The minister of transport, Vladimír Kremlík, says annual stamps allowing
motorists to use the country’s motorways will not increase in price until
the main D1 motorway is completed. The ANO appointee made the comment on
Twitter. Under current plans road works on the D1 should be completed by
2021. Motorway stamps currently cost CZK 1,500.
Earlier this week ANO MP Martin Kolovratník proposed increasing the price to CZK 2,000. This would be unfair toward drivers, Mr. Kremlík said.
The Social Democrats say all of the party’s MPs will vote against an
opposition motion of no confidence in their coalition government with ANO
next Wednesday, Czech Television reported. However, the coalition’s
junior partner have set conditions for remaining in power with ANO.
The Social Democrats want the 2020 state budget to allow for the fulfillment of their programme targets, guaranteed independence of the judiciary and the resolution of the situation surrounding the minister of culture. The party’s occupant of that post had his resignation rejected by the president, who is due to hold talks with their nominee to replace next week.
The opposition has called the no-confidence vote over a European Commission preliminary audit that found Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in conflict of interest.
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are due to discuss
the situation surrounding the minister of culture in a meeting at the
president’s Lány residence on Saturday evening.
Antonín Staněk of junior coalition partners the Social Democrats said he would step down as arts chief by the end of May. However, Mr. Zeman refused to accept his resignation and the Social Democrats later called on ANO leader Babiš to dismiss him and resolve the situation by the end of June.
The president has said he will hold talks with the Social Democrats’ new choice for the post, Michal Šmarda, next week.
The Czech Republic and three other post-Communist countries voted to stop
the EU from adopting a clear long-term climate neutrality goal at the
summit in Brussels on Thursday evening.
Along with Poland, Hungary and Estonia, the Czech Republic rejected a proposed carbon neutrality target for 2050, arguing against a concrete date. The measure will be taken up again in late October, at a summit that will be Jean-Claude Juncker's last as European Commission president.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said Thursday the EU should rather focus on short-term goals in accordance with the Paris Agreement set for 2030. He said the rejected proposal would endanger the Czech economy and jobs.
Prague City Hall councillors have rejected an initiative to install a
replica of the Marian Column, erected in 1650. It was torn down shortly
after Czechoslovakia was founded by an angry mob who saw it as a symbol of
Members of the Association for the Renewal of the Marian Column had gathered on Prague’s Old Town Square on Sunday, collecting signatures in support of rebuilding the structure.
The day before, sculptor Petr Váňa had attempted to place part of a balustrade he had consutructed in the Marian Column's original location.
The Czech lower house of Parliament has approved a cabinet proposal that
would see medical marihuana mostly covered by public health insurance.
According to the proposal, which will now go to the Senate, insurers would cover 90 percent of the cost of for medical marihuana per month on a maximum of 30 grams per patient.
MPs rejected an amendment by Pirate deputy Tomáš Vymazal to make the payment 100 percent and set the monthly limit at 180 grams.
Czech state-run power group ČEZ has announced plans to sell its Bulgarian
assets to local investors Eurohold for 335 million euros, subject to
approval by regulatory authorities.
ČEZ entered the Bulgarian market in 2004. The prospective sale concerns seven of its local units.
Last February, a rumour that ČEZ might sell major Bulgarian assets to small firm called Inercom sparked protests over alleged corruption that led the Minister of Energy to resign.
Czech poet and translator Petr Král, who also writes in French, was among
64 people honoured by the French Academy on Thursday for their
contributions in the cultural field.
The jury awarded Král, now 77, Le Grand Prix de la Francophonie not only for his book Critical Articles and Essays of Vlastizrady, but also for his entire body of work, including as an émigré.
As a translator and publisher, he has striven to bring Czech poetry to French readers, including the poems of Nobel Prize-winner Jaroslav Seifert. He also translated many French avant-garde writers, including André Breton, into Czech.
Král left Czechoslovakia for France after the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968 and returned to his homeland in 2006. Three years ago he received the Czech State Prize for Literature.
The newly installed Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová, who visited Prague
on Monday, expressed her understanding for people who are demonstrating
against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and for independent judiciary.
Speaking at a concert in her honour at Prague’s Kampa island, the Slovak head of state said drew analogy with last year’s demonstrations in Slovakia against the government led by Prime Minister Robert Fico. "What these demonstrations have in common is their peaceful tone", Mrs Čaputová said.
A series of protest took place in the Czech Republic in recent weeks against PM Babiš and his appointment of Marie Benešová as justice minister. The most recent rally in Prague was attended by an estimated 120,000 people. Another demonstration is due to take place on June 23 on Prague’s Letná plain, the venue of the largest anti-regime demonstrations of November 1989.