The Chinese Investment Forum, expected to draw more than 500 guests from 14
countries, gets under way at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Following the
opening ceremony will be a full day of panel discussions featuring
politicians, economists and business executives.
President Miloš Zeman is expected to take part in the gala evening, alongside the chairman of Chinese conglomerate CITIC. The forum cooperates with the so-called 16 + 1 format comprised of Central and Eastern Europe countries and China.
Zeman’ chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, earlier said the forum would be attended by some 250 guests from China, up to 150 guests from CEE countries and roughly 100 guests from the Czech Republic.
After some high-profile failed or lacklustre Chinese investments in the Czech Republic, organisers said they aim to make the forum more business-oriented and result driven.
President Miloš Zeman has warned the Social Democrats, who had a poor
showing in the recent municipal and Senate elections, of a possible split
in the party of which he was a long-time chairman.
In a wide-ranging interview with Czech Radio on Monday evening live from the presidential residence in Lány, Zeman again said he favoured a dissolution of the Senate.
He also defended his decision not to make appearances on 17 November, the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and on 21 August, the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops, saying it was enough for him to remember these dates in silence.
Zeman said he would speak on 28 October, the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Czechoslovak independence, when State honours are given out. He also revealed that he will honour resistance fighter Josef Bílý posthumously.
The Czech president also recalled in the interview how he had used obscene expressions in a live broadcast four years ago. Despite protests from the moderator, Zeman once again used vulgar words in the live interview.
Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš travelled to Warsaw
on Monday to visit the headquarters of the European Border and Coast Guard
Agency, Frontex, which he says should focus mainly on returning migrants to
the country of origin or to the transit states.
Babiš has recently criticized the European Commission’s plans to increase funding for Frontex, arguing that it amounts to duplicating European security structures and boosting an agency that has not proven very effective.
In Warsaw he also met his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki. Among the topics on their agenda was the upcoming EU summit in Brussels and migration. They also agreed on the need to help source countries of migration improve conditions at home.
A bark beetle infestation that has affected spruce forests in the Vysočina
region is also threatening the protected natural area of Žďárské vrchy
in western Moravia.
Extensive felling of trees to combat the problem could negatively impact many animal species, including hawks and white-tailed eagles, conservationists say.
The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst bark beetle infestation in at least 200 years. The amount of spruce wood damaged by the insects has risen steadily in recent years.
Experts are warning that the nation’s forests could be wiped out if the current monoculture forestry format remains unchanged.
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has criticized central European
member states for refusing to accept mandatory quotas agreed in 2015 to
take in refugees, and especially for rejecting his own proposal to at least
host unaccompanied refugee children without families.
Juncker said in an interview with the French daily Le Monde published over the weekend that their stance was "scandalous" and failed to demonstrate even "basic solidarity" with other EU states.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš last month refused to even consider taking in 50 orphans from Syria but has since softened his stance.
Veterinarians in East Bohemia have ordered some 80 tons of fish be
destroyed following an outbreak of the herpes virus at the Buñkov fish
farm near Pardubice.
Although the strain cannot be transmitted to humans, it is highly contagious among fish species. It is the first such outbreak reported this year.
Due to the chronic labour shortage, Czech economic growth will slow to 3.6
percent this year and to 3.3 percent in 2019, the Czech Chamber of Commerce
says in a new forecast.
The prediction is based on data from the retail bank Česká spořitelna and the chamber’s own surveys.
By June 2019 there could be half a million unfilled positions, about 60,000 more than today, according to the chamber, which has been lobbying the government to double the annual quota for workers from Ukraine to 40,000 to help fill the gap.
The Czech capital is preparing a project to repair the dilapidated Fuchs
café on Štvanice Island between the Karlín and Holešovice districts.
Prague city councillors have earmarked some 20 million crowns to restore the 1930s’ era functionalist style café to its original state.
There are also plans to build a new footbridge to the island and install landscaped gardens.
Czech judo competitor Lukáš Krpálek has won his third Grand Prix gold
medal in Cancún, Mexico. The Olympic champion and World number two
defeated Andy Granda of Cuba in the above 100 kilogramme category. The
Czech secured the win in the minute of the contest.
Krpálek is a former world and European champion and current Olympic Champion in the U100 category. He is the most successful judoka in Czech and Czechoslovak history, and was named Czech Judoka of the Year eight times between 2008 and 2015.