President Miloš Zeman will appoint two new ministers to the Babiš
government on April 30th, the Office of the President said on Monday. The
head of state met with the ministerial nominees on Monday to discuss their
priorities in office.
Vladimír Kremlík who is to take over the transport ministry portfolio said he would strive to increase the pace of highway reconstruction and push ahead with plans to build a train link to Prague’s Václav Havel Airport while Karel Havlíček, who is to be the new minister of trade and industry, highlighted the need to focus on the country’s long-term energy concept, reduce the price of mobile data and support entrepreneurs and exporters.
The ministerial nominees will replace Transport Minister Dan Ťok, who is leaving office at his own request following months of severe criticism from the opposition and Trade Minister Marta Nováková, whose dismissal the Prime Minister Babiš announced last week, citing discontent with her performance.
Transport Minister Dan Ťok, who announced his decision to leave the
government last week, said on Monday he would also be vacating his seat in
the lower house of Parliament.
Ťok was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 2017 as an independent running on the ticket of the ruling ANO party. He has served as transport minister since 2014.
Ťok said he was resigning as minister because of the persistent attacks against him. He did not reveal his plans for the future.
Czech companies have started leaving tax havens such as Malta and Lichtenstein, according to statistics published by Bisnode. In the first quarter of this year the number of Czech firms based in tax havens dropped by 259, which is a bigger drop than in the preceding three years put together. The number of Czech firms operating from tax havens in now just over 12,500. According to Bisnode analysts it is too early to say whether this is a trend or a one-off occurrence.
In 2018 the Czech Republic had the 13th fastest-growing economy in the
European Union, according to the head of the Czech Statistics Office, Marek
With a growth of 2.9 percent, the Czech economy surpassed that of some of the founding EU members such as Germany and was significantly above the EU average.
In 2018 Czech economic growth dropped to 2.9 percent from 4.5 the previous year.
The economy was driven by investments and consumer spending but hampered by lower foreign demand. The fastest-growing economies were those of Ireland, Malta and Poland.
The Czech Republic is becoming less competitive in livestock production and
increasingly dependent on imports of livestock and meat and dairy products
from abroad despite the growing amount of state support channelled into
this sphere, the Supreme Audit Office said in a report released on Monday.
According to the report, Czech livestock producers received close to 21 billion crowns in state funds from 2015 to 2017, ten billion of which came from European funds. Subsidies to this sphere have been steadily rising since 2012.
Despite this the number of pig breeders and chicken farms has dropped and the country has become more dependent on pork, beef and poultry imports.
Slavia Prague remain five points clear in Czech soccer’s top flight with two rounds of the regular season to go after a 1:1 draw with rivals Sparta Prague on Sunday evening. The hosts took the lead in the first half thanks to a header from Tomáš Souček before the visitors equalised with a wonderful strike from Srdjan Plavšič. However the main talking point of the game was a foul on Josef Hušbauer for which Slavia should have been awarded a penalty. The referee later admitted he had made a mistake in not pointing to the spot kick and instead penalising the player.
The Ministry of Agriculture is planning to tighten the regulations
governing the breeding of exotic animals, Czech Television reported. The
changes are set to mainly concern circus operators, in particular those
whose acts include elephants, bears and tigers.
Under the draft bill, which has been submitted for consideration by the cabinet, anybody intending to use certain types of animals in circuses or to film them for TV or the big screen would require a license from the State Veterinary Authority.
Some animal rights groups say the moves don’t go far enough. David Gardáš of the organisation Freedom for Animals told Czech Television the proposed rules were merely a stopgap and that a total ban on animals in circuses was inevitable.
Government leaders ANO would have come first in elections at the turn of
February and March with 33 percent support, suggests a poll carried out by
the Kantar CZ agency for Czech Television. The Czech Pirate Party would
have come second on 19 percent, ahead of the Civic Democrats on 13.5
percent, the survey indicates.
The poll puts the Social Democrats, the junior partner in the governing coalition, on 6.5 percent, half a percentage point ahead of the Communists.
Some 5.5 percent of respondents said they would have cast their ballots from Freedom and Direct Democracy, while 5 percent would have done so for the Christian Democrats.
Neither TOP 09 or the Mayors and Independents would make the 5 percent threshold, the survey indicates.
The Czech Republic will play a major role in the transport of Russian
natural gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the Czech News Agency said on
Sunday. The great majority of the gas it will carry from the Baltic Sea in
Russia to Germany will pass through Czech territory, it said.
A deputy minister of industry and trade, René Neděla, said that the EUR 3 billion project would have a positive impact on the Czech gas industry.
There is some political opposition to Nord 2, which is seen as boosting Russia’s influence, with European Council President Donald Tusk describing it as a mistake that will not best serve European interests.