The Czech Parliament will in future propagate excellent Bohemian and
Moravian wines which may be sold under the label “Parliament wine” and
will give them as protocol gifts both here and abroad.
The speaker of the lower house, Radek Vondráček, on Friday handed out awards to those winemakers who won in an open competition allowing them to use the “Parliament wine” label.
He awarded wines in seven categories. Thirty-six winemakers entered the competition with 106 wines.
Czech farmers will receive 32 billion crowns in subsidies in the 2019-2020
period with the bulk of the money coming from EU funds, according to the
spokeswoman of the Czech Agricultural Intervention Fund Vladimíra
They are being drawn by 31,000 farmers and agricultural companies, including those in the Agrofert conglomerate, which is at the centre of a dispute relating to the prime minister’s suspected conflict of interests.
According to Nováková these are direct and compensation subsidies which cannot be questioned in relation to the prime minister’s possible conflict of interests. She added that the EC had not questioned their distribution.
At a hearing in the Senate on the advantages and disadvantages of the
Danube-Oder-Elbe project which would further develop the network of
European waterways and open routes for the Czech Republic to three seas,
its critics described it as a megalomaniac project which would not pay off.
They say its proponents have downplayed the cost of the project which would be enormous.
On the other hand its supporters say the waterway project would bring enormous economic benefits, boost river transport and improve water management.
According to the Czech Transport Ministry the project would cost 585 billion crowns, with the Elbe branch alone costing 300 billion.
One of the project’s strongest advocates is Czech President Miloš Zeman.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Friday handed out Gratias Agit
awards to fifteen Czech expatriates and foreigners for promoting the good
name of the Czech Republic abroad. Among this year’s recipients were
Bohdan Pomahac, a leading plastic surgeon living and working in the United
States and the head of the Festival of Czech Art and Culture Prague-Berlin
Dušan Robert Pařízek.
The Czech foreign minister thanked the laureates for their good work and highlighted the fact that while some of them had been driven from their homeland during the communist regime they were not bitter and selflessly contributed to promoting the country’s good name abroad.
The Gratias Agit awards were first handed out in 1997 and the ministry has since honoured over 300 individuals and institutions.
Zuzana Čaputová, who is to be sworn in as Slovak president on Saturday,
will pay her first official visit to the Czech Republic on Thursday.
The new Slovak head of state will be received with honours at Prague Castle by President Miloš Zeman, meet with the speakers of both houses of Parliament and attend a concert given in her honour on Prague’s Kampa Island.
She will also lay flowers at the grave of the late president Vaclav Havel and lay a wreath at the statue of Slovak politician Rastislav Štefánik, one of the co-founders of Czechoslovakia.
No meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has been scheduled, since he will be attending a meeting of the European Council at the time, according to the Office of the Government.
The prime ministers of the Visegrad group states did not agree on a joint
candidate for European Commission president at their talks in Budapest on
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said it was necessary to choose a candidate who would be best for all, adding that the Visegrad Group, comprising the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia had no ambitions to try to push through a candidate of their own choice.
Hungary indicated last week that the group of four might present a joint position as regards the filling of crucial posts and support candidates who take the V4 region seriously and support its interests.
The Russian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Alexander Zmejevskij, has
assured President Zeman that Moscow has no intention of changing its
position on the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, as reflected
in the 1993 agreement between Russia and the Czech Republic.
The ambassador was summoned to Prague Castle in order to discuss a controversial draft amendment to the Russian law on veterans, which has caused much indignation among Czech officials, including the president, who called it a gross insult to the nation.
The proposed draft claims that the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops was aimed at stabilising the political situation in the country and that soldiers who took part in it were suppressing an attempted coup.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier also assured Czech and Slovak officials that there was no change to Moscow’s official policy line. The bilateral bilateral agreement signed in 1993 clearly states that the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia and the deployment of Soviet troops in the country was in breach of international law.
Minister Lavrov said the draft amendment to the law on veterans presented in the Russian Duma was an isolated initiative by a single MP.
Officers from the country’s National Centre for Combatting Organized
Crime have proposed filing criminal charges against a former employee of
the Czech Export Bank who is believed to be responsible for two suspect
loans afforded to companies between 2007 and 2010 which resulted in damages
to the tune of 1.5 billion crowns. If charged and convicted the man could
face up to eight years in jail for abuse of position.
The Czech Export Bank and its mother company, the Export Insurance Company EGAP are still dealing with the effects of big losses incurred between 2007 and 2011 due to a number of dubious contracts, some of which are still under investigation.
One of the most highly-publicized cases was a series of loans to the tune of hundreds of millions of crowns afforded to Chinese companies for which five former managers have been charged.