President Miloš Zeman has signed into law a controversial proposal to tax
money paid to religious groups in compensation for property seized under
The tax is due to take effect on January 1, 2020. But the Constitutional Court may well strike it down before the first tax payment come due the following year.
In late April, MPs overrode a veto by the Senate to tax the restitution income of 16 Czech churches and a Jewish federation which had their property seized by the former Communist regime.
Critics say the law, proposed by the Communists, is unconstitutional and unethical. The religious institutions had been awarded money in cases where the confiscated property could not be returned to its rightful owners.
President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday promoted 15 men to the rank of general,
but as expected declined to bestow the honour on Czech BIS
counter-intelligence head Michal Koudelka, despite recommendations from the
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) in October said that the Czech head of state had promised he would promote Koudelka. This marks the third time he has declined to do so.
President Zeman objects to charges made in the BIS annual report that spies from Russia and China are spreading disinformation in the Czech Republic with a view to influencing public opinion and engaging in economic espionage.
He has accused Koudelka and national cyber security bureau director Dušan Navrátil of putting the Czech Republic’s economic interests at “serious risk” by issuing “unfounded” warnings about Russian and Chinese influence.
In early March, Koudelka was presented with the CIA’s George Tenet award, which recognises international cooperation, at the US spy agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech is preparing to play in Spain on Thursday night
in the second leg of the Europa League semifinal between his London club,
Arsenal, and Spanish hosts Valencia.
In the first leg, the Gunners won 3-1 in London. The final will be played in Baku against the winner of the duel between Chelsea and Frankfurt.
Čech, 36, says he hopes that this – his last season on the pitch before retirement – will end in Baku. "I want to go to the final and raise one last trophy. I think Arsenal deserves it," he said.
Considered among the best goalkeepers of all time, Čech holds the Premier League record for fewest appearances required to reach 100 clean sheets.
The popular Czech actor Václav Postránecký died on Tuesday evening at
the age of 75 of a severe illness, a National Theatre spokesman said. Some
media reported he had cancer.
Postránecký had long been a member of the theatre ensemble, and was also a successful radio, television and film actor. He appeared in approximately 170 films, most made for television, including the Czech-German series "Circus Humberto".
He began his career as a child actor in Prague. In his later years, he taught at FAMU, the country’s most famous film school. From 2005 to 2011, he was president of the Actor Association.
President Miloš Zeman marked the anniversary of the end of World War II
with a wreath-laying ceremony on Wednesday at the National Monument on
Vítkov hill in Prague attended by Czech veterans.
Among the state officials and politicians in attendance were Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera and Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, along with military figures such as Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar and Chief of General Staff Aleš Opata.
A pair of Gripen fighter jets flew over Vítkov ahead of the ceremony. The commemorative act was followed by a minute of silence for the fallen.
British singer Elton John performed in Prague on Tuesday night as part of
the second leg of his ongoing “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour.
According to concert organisers, some 14,000 fans attended the show at Prague's O2 Arena.
The 72-year-old singer, who first performed in the Czech Republic in 1984, last appeared here in November 2016.
In total, the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour consists of more than 300 shows across five continents.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and European Council president Donald
Tusk held a working breakfast in Prague on Wednesday on the eve of an
informal EU summit in Sibiu, Romania.
According to the Czech Government Office, the agenda was to focus on the EU Strategic Programme for 2019-2024, as well as security and economic issues.
Babiš told reporters after the meeting they had discussed how the European elections in late May could fundamentally shape the future of the EU, cooperation among Schengen countries, EU security, and migration.
He said they also discussed a Czech draft law that would fine companies for “dual quality” practices – selling inferior food and products here in similar packaging to better products marketed in states such as Germany and Austria.
Babiš said the most important thing was that Czechs have greater influence above all on how the country decides to use the EU funding it receives.
Record low temperatures for the 8th of May were recorded at every sixth of
the 150 weather stations in operation for at least 30 years, meteorologists
The lowest temperature of all on Wednesday morning, -8 degrees Celsius, was registered at the Kvilda-Perla weather station, although it did not break a record for that location.
Among the new record lows was a -3.8 degrees Celsius measurement at Vyšší Brod, in the Český Krumlov region, not reached since 1979.
The former international ice hockey goaltender Adam Svoboda has died at the
age of 41. His death was confirmed by the club Pardubice, where he was a
coach. The news website iDnes.cz reported that he had committed suicide.
Svoboda made 32 appearances for the Czech national team and collected at World Champion’s medal in Vienna in 2005. He played for Pardubice and several other, mainly Czech, clubs.