The new Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová, is set to visit the Czech
Republic on Thursday. It will be her first trip abroad since her
appointment last weekend.
President Čaputová will hold talks with her Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman, as well as representatives of the upper and lower houses and the government. She will also meet Slovaks living in the Czech Republic and attend a concert in her honour featuring Czech and Slovak artists.
It will become easier for the children and grandchildren of exiles from
Communist Czechoslovakia to obtain Czech citizenship after the lower house
on Wednesday approved in the third reading a Senate proposal to that end.
The bill will now go back to the Senate, after which it must be signed by
The legislation pertains to the relatives of Czechs who were stripped of their citizenship prior to 1989. Children and grandchildren wishing to acquire Czech citizenship must provide documentation detailing when and how their family member lost it.
A nightly tourist tax on accommodation facilities looks set to be extended
to Airbnb type services from next year after the lower house approved a
government amendment to that effect. The matter will now be considered by
Under the legislation, the tourist tax will remain at CZK 21 a night next year, while the following year it could rise to as much as CZK 50. Specific rates will be set by local authorities.
Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said neighbouring states had charges equivalent to CZK 50 a night. MP Jan Čižinský of the Christian Democrats had advocated for a figure of CZK 150.
Around 200 Czechs, including a number of opposition MEP’s, gathered in
Brussels to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. One of
the organisers told journalists the reason behind the demonstration were
“his attempts to influence the independent judiciary” and “the
long-term systematic abuse of EU funds”.
The organisers coordinated the protest with the Million Moments for Democracy group, which is behind the ongoing wave of protests in the Czech Republic, including what they claim to have been the largest demonstration since the Velvet Revolution two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies outvoted the Senate’s veto on a
proposed bill that seeks to create a National Sport Agency, which will take
over responsibility for sports funding from the Ministry of Education,
Youth and Sport. The new agency will be headed by the former ice hockey
goalkeeper and current ANO deputy Milan Hnilička.
The majority of opposition parties voted against the bill, with the TOP 09 deputies’ club leader calling it an attempt to legalise corruption in sport. Mr. Hnilička argued that it is necessary due to what he sees as a critical state of sports infrastructure in the country.
The Czech National Bank has announced it will issue a special set of six
CZK 20 coins in July, on the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of
monetary separation from Austria-Hungary.
The coins, which feature famous First Republic politicians, were first issued in 2018. Whereas at that time collectors were able to exchange them for coins of the same value, now the cost for six coins has been set at CZK 590.
Collectors can purchase the items at the bank’s contractual partners for the sale of numismatic material.
On Tuesday, the European Commission issued its evaluation of member
states’ climate and energy plans, calling on them to be more ambitious.
Regarding the Czech Republic, the EC recommends the country raise its share
of renewable energy sources to 23 percent as opposed to the current
Ministry of Trade and Industry’s plan of 20.8 percent. Furthermore,
according to the Czech Union for Modern Energy the country has the lowest
target out of all EU members.
Trade Minister Karel Havlíček said on Monday that he sees no major problem in increasing the plan’s target. The final plan of each member state needs to be handed in by the end of the year.
Speaking in Luxemburg ahead of this week’s EU summit, where the future
leadership of EU institutions is expected to be discussed, Czech Minister
of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček told journalists that the Visegrad
Four wants its candidate to secure a key position.
While stating that the list of candidates is extensive and that no discussions on this topic have yet been held, he did remind journalists of Slovak candidate Maroš Šefčovič, whom he believes to be a strong candidate for one of the high positions, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. The Visegrad Four is political alliance within the EU made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called on his fellow ANO party deputies in
the lower house of Parliament not to vote for candidate Michal Semín in
the upcoming elections into the Czech News Agency council, Jaroslav
Faltýnek, the leader of ANO’s parliamentary club, told journalists on
Mr. Semín, heads the ultra-conservative movement Akce DOST and has been accused of anti-Semitic statements by the Federation of Jewish Communities. The Social Democrats, who are currently in government, said they would be willing to leave the current coalition if he were to receive ANO’s support.
Some ANO deputies are thought to have voted for Mr. Semín in the initial round of voting, due to the fact he received the most votes of all candidates. The second round of elections is expected to take place in July.