A painting by Mikuláš Medek, one of the leading Czech modernist painters, sold for 46 million crowns at an auction in Prague on Thursday. The oil on canvas, called Action I (Egg), has become the artist’s most expensive work of art ever sold at an auction. Bidding for painting started at eight million crowns.
The lower house of Parliament on Friday approved changes to the law on
electronic cash registers. The MPs voted in favour of exempting certain
social services from the duty to report their earnings electronically.
Despite protests from the opposition, the ruling coalition of ANO and Social Democrats also pushed through extending the EET’s online reporting requirements to other professions, including doctors, artisans and tradesmen.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš introduced the EET in 2016, when he was the finance minister, to counter the grey economy and tax fraud.
The Russian foreign minister, Sergej Lavrov, has said that the Russian
stand on the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 has not
changed and is fully in line with the 1993 bilateral treaties that Russia
concluded with the Czech and Slovak Republics.
Minister Lavrov gave these assurances to the visiting Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák on Thursday.
The 1993 agreements signed clearly state that the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia and the deployment of Russian troops in the country was in breach of international law.
Minister Lavrov said Moscow had no intention of changing its stand on the events and noted that the draft amendment to the law on veterans presented in the Russian Duma was an isolated initiative by a single MP.
The proposed amendment, which claims that the 1968 invasion was aimed at suppressing an attempted coup in Czechoslovakia, met with a strong negative response from Czech and Slovak leaders.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has rejected an appeal from coalition Social
Democrat leader Jan Hamáček for him to meet with representatives of the
association Million Moments for Democracy which has been organizing
anti-Babis protests around the country.
Mr. Babiš said there was no reason to hold such a meeting since the people demonstrating against him in the streets were not interested in hearing his arguments.
The last demonstration against the prime minister on Prague’s Wenceslas Square attracted over 100,000 people.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš represented the Czech Republic at a ceremony
marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. The D-Day landings
were supported by Czechoslovak pilots from the 310th and 312th Squadron who
operated over France, while Czechoslovak airmen from the 312th Bomber
Squadron were at the time patrolling the English Channel.Seven Czech pilots
were killed in the operation.
Among the heroes of Dunkerque are members of the 1st Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade which, although heavily outnumbered, fought to contain German units within the fortress up until their surrender in May, 1945.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who defended himself in Parliament on Thursday
following a second preliminary EC audit suggesting he has a conflict of
interest, refused to say whether he would step down if a final audit
confirmed this suspicion.
He said he had fully complied with Czech legislation and repeated that he was certain the Czech Republic would not have to return any subsidies to the EU.
Meanwhile Jan Hamáček, leader of the Social Democrats, a junior partner in the coalition government, said he sees no reason why his party should leave the government in connection with the scandal surrounding Prime Minister Andrej Babiš's alleged conflict of interest.
Following a meeting of the party leadership on Thursday Hamáček told media that the Social Democrats did not join the cabinet in order to solve their coalition partner's problems but to implement the party’s own policy programme.
The Social Democrat leader stressed that if any subsidies had been drafted in violation of the law they must be returned.