Transport Minister Dan Ťok has confirmed that he will be leaving the
cabinet in the coming weeks. The transport minister told the news site
novinky.cz on Monday that he had told the prime minister he wanted out of
the cabinet and out of politics. Mr. Ťok is being blamed for the state of
the country’s permanently congested D1 highway and procrastination in
failing to secure a new operator for the tolling system on Czech highways.
President Miloš Zeman are Prime Minister Andrej Babis are to meet for talks on Wednesday, to discuss the planned cabinet reshuffle.
There has been speculation in the media that aside from Transport Minister Dan Ťok, the reshuffle will also affect Industry and Trade Minister Marta Nováková. Nováková has recently come under fire over an incident when a representative of Taiwan was forced to leave a diplomatic meeting at the Trade Ministry at the request of the Chinese ambassador.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic dropped to 3 percent in March
2019 from 3.2 percent in the previous month, according to data released by
the Labour Office on Monday.
It is the lowest jobless rate since last November, with the number of unemployed persons decreasing by 14,000 from the previous month to 227,000.
The drop is attributed to the renewal of seasonal work and meets market expectations.
The Czech national electoral commission on Monday allotted numbers by lot
to all 40 parties and political groupings running in elections to the
Voters will receive a sheaf of ballot papers of the parties running according to their numbers. The parties can also use their numbers in their campaigns.
The Czech Republic has 21 seats in the 751-member European Parliament.
In the previous European elections five years ago, ANO, the Social Democrats and TOP 09 together with the Mayors and Independents won four seats each, the Communist Party and the Christian Democrats won three seats each, the Civic Democrats won two seats and the Party of Free Citizens one.
A record 65,000 people joined in “Let’s Clean up the Czech Republic
Day” over the weekend.
The event organized by the Czech Union of Nature Conservation is traditionally held in the spring and autumn, the latter on World Clean-Up Day.
Volunteers collected over 1,000 tons of garbage at the weekend, focusing primarily on car tires of which they collected over 16,000 pieces on illegal dumps and in rivers.
The clean-up event was first held in 2014 and has since gained an increasing number of supporters.
Several dozen Prague taxi drivers on Monday joined a protest march against
a bill under which taxi services providers would no longer be required to
use taximeters and pass a test proving knowledge of a city’s streets.
The legislation, which was approved by the Government to legalize the app-based services, will now go before the lower house of Parliament. The Association of Czech Taxi Drivers, which organized the protest, says the bill could lead to the destruction of traditional taxi services.
The Magnesia Litera award for Czech Book of the Year has gone to ‘Hodiny
z olova’ (Hours of Lead) by Radka Denemarková, a novel inspired by the
author’s stay in China. Denemarková has previously won Magnesia Litera
awards for prose, non-fiction and best translation.
The prestigious Magnesia Litera award for prose went to Pavla Horáková’s ‘Teorie podivnosti’ (A Theory of Strangeness) about the life of a young researcher at the fictional Institute of Interdisciplinary Human Studies. Prizes in six other categories were also handed out at Sunday’s awards ceremony in Prague.
Czech Philharmonic marked the International Roma Day, which falls on April
8, with a special concert at Prague’s Rudolfinum concert hall on Sunday,
featuring nearly 300 participants from the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Romania, Serbia, Sweden, and Austria.
The event was prepared in cooperation with vocalist and choirmaster Ida Kelarová and featured traditional and contemporary Romani music as well as compositions by guitar player, singer and composer Desiderius Dužda.
An exhibition mapping the six-year collaboration between the Czech Philharmonic and Ida Kelarová’s Romani children's choir Čhavorenge is currently on display in Rudolfinum.
Slovak president Andrej Kiska is set to visit the Czech Republic in on what
will be his last foreign trip as president of Slovakia. He is due to meet
with president Miloš Zeman at the Lány Chateau, he said on a debate
programme on Czech Television on Sunday.
The first official visit of the newly elected Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, who will be sworn in on June 15, will also lead to the Czech Republic.
Czechs and Slovaks spent over seventy years in a common state before splitting in 1993, but they have maintained exceptionally close ties.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to discuss possible cabinet reshuffle
with president Miloš Zeman next week, he said in a debate programme on TV
Prima on Sunday. According to the presidents spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček,
the meeting will take place at the beginning of next week.
There has been speculation about the dismissal of Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková, who is facing criticism over an incident last month when a representative of Taiwan was forced to leave a diplomatic meeting at the trade ministry, at the insistence of the Chinese ambassador.
Other name mentioned in the media in connection with the possible reshuffle in the government is that of Transport Minister Dan Ťok.