Finance Minister Alena Schillerová met with President Miloš Zeman and his
team of financial advisors at Lany Chateau on Sunday to brief them about
the 2020 draft budget.
She said that while she saw no means of reducing the proposed 40 billion crown deficit she was determined not to exceed this limit.
Ministers for the Social Democratic Party failed to support the draft in a Cabinet vote arguing that the budget proposal failed to take into account all their program priorities.
The opposition Communist Party, which tolerates the minority government in exchange for certain policy program concessions, has said it wants to see the deficit slashed by ten billion.
Several dozen environmental activists engaged in a symbolic blockade of the
coal power plant Chvaletice in north-east Bohemia to protest against an
exemption that will allow it to remain in operation, despite the fact that
it does not comply with all EU environment norms.
The three-day peaceful protest outside the plant’s gates ended on Friday. Protesters did not try to disrupt the plant’s operation allowing workers and traffic free passage. They argue that the plant is a serious polluter in the region and was to have closed in 2016.
The plant’s spokeswoman said on Friday that it was undergoing a modernization worth billions of crowns and already fulfilled 23 out of 25 strict EU requirements.
The Czech Foreign Ministry registered a heightened interest in visas to the
Czech Republic last year, receiving over 722,000 requests overall. The
biggest interest was in so-called Schengen visas which give foreign
visitors 90 days of free movement around Schengen.
The number of requests for long-term or permanent residence in the country doubled to 37,000 in 2018, according to Foreign Ministry sources.
English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran will perform two concerts in
Prague within his Divide 2019 tour. His first concert at Letnany airport on
Sunday, July 7th, was sold out within hours leading the organizers to add a
second concert on Monday.
The police have warned drivers to expect traffic restrictions in the vicinity of the concert and strict security measures will be in place for concert-goers.
Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has lashed out against Deputy Prime
Minister Jan Hamáček, saying on Twitter that the party leader had
betrayed him by asking him to resign in connection with public protests to
the sacking of two heads of cultural institutions.
Staněk wrote on Twitter that Hamáček had gone back on his word, driven by fear and weakness. The Social Democratic Party’s demand for a change of guard at the culture ministry has brought the government to the brink of collapse after President Zeman refused to dismiss Staněk and appoint the party’s new nominee for the post.
The president has called a meeting on July 12th at which he hopes to effect a reconciliation, but the Social Democrats have said that unless their condition is met they will walk out of the government.
Two more Czech attractions have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage
Site list. One is the uniquely preserved mining landscape Krušné hory –
Erzgebirge for which the Czech Republic made a joint bid with Germany, the
other is the national stud farm in Kladruby in Central Bohemia.
Founded in 1579, the farm is known for its Kladruber horses, one of the oldest breeds in the world. The first Czech sites to be included on the list were the historic centre of Prague, Telč and Český Krumlov in 1992. The overall number of Czech sites has now reached 14.
The Bulgarian-Greek road comedy “The Father” won the main prize at the
54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, picking up the Crystal Globe
at the closing gala ceremony on Saturday night.
The jury also singled out the German psychological family drama “Lara” by Jan-Ole Gerster for which Corinna Harfouch took the Best Actress Award. Milan Ondrik won Best Actor for his lead role in the Slovak-Czech family drama “Let There Be Light”, while Belgian director Tim Mielants won the director’s prize for his film “Patrick”.
The viewers’ award went to Olga Sommerova’s document “Jiří Suchy – Tackling Life with Ease”.
One of the main celebrities at the festival Patricia Clarkson got a standing ovation as she received the Crystal Globe for contribution to world cinema, as did Julianne Moore at the opening of the festival.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček iodf the Social Democratic party said
he was ready to resign, following the meeting of top officials at the Lány
Chateau on Thursday concerning the replacement of Culture Minister Antonín
Mr. Petříček told the Czech News Agency he was disappointed by the outcome of the meeting between President Miloš Zeman, Prime Minister Antonín Babiš and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček, adding that he didn’t see many possibilities for the Social Democrats to remain in the government.
His party colleague, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová, wrote on her Facebook account that if the Constitution and the coalition agreement were violated, Social Democrat ministers were ready to resign.
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