China has asked the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and the city’s
leadership not to interfere in Czech-Chinese relations, China’s state-run
press agency Xinhua reported. It cited the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign
Ministry Geng Shuang, who said that the “Prague government and mayor have
for some time behaved very badly on issues involving China's national
sovereignty and core interests, including issues related to Taiwan and
The spokesman did not specify his objections further, but it seems he was reacting to an earlier statement by Mr. Hřib on the sister-city agreement, which the former Prague leadership signed with Bejing. The current Prague City Council wants to revise the agreement and scrap the part which says Prague recognizes a single China.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said in response to the news that he would invite the Chinese ambassador to Prague to discuss the matter. Politics should not interfere in cultural cooperation, the Czech foreign minister wrote on Twitter.
The Czech Republic wants to increase the coalition potential of the
Visegrad Four (V4) group in the EU during its V4 presidency, which it
assumed on July 1, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said during a
debate organized by the Institute of Politics and Society in Prague.
Minister Petříček said the V4 group, which comprises the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, should actively focus on issues it considers important such as the deepening of the single market and strengthening defence cooperation within the alliance. He also spoke in favour of more intensive cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries and stronger support for the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.
The Slovak ambassador to Prague, Peter Weiss, stressed the need to change the perception of the V4 as a troublemaker that only blocks EU decisions in its own interests. Minister Petříček agreed that the V4 group should show a constructive attitude to the issues debated.
Europe's Global Navigation Satellite System Galileo which had been out
of operation for technical reasons since last Thursday has fully renewed
its services, the Czech Transport Ministry reported citing the Prague-based
The fall-out was reportedly caused by technical problems following a software upgrade. During the week-long break, Galileo users with the right technology have been relying on the U.S. GPS alternative to find their way around.
The price of fuels in the Czech Republic is at its lowest in over two months, according to CCS. The top-selling Natural 95 petrol is now selling at 32.96 crowns per litre while the price of diesel has dropped to 32.03 crowns per litre on average. Fuels are most expensive in Prague and cheapest in the South Bohemian region.
The regional council of Central Bohemia has upheld a complaint from Prime
Minister Andrej Babis regarding the conclusion of the Černošice council
according to which he has a conflict of interest.
The Černošice council debated the issue on the grounds of a complaint filed by Transparency International Czech Republic.
It concluded that Babis still controls the giant multi-industry group Agrofert, even though he put the conglomerate into trust funds to meet a strict new conflict of interest law and meted out a 200,000 crown fine. The regional council of Central Bohemia invalidated the decision and the case will now go back to the Černošice council.
The Czech branch of Transparency International filed a complaint with the Černošice council - a small municipality just outside Prague where Babiš lives - because Czech law states that conflict of interest complaints must be registered with the relevant local authority.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is due to meet with President Miloš Zeman on
Wednesday, July 24th to try to resolve the drawn out-government crisis
surrounding the culture minister, the Office of the President confirmed.
Deputy prime minister and Social Democrat leader, Jan Hamáček, who originally also expected to attend the talks, said he considered the one-on-one meeting perfectly in order.
The meeting is to focus on the Social Democrats’ nominee for culture minister, Michal Šmarda, whom President Zeman is reluctant to appoint. The Social Democrat have warned they may walk out of the government if their nominee is rejected.
A June study conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre (CVVM) shows
that around three fifths of Czechs believe they are being paid less than
they deserve at their current job, while only a third believe they receive
a fair salary.
However, the majority of respondents said that they are happy with their current positions, despite being underpaid. Furthermore, nearly 80 percent say they are not worried about losing their job. Around three quarters said that they have good relations at work - a factor which CVVM says is closely related to job satisfaction.
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.