The Czech government has reportedly decided not to join the UN migration
pact but will formally debate the move this coming Wednesday. Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has argued that the agreement fails to
distinguish between legal and illegal migration. A decision is expected
following the debate.
The Czech Republic, along with 191 other UN member states, in July approved the non-binding Global Compact for Migration, which aims to offer better protection to migrants and refugees.
The document will be officially signed in December, in Morocco. Two other Central European countries, Austria and Hungary, have already withdrawn from the agreement, as have the United States and Australia.
The Indian comedian and actor Vir Das has complained that he and his
parents were repeatedly ignored by staff at Café Café in central Prague.
He wrote on Twitter, where he has over 7.5 million followers, that they had
tried six times to get service but the café did not "really like
serving brown people".
The comedian has since deleted the Tweet in question and said he had heard from the owner of Café Café, who apologised for the behaviour of his staff. The owner told the Czech News Agency that it had been a misunderstanding rather than a racist incident.
A trap set for a brown bear in the Zlín region in Moravia has so far only
caught other animals, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. The bear has
been roaming around an area of the Beskydy Mountains since September. It
has killed a number of sheep, with the latest reported on Tuesday, and has
Rangers set a cage trap with honey for the animal but it has only caught a cat and some birds to date. They have also established a photo trap in a bid to monitor the bear’s movements.
A criminal investigation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš should be
completed by the end of the year, iRozhlas.cz reported, quoting the Prague
prosecutor’s office. The news site says that investigators now possess
several types of evidence linked to the Čapí hnízdo farm complex. Mr.
Babiš and members of his family are accused of wrongly acquiring CZK 50
million in EU subsidies for the project.
There is an accusation that the company Farma Čapí hnízdo was deliberately hived off from Mr. Babiš’s Agrofert conglomerate – which is now in a trust – to make it appear to be a small firm and therefore eligible for EU support.
The prime minister denies any impropriety and says the charges are politically motivated.
Real Madrid, one of the world’s most famous football teams, have arrived
in the Czech Republic for a Champions’ League game against Viktoria
Plzeň on Wednesday night. Real’s stars touched down in Prague on Tuesday
afternoon before taking a team bus to Plzeň.
Real beat the West Bohemians 2:1 in Madrid in a previous group game two weeks ago. The Spanish giants have won the Champions’ League for the last three seasons, a feat never before achieved, but have recently been through a turbulent period that included the sacking of their coach.
The Ministry of Finance has cut its forecast for expansion of the Czech
economy this year. While in July officials said gross domestic product
appeared set to grow by 3.2 percent, they have now revised that figure to
Similarly the ministry had previously predicted GDP growth for 2019 of 3.1 percent but now says 2.9 percent is more likely.
The Ministry of Finance says it regards Brexit, increased protectionism and Italy’s economic problems as the greatest threats to the Czech economy.
A Prague restaurant is facing sanctions after barring children from its
premises, Czech Television reported. The Stodola House eatery in the
city’s Jižní Město placed a sign outside saying under 18s were barred.
However, the Czech Trade Inspection Authority has adjudged the move to be age discrimination, which is illegal. The agency says it also discriminates against parents who would like to bring their children into the restaurant.
The owner of the business in question says he has the right to decide who enters his premises, while customers can decide if it is the kind of spot they would like to visit.
Earlier this year the Trade Inspection Authority imposed a CZK 5,000 on a hotel that barred children under the age of 10.
The Czech Pirate Party have won support from MPs from other groupings for a
bill to allow people to grow marijuana for their own usage, iDnes.cz
reported on Tuesday. The Pirates have the signatures of around 40 deputies
for an amendment which would make it legal to cultivate and process up to
five hemp plants, the news site said.
Leader Ivan Bartoš says the party will submit the bill for discussion in the Chamber of Deputies at the end of the week.
At present possession of the equivalent of five marijuana plants or less is considered a misdemeanor under Czech law.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, opened the Czech-Chinese Business Forum
in Shanghai on Tuesday. In an opening address, he called on entrepreneurs
to show courage, which he said was key to winning trade deals.
Mr. Zeman highlighted a 20-percent rise in Czech exports to China and 20-percent growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Czech Republic in the last year.
It is the Czech president’s fourth visit to China since 2014, reflecting his drive to boost ties with the world’s most populous state.