The Czech Union of Judges is preparing to upgrade its ethical codex in
connection with suspicions that President Miloš Zeman had tried to
influence the outcome of court rulings in cases that involved the Office of
the President or that he felt strongly about.
It has emerged that the president’ s chancellor met with judges on a number of occasions to inform them about the president’s stance on a given court case.
The president of the Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský, stressed in connection with the scandal that he trusted the independence of Czech courts and the said meetings did not automatically mean that judges were influenced by them.
On the other hand, Rychetský said the matter was serious in that such incidents inevitably undermined public trust in the judiciary.
The State Institute for Drug Control has urged British pharmaceutical
companies to file for a new export licence to the Czech Republic, according
to its head Irena Storová.
Ms. Storová said that around twenty British companies exporting pharmaceutical products to the Czech Republic had failed to do so, which would present a serious problem post-Brexit and could result in fall-outs on the Czech market.
The issue concerns all EU member states some of which have reportedly made a similar appeal.
TOP 09 leader Jiří Pospíšil will lead the party in elections to the
European Parliament in May. Pospíšl said the party would be the voice of
all pro-EU citizens.
Other priorities include security and environmental issues as well as greater transparency in the process of drawing EU funds.
In the last elections to the European Parliament TOP 09 won four mandates. Elections to the European Parliament are due to be held on May 24-25.
President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynař, has withdrawn an
appeal filed with the Administrative Court against the decision of the
National Security Office not to give him top-level security clearance. The
chancellor said he did not trust the judge to rule impartially on the
According to the president’s spokesman Chancellor Mynař will remain in office despite failing to get security clearance.
The matter has been debated since 2013 with politicians and the media pointing out that the chancellor regularly attends events where security clearance is expected.
In 2015 President Zeman said that if Mr. Mynař failed to get it, he would dismiss him from the post.
Opposition deputies have criticized the chancellor’s decision and the stated reasons for it, calling the move arrogant, cowardly and dangerous.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
said cyber-security concerns should be resolved at EU-level.
The Czech prime minister met with the president of the Huawei executive board Ken Hu within the framework of the forum, to inform him about the present situation.
He said that in the wake of a security warning regarding Huawei products by the National Cyber and Security Information Agency, Czech experts were analysing the possible security risks to the country’s infrastructure.
When the warning was released a few weeks ago Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ordered the Office of the Government to cease using mobile phones produced by the Chinese company. Other Czech government bodies have followed suit.
The legendary film composer Ennio Morricone will conduct his music at
Prague’s 02 Arena on Friday night.
His appearance in Prague is part of his 90th Birthday Tour which started in Krakow on January 19th, moving to Berlin and Budapest before coming to Prague. The tour ends in Stockholm on January 28th.
In Prague Morricone with conduct the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble with which he has cooperated for over ten years.
The Czech lower house of Parliament on Friday approved the Working
Definition of Antisemitism, a non-legally binding definition of
antisemitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
In a debate devoted to the problem of antisemitism in Europe today MPs marked Holocaust Remembrance Day which is on Sunday.
Close to six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, 250,000 of them from the former Czechoslovakia.
Money from church restitution taxes could be used to fund repairs of
cultural monuments, President Miloš Zeman said in a televised interview on
Thursday. He said he would propose this to Minister of Culture Antonín
Staněk (Social Democrats).
Czech MPs on Wednesday approved a tax on the billions in annual payments the state is making to the country’s 16 churches and a Jewish organisation to compensate for assets seized by the Communist regime.
Critics say the tax – proposed by the Communists and supported by the minority ANO-Social Democrat government – is unconstitutional.
If approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Zeman, the state stands to recover about 380 million crowns annually from the roughly 2 billion crowns it now transfers to the religious groups under bilateral agreements.
The Catholic Church, the largest single denomination with over 1 million followers, is slated to receive about 80 percent of the compensation package.
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