 vehicles, a mark last achieved in 2009, before the global financial crisis. For this year, the plant is due to roll out only 200,000 cars.
The Plastic People of the Universe, an underground rock band persecuted by
the secret police in the 1970s, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a
concert at Prague’s Akropolis Palace on December 1.
Unable to perform openly, the band was forced underground and became a focal and rallying point for dissidents, most famously Václav Havel.
It was partly in protest over the Plastics’ prosecution that then playwright Havel and others formed the Charter 77 human rights initiative.
Air pollution in the Moravia-Silesia region has worsened, the Czech
Hydro-meteorological Institute reported on Friday. At several monitoring
stations in the region, including Třinec and Český Těšín, the amount
of dust particles in the air has more than twice exceeded permitted levels.
Moravia and Silesia are one of Europe’s most polluted regions due to heavy industry located on both sides of the Czech-Polish border. Air pollution is a problem especially in the winter months, when the situation is aggravated by coal heating.
The coalition government of Prime Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš
faces a no-confidence vote on Friday. It was initiated by the opposition
following allegations that Andrej Babiš’s son was deliberately kept
abroad to avoid being questioned about his father’s charges of wrongly
acquiring EU subsidies.
Mr. Babiš insists that his son went to Crimea on his own will and asserts that he is mentally ill. He said earlier this week that there was no reason for the no-confidence vote, which his minority cabinet is likely to survive.
In total only 92 MPs have said they will not back the government while 101 votes are needed for the move to pass. The junior coalition party, the Social Democrats, announced they would allow the government to survive the motion of no-confidence by abstaining from the vote.
Czechs often have trouble assessing information from the media, suggests a
survey carried out by STEM/MARK agency for Czech Television. The results of
the survey were presented on Thursday at a conference on media literacy
organised by the Ministry of Education.
Women over sixty, people with lower education and the unemployed showed lower media literacy than other groups. The survey also suggests that most Czechs don’t have problems with using modern technologies and the internet, but many of them are not aware of who owns or controls the country’s media.
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