Companies that are fully state-owned have to respond to requests for
information if nothing precludes them from doing so, according to a ruling
issued by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. Judges uphold a complaint
against state company OTE, which had said refused to release information,
arguing that it was not required to do so by law, Czech Television
OTE trades in greenhouse gas emission permits and the request had come from the civic association Oživení. It lost a case at the Prague Municipal Court before taking the matter to the country’s highest court.
A former secretary of Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy has
been found guilty of hate speech delivered at a restaurant in the lower
house of the Czech Parliament. The Prague 1 District Court gave Jaroslav
Staník a suspended sentence over the incident, which took place in October
Mr. Staník was heard saying that gay men and lesbians should be shot at birth and that homosexuals, Roma and Jews ought to be gassed.
After Tuesday’s ruling he said that the verdict was aimed at discrediting Freedom and Direct Democracy.
In an interview for Voice Of America (VOA) Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš
Petříček said Czechs view NATO and the EU as cornerstones of peace and
The Czech foreign minister said his country recognizes NATO as an organization “of shared values, as well as an instrument to defend those values.”
He highlighted America’s leading role in NATO, which he said was key to the success of the alliance.
Speaking about present-day threats to NATO the Czech foreign minister said “we’re facing a more assertive Russia, we need to fight international terrorism, and we also need to discuss future relations with China.”
Minister Petříček attended a series of commemorative events in Washington last week marking 70 years since the founding of NATO.
The Czech government will not make its annual contribution to the
maintenance of Czech war graves in Russia this year, Jakub Fajnor from the
Defence Ministry’s press department told the ctk news agency.
Fajnor said the government had so decided because Russia had been neglecting the graves of Czechoslovak legionaries for some time.
The overall amount of money spent on Czech war graves abroad has been raised from four to five million, but it will be divided between other countries maintaining war graves and monuments to Czech war veterans.
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.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
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