Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, who is on an official visit to
the US, is due to meet for talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on
The two sides are expected to discuss trade relations, in particular the tariffs that the US administration is planning to impose on European car makers, cyber-security, and the situation in Syria and Afghanistan, among others.
It is the first visit by a Czech foreign minister to the US since 2012.
The Anti-Monopoly Office has fined the food chains Billa and Penny Market
from the REWE group 164 million crowns for abusing their dominant position
on the market.
Both chains reportedly requested a special fee from their suppliers for buying their products, which is banned by the law. The decision is legally binding and both food chains have accepted it.
Thousands of people in the Czech Republic and Slovakia attended rallies on
Thursday evening in to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Slovak
investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.
The gatherings, organised by the civic initiative For a Decent Slovakia,
took place in a number of Czech and Slovak cities and towns, but also in
Warsaw, Paris, Barcelona, or Copenhagen.
The biggest demonstration took place in the Slovak capital Bratislava, which was attended by an estimated 20,000 people, including the father of Ján Kuciak. The protesters were also shouting slogans against former Slovak PM Robert Fico and his senior ruling party SMER-Social Democracy.
In tennis, No 2 seed Petra Kvitová reached the semi-finals at the Dubai Championships on Thursday, after defeating Viktória Kužmová of Slovakia 6-4, 6-0. The two-time Wimbledon champion will face Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei for a place in the final after the world No 31 upset Karolína Plíšková in the preceding match.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will take part in the EU-Arab League summit,
which is set to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh on February 24 and 25, the
government office informed on Thursday.
The two-day summit is set to be the first official meeting of all the EU and Arab League heads of state. Among the topics on the agenda will be climate change, regional conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and the fight against terrorism.
The Czech Prime Minister is also set to attend bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of several African countries, which are members of the Arab League.
Around one third of the Czech Republic has very low or extremely low levels
of underground waters, Environment Minister Richard Brabec said on Thursday
at a discussion organised by the Institute for Politics and Society.
The situation is particularly bad in central Moravia and Polabí in Central Bohemia. In many places, water towers have to be filled from water tanks.
Mr Brabec said this year’s abundance of snow had no effect on the current drought which has been affecting the Czech Republic for five consecutive years.
Government Commissioner for Human Rights Martina Štěpánková will step
down from her post at the end of March, Czech Radio reported on Thursday.
The information was confirmed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who said the
government will announced an open competition for the post.
Mrs Štěpánková was appointed to the reinstated post of Human Rights Commissioner in June 2018. She will also step down as deputy in charge of managing the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government.
The Prime Minister said he himself would remain in charge of the Government Council for Human Rights, which has recently come under criticism for lack of action.
Two trucks transporting 46 tonnes of humanitarian aid will depart for eastern Ukraine from the Czech Republic on Monday. The convoy, heading to the town of Sloviansk near Donbas, will be carrying hygiene supplies, warm clothes and roof covering for people living on the frontline. It is organised by the Krnov branch of Caritas Czech Republic and Ukraine Initiative in the Czech Republic.