Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s (ANO) government has paid a record 463
million crowns in bonuses to its members during its six-month existence,
Czech Radio reports.
The ministries and the government office rewarded the secretaries of state, the section leaders and other civil servants. The lion’s share went to officials in the ANO-led Ministry of Finance.
The Cabinet of ex-Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats) paid out some 10 million crowns less in the final six months of his time in office.
The Chamber of Deputies judiciary subcommittee says the independence of the
Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court was not
endangered by communications with the president, Miloš Zeman, and his
chancellor, Vratislav Mynář. Chairman Pavel Blažek said this position
had been reached unanimously by the subcommittee. It also recommended that
judges report any attempts to sway their rulings to the chairs of their
Mr. Zeman and his right hand man have been accused in recent weeks of seeking to influence court decisions. Mr. Mynář, who appeared before the judiciary subcommittee last week, denies any wrongdoing.
The Czech Republic’s taxation authority has excluded the Chinese company
Huawei from a public tender procedure for a CZK 500 million tax-filing
website, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. The
Financial Administration took the decision on the basis of a command from
the National Cyber and Security Information Agency issued to 160
organisations key to the running of the country.
The agency last month warned of the dangers of using software or hardware from Huawei or ZTE, another Chinese company, and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš subsequently ordered the country’s most important public and private entities to review their usage of such products.
The planned website Moje daně should simplify the submission of tax returns and will handle sensitive data.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, has visited the
Eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the second day of a trip to the
country. On Tuesday he and his Ukrainian counterpart, Pavlo Klimkin,
travelled from Kiev to the coastal city, which is a few kilometres from the
frontline between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists.
Mr. Petříček said he had got a first-hand impression of the human and economic hardship caused by the Russian-backed armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. He said he had expressed the conviction that the country’s citizens had the right to live in dignity and peace.
Czech MPs may have their salaries cut if they fail to turn up for lower
house sessions or meetings of committees of which they are members. Pirate
Party MP Jakub Michálek told iDnes.cz that representatives of different
parties’ parliamentary groups had agreed to discuss the matter later this
A law docking deputies’ salaries and benefits if they do not officially excuse themselves from two or more sessions or committee meetings has been on the statute books for two decades. However, no body has been charged with implementing the legislation.
Mr. Michálek has proposed that the lower house’s Organisational Committee assume responsibility and begin fining MPs for unexplained absenteeism, iDnes.cz reported.
The crime rate in the Czech Republic declined by 4.9 percent in 2018,
according to police figures released on Tuesday. It was the fifth year in a
row that the number of reported crimes was down.
Just over half of the crimes reported last year involved property. Some 116 murders were registered, 30 fewer than in 2017. The police said they had managed to clear up 54.9 percent of all the crimes they dealt with.
The Czech minister of health, ANO-appointee Adam Vojtěch, says his
ministry will propose legislation under which the state would pay for 90
percent of the cost of medical marijuana. The maximum amount covered under
the scheme would be 30 grams a month. At present patients using medical
marijuana are themselves responsible for the entire cost.
Last year an average of 67 patients a month were prescribed medical marijuana. Average usage was 6.3 grams a month. However, some patients complain that the permitted dosage is insufficient for their needs.
The Slovak president, Andrej Kiska, has warned against the spreading of
distrust in the state and populism in a speech at Brno’s Masaryk
University. Rector Mikuláš Bek said that Mr. Kiska was maintaining the
traditions of Masaryk and Štefánik in Czech and Slovak politics, adding
that he had not gone in for vulgar humour or cheap witticisms.
The Slovak head of state received Masaryk University’s Grand Gold Medal during a ceremony on Tuesday morning. On Monday the institution celebrated the centenary of its foundation.