The Pirate Party has urged the European Commission to make public the
results of its investigation into an alleged conflict of interest on the
part of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in connection with the company
Agrofert, which he placed in trust funds two years ago.
The Commission‘s auditors launched an investigation into the matter on the grounds of a complaint made by the Czech branch of Transparency International and the Pirate Party who claim that Mr. Babiš is still able to influence Agrofert despite having placed it into trust funds to meet a strict new conflict of interest law. They also say that as prime minister he has influence over negotiations on the EU budget and the use of European funds in the Czech Republic.
The Pirate Party has urged the Commission to make public its findings as soon as possible in view of the upcoming European elections.
The European Parliament voted in December to suspend subsidies to Agrofert until the matter is cleared up.
The Czech prime minister has denied any wrongdoing saying the affair is a politically motivated slander campaign against him and his ANO party.
Five people are reported to have been injured in a train collision in the
Chrudim region shortly after midday on Monday. One was a passenger train,
the other was empty, in the process of being moved to a different track.
The cause of the accident is being investigated. In a preliminary assessment of the accident Czech Railways said it could not rule out human error.
The Supreme Audit Office says procrastination at the Trade and Industry
Ministry was partly to blame for problems with drafting EU funds for
research and innovation in the past few years.
An in-depth audit revealed that individuals and institutions who filed for an EU grant in 2016 had to wait a year for the ministry’s decision. This significantly reduced interest in grants over the next two years.
Consequently,the Czech Republic has only managed to draft ten percent of the 34.8 billion crowns that the EU placed at its disposal between 2014 and 2020.
The Russian Embassy in Prague has been profiting from the lease of hundreds
of flats in Prague 6 which were intended for Russian diplomats, Czech Radio
reported on Monday citing the news site Denik N.
The flats belong to the Czech state and were allotted to the Russian Embassy for its diplomats for an unspecified period of time before the fall of communism in 1989.
According to Denik N the flats are being leased to people without a contract and they are paying rent in cash directly to the Russian Embassy.
This activity is reportedly documented by a number of ads offering the flats for rent.
According to former Czech foreign minister Cyril Svoboda, it is in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
An internationally wanted criminal, who is believed to have killed three
people in different parts of Europe, has been remanded in custody in
The man was arrested by the Czech police on Friday night and the authorities have already received extradition requests from Serbia, Hungary and the Netherlands where he is believed to have committed the contract killings.
According to the police the man, who is a Serbian and Hungarian national, had a number of fake documents, weapons and was masked to avoid detection.
The main threats for NATO in the present day are Russia, China and
cyberwarfare, the US ambassador to Prague, Stephen King, said at a seminar
in the Czech lower house marking 20 years since the country joined NATO.
The US ambassador said Putin’s regime was one of creeping aggression, citing its conflict with Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. China, the ambassador said, used business to further the country’s strategic interests.
Ambassador King called on the Czech Republic to honor its commitments to NATO to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense. Foreign minister Tomáš Petříček said the country could realistically fulfill this commitment by 2024.
An increasing number of Czech children suffer from speech impediments,
according to data released by the Institute of Health Information and
Statistics. Between the years 2010 and 2017 their number increased by over
26,000, reaching around 156,800 last year.
The number of school-children who require speech-therapy is increasing as well. Last year, the Ministry of Education registered over 7,200 children with speech problems, which is around three times more than ten years ago.
Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková won her fifth combined world
championship title in Calgary on Sunday. The long-distance specialist won
the women’s final 5000-metre race in six minutes, 42 seconds, beating her
own record set in 2011.
The 31-year-old Sáblíková beat her nearest rival Miho Tagaki, in second place, by around 20 seconds to secure the combined title.
Czech skier Kateřina Smutná defended the bronze medal at the traditional
90km Vasaloppet race in Sweden on Sunday. The women’s race was won by
Sweden’s Britta Johansson-Norgren.
In the men’s race, Stanislav Řezáč of the Czech Republic finished in the sixth place. It was the 21st start at the Vasaloppet for the 45-year-old marathon skier, who won a total of four medals over the years. Norway's Tore Berdal took the win, finishing ahead of his compatriot Stian Holegaard.