The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček reacted to the
statement by German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer that there is
"close to zero" support for a solution to the migrant crisis in
Eastern Europe by telling the Czech News Agency that the Czech Republic is
ready to help in a Europe-wide solution, but refuses the quota system.
Mr. Seehofer made the comment at a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, stating that he had been in Eastern Europe many times, most recently in Prague. He went on to say that the current system of dividing migrants cannot be a long-term solution.
The German interior minister also talked about the statistics from the annual report of the German Federal Police. According to the report, the number of illegal migrants that crossed the border from Czech Republic into Germany last year rose by 6.5 percent as opposed to 2017, reaching 4,296 cases. The rising number contrasts with the fact that in the majority of Germany’s other borders the amount of illegal migrant crossings registered a decrease.
Mr. Seehofer said he believes that the increase is due to a shift in migration routes and that Germany intends to make its border checks more thorough until sufficient checking is implemented on the boarders of the Schengen Area. However, he dismissed the establishment of checkpoints. His Czech counterpart Jan Hamáček wrote to the Czech News Agency, saying that the Czech police have already been notified of the intention.
The Czech Republic should try to get funding for the construction of
housing for pensioners from the European Union, Labour and Social Affairs
Minister Jana Maláčová told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. The
funding requests should also extend beyond housing into other projects
connected with the general ageing of the population. Otherwise, she said,
it is hard to imagine where the necessary funds could be found.
Mrs. Maláčová made the statement while visiting the South Bohemian city of Tábor, where she also spoke in support of a local CZK 240 million pensioners centre, which the city is set to begin constructing in the autumn months.
The frequently occurring droughts in the Czech Republic are not only
leading to government counter-measures, but also an increased need for
experts on climate change related subjects. In response, a number of Czech
universities are setting up courses focusing on the protection of natural
resources, Hospodářské Noviny reports.
The University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague has set up a new study programme exploring water and the environment, while the high levels of bark beetle infestation have led Brno’s Mendel University to open up a new course on the technologies and management involved in wood processing.
Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová is planning to
propose an amendment to the Czech labour law, which will make it easier for
employers to create part-time jobs. The idea, she told Czech Radio, is to
create so-called “shared working spots”, which would give two to three
people the chance to work in the same job position. Similar types of
definitions currently exist in neighbouring Slovakia and Germany. The
labour minister hopes that, if passed, the new legislation will make it
easier for mothers of small children and over-60s to remain active on the
Current data from the Czech Statistics office shows that the Czech Republic is far below the EU average when it comes to part-time employment. Whereas the European median lies at around 20 percent, in the Czech Republic the number is just over 7 percent.
The Czech ice-hockey forward Jakub Vrána has signed a deal with his
current NHL team the Washington Capitals. The contract is worth USD 6.7
million dollars and will last for two seasons. The team’s general
manager, Brian Mac Lellan, told journalists that the 23-year-old Czech is a
highly skilled player and a big part of the team’s future.
Vrána scored 47 points last season, including 24 goals, and has established himself as a top-six forward. He ended the season as a restricted free agent, but the Capitals, last year’s Stanley Cup champions, used their opportunity to re-sign him. The new contract counts on a similar restriction clause after it runs out in 2021.
Veterinarians from the State Veterinary Administration discovered 250 kilograms of rotten meat while checking a truck on its way to supply a children’s summer camp. The discovery was made after the veterinary administration ordered local hygienists to inspect the sanitation standards at a camp near the South Bohemian city of Jindřichův Hradec. The truck, which lacked a cooling system, was transporting chicken, pork and other types of meat in a half frozen state, while also lacking the necessary documentation for the products. State Veterinary Administration spokesman Petr Vorlíček told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday that the supplier is facing a fine of up to CZK 1,000,000.
One of the companies belonging to the Agrofert group, a holding founded by
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš before he entered politics, will no longer be
receiving funding from the country’s State Environmental Fund, the daily
Hospodářské Noviny reported on Wednesday, citing the fund’s Director
of the National Programmes’ Management Section Leo Steiner.
The decision to suspend the funding was made following the recent allegations of the prime minister being in a conflict of interests. Agrofert says that it made all of the necessary procedures that Czech law requests in the application process and expects to eventually receive the funds.
Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček has criticized Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš for the way he is handling the government crisis revolving around
the culture minister.
In an interview for Czech Radio Mr. Hamáček said he would have expected more emphatic action from the prime minister in defending not only the coalition agreement but the constitutional order. “The prime minister is trying to resolve the controversy at no cost to himself, which is simply not possible,” Hamáček said, referring to Babiš’ unwillingness to enter into an open conflict with the president and use legal means to force him to do his constitutional duty.
The president’s reluctance to effect a change-of-guard at the Culture Ministry and appoint the nominee of their choice has angered the Social Democrats to the point where they have threatened to walk out of the government if their conditions are not met.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has welcomed the election of Ursula von
der Leyen as the new president of the European Commission.
In a congratulatory message on Twitter, Mr. Babiš said he was glad that a woman, and a very competent one, would take up the European Commission leadership. He said he looked forward to meeting with her in person to discuss the future of the EU.
Czech MEPs were divided in the vote with MEP’s elected for the prime minister’s ANO party, who are part of the liberal group Renew Europe, the Christian Democrats, Mayors and Independents and TOP 09, associated in the European People’s Party, supporting her, while Czech MEPs elected for other factions voting against.