The Chamber of Deputies has voted for the implementation a of digital
motorway toll system that should give drivers the opportunity to purchase
vignettes online or via an application by January 2021. The new system is
set to completely replace the paper coupons which are in use now.
Furthermore, hybrid cars, as well as those using electric or hydrogen
instead of regular fuel, are exempt from the charge.
Another proposal, which planned to increase the cost of digital vignettes from CZK 1,500 to CZK 2,000, did not pass.
The Czech Republic is likely to push for the post of new digital economy commissioner, Lidové Noviny reports, citing a source close to the prime minister. The reserve option is the position of commissioner for the internal market. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has not yet commented on what position the Czech Republic will try to secure. However, he tweeted on Friday that he has spoken to the future commission president Ursula von der Leyen and told her his government’s preferred portfolio, while stressing the need for adequate Visegrad Four representation.
The Ministry of Transport, which is currently reviewing one of the two
preliminary EU audits that point to a conflict of interest of Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš, has partly admitted to one of the conclusions in
the report, news site iRozhlas reports.
The specific case concerns the transfer of CZK 2 billion from the Ministry of Transport to the Ministry of the Environment in 2016. The auditors claim this is one piece of evidence of the PM’s conflict of interest because the changes were made in order to support the country’s chemical industry, which is dominated by Agrofert, a company founded by Mr. Babiš. At the time the cabinet argued that the Transport Ministry’s plans were not sufficient and a potential loss of the amount of granted subsidies could be limited.
However, in an interview with Czech Radio’s Radiožurnál, Deputy Trade Minister Tomáš Čoček said that this year’s statistics prove that the concern was unfounded and the ministry’s plans were sufficient.
EU member states should act in a uniform manner when combating the threat
of looming trade wars, TOP 09 party MEP Luděk Niedermayer told Czech
Television in an interview following his selection as vice-chair of the
European Union’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. Mr.
Niedermayer is one of three Czech MEP’s who have gained deputy positions
in newly formed EU committees. The Civic Democrats’ Jan Zahradil was
chosen as vice-chair of the Committee on International Trade, while Martina
Dlabajová from the ANO party has the same role in the Committee on
Mr. Niedermayer, who served as the director and vice-governor of the Czech National Bank before he entered politics, is known for his positive stance on closer European integration and his country’s adoption of the Euro.
A rare North American porcupine was born at Prague zoo in mid-June, the zoo
has announced. The breeders have not yet been able to determine the sex of
The large rodents, native to North America and Canada, are reminiscent of porcupines due to their coat of needle-like quills, but in fact they are closely related to guinea pigs and spend much of their life on trees.
Prague zoo has been breeding the North American porcupines since 1958.
Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová has failed to reach the final of the
Wimbledon tournament. The 33-year-old Czech was defeated by the seven-time
Wimbledon champion Serena Williams 6-1 6-2 in less than an hour.
Strýcová is still playing in the doubles alongside Hsieh Su-Wei. The Chinese Taipei-Czech pair is set to face No.1 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic for a spot in the finals.
Three Czech MEPs are among the newly elected chairs and vice-chairs of the
European Parliament’s 22 committees and subcommittees for the next two
and a half years.
Luděk Niedermayer of the conservative TOP 09 party has been elected first
vice-chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. His colleague
from the Civic Democratic Party Jan Zahradil has become first vice-chair of
the Committee on International Trade, and Martina Dlabajová of the ANO
party will take the post of vice-chair of the Committee on Budgetary
Last week, two Czech MEPs, Dita Charanzová of the ANO party and Marcel Kolaja of the Pirate Party, were elected vice-presidents of the European Parliament.
The digitally restored version of Ecstasy, a 1933 film by Czechoslovak
director Gustav Machatý, is due to be screened at this year’s Venice
Film Festival. The film, featuring Hedy Lamarr in her first major role, was
first screened at the festival in 1934.
The world premiere of the film’s digitally restored version will take place on August 27, on the eve of the festival’s opening. Ecstasy was highly controversial in its time because of nude scenes with the Austrian-born star and its portrayal of sexual intercourse and the female orgasm.
Six people, including two Czechs, have been killed and dozens of others
injured in a fierce storm that swept across northern Greece late on
Wednesday. Gale-force winds and hailstorm hit the Halkidiki region near the
city of Thessaloniki, snapping trees and tearing off roofs.
The elderly Czech couple died when their caravan overturned and ripped open. Their son and grandson were taken to the hospital with injuries. A state of emergency was declared in the region with more than 100 rescue workers deployed.