People in towns and cities around the Czech Republic rallied in protest against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his appointment of Marie Benešová as justice minister on Tuesday evening. The biggest protest, which took place in Brno, attracted an estimated 3,000 people. The organisers, Million Moments for Democracy, are calling for the removal of the newly appointed justice minister, who they fear was installed to meddle in a criminal case against the prime minister linked to the alleged abuse of EU subsidies. They are planning to hold further demonstration in Prague in a week’s time unless their demands are met.
President Miloš Zeman has not accepted the resignation of Culture Minister
Antonín Staněk, the president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, said in a
press release on Tuesday. The president expressed the view that Mr Staněk
should not be punished for revealing serious economic malpractice at the
Ministry of Culture.
Mr Staněk announced his resignation last Wednesday following pressure from the Czech cultural scene and his own party. He stated publicly that the decision was not made of his own accord, but at the request of Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček.
Mr. Hamáček has now asked Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to dismiss Culture Minister Antonín Staněk; a decision that the president would have to respect. Staněk is to be replaced by fellow party member Michal Šmarda.
Some 114,000 people in the Czech Republic filed for personal bankruptcy
last year, according to a map focused on the issue, produced by the newly
established Institute for Debt Prevention and Resolution.
The highest number of bankruptcies was filed in the region of Ustí nad Labem, while the lowest number of cases was recorded in Prague.
An amendment to the Law on Insolvency, which comes into effect in June, should make the debt relief process easier. According to experts, the number of personal bankruptcies is expected to further increase in the future.
Tuesday marks Tax Freedom Day in the Czech Republic, according to the
calculations of the think tank Liberal Institute. It refers to the day when
people have made enough money to pay their tax obligations and begin
earning for themselves.
This year Tax Freedom Day came six days later than in 2018. However, according to the Liberal Institute, it is still the third best result since 2000.
Czech head of state Miloš Zeman has called for a complete transformation
of the European Union following recent elections to the European
Parliament. Speaking at the opening of the annual Prague Žofín economic
forum on Tuesday, President Zeman also said the decision-making powers
should be transferred to the European Council.
The Žofín Forum, which serves as a platform for debate on economic issues and matters relating to security and social issues, is attended by leading politicians, economists and academics.
Chinese film Mosaic Portrait by director Zhai Yixiang will be among the
highlights of this year’s main competition at the Karlovy Vary
International Film Festival, the organisers said on Tuesday. The main
section will include 10 world and two international premieres, though this
year it will have no Czech contenders.
The Czech Republic will be represented in the East of the West competition by Michal Hogenauer’s drama A Certain Kind of Silence. Award-winning Czech documentarist Martin Mareček will be competing for a prize in the documentary competition with his intimate road movie Over the Hills.
The 54th Karlovy Vary festival will run in the West Bohemian spa town from June 28 to July 6.
The 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Elbe DOCK gets underway in
Ústí nad Labe on Tuesday. The main theme of the second edition of the
festival is absurdity.
For the first time this year, ELBE DOCK will award prizes for the best Central European debut. The festival is also in charge of presenting the annual Pavel Koutecký award for best Czech documentaries. The festival will run in the north Bohemian city until June 2.
A US military convoy, which is heading to a military exercise in Romania
and Hungary, will enter the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The convoy, made up
of around 350 armoured combat vehicles and over 800 personnel, is due to
cross the Czech-German at border in Rozvadov near Plzeň in the evening.
The US troops will be crossing the country in the late evening and night hours to avoid traffic disruption. A smaller part of the convoy passed through the Czech Republic at the weekend.