Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the incoming president of the
European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Monday to discuss the
country’s nominee for European commissioner as well as a likely
The Czech prime minister told journalists that he had proposed a second term for the country‘s present representative Věra Jourová, the current commissioner for justice, consumer protection and equality.
He said he hoped that her experience could help get the Czech Republic a stronger portfolio in the European Commission, for instance the internal market portfolio or digitalization.
Although her nomination still needs to be approved by the government ANO’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, approve of the choice.
President Miloš Zeman has dismissed Culture Minister Antonín Staněk from
his post, effective as of July 31, the president’s spokesman Jiří
Ovčáček informed journalists on Monday. According to Ovčáček the
president thanked Mr. Staněk for his good work and for having unveiled
corruption in the field of culture.
The dismissal comes two months after Prime Minister Babiš officially requested it and the delay has caused a drawn-out crisis in the governing coalition, with the Social Democrats, who are in charge of the culture portfolio, threatening to walk out of the coalition government over the president’s reluctance to act.
The party has already named Michal Šmarda as its nominee for the post, but President Zeman has not so far agreed to make the appointment, saying he would decide on Staněk’s successor in mid-August.
The graffiti which vandals sprayed on one of the support pillars of Charles
Bridge some time ago was removed inexpertly overnight by an unknown person,
according to the National Heritage Institute.
The clean-up job wasn't done by the company selected and nobody has so far claimed responsibility.
Experts started work on the site on Saturday afternoon and when they arrived back the next day they found that someone had removed the graffiti with an unknown substance.
Tests are now underway to determine whether the substance used had damaged the stones of the centuries old monument.
The culprits, two German tourists aged 23 and 30, are to pay fines of CZK 100,000 each plus CZK 40,000 to cover the cost of the damage, according to a Prague 1 District Court ruling. Both have appealed.
Prime Minister Babiš’ ANO party still maintains a strong lead over its
political rivals, but support for the party has been gradually sliding,
according to a poll conducted by the Median agency.
If elections were held today ANO would get 28.5 percent of the vote, down by two percentage points since May, followed by the Pirate Party with 14 percent, and the Civic Democrats with 12.5 percent.
The only other parties which would cross the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in the lower house of Parliament are the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party, the Social Democrats, the Communists, the Mayors and Independents and the Christian Democrats.
Animal adaptations are not keeping pace with climate change, according to
an extensive scientific study involving Czech experts from Palacký
University in Olomouc.
According to a study conducted in twenty countries, including the Czech Republic, the timing of life cycle events such as breeding and migration is mismatched to current climate and not all species are adapting fast enough, meaning they are threatened with extinction.
According to the study some bird species are particularly at risk in this respect.
An accident involving a freight train carrying lime from Mariánské
Lázně to Plzeň on Sunday is believed to have been caused by human error.
According to preliminary reports the train driver exceeded the permitted speed limit and lost control.
Nobody was hurt in the accident but the damage has been estimated in the tens of millions of crowns and the track is likely to remain closed until August 2nd.
More than half of Czechs are dissatisfied with the work of the courts and
state attorneys, according to the results of a survey conducted by the STEM
Fifty-three percent of respondents said they were not happy with the present state of the judiciary and 32 percent of respondents said it needed radical reform.
Older people, and in particular small and mid-sized entrepreneurs, expressed dissatisfaction particularly with the slow pace of Czech courts, while younger people were inclined to be more tolerant in their judgement.
The Czech Constitution dictates that the president is obliged to satisfy
the prime minister’s request to recall a member of his government, the
President of the Constitutional Court Pavel Rychetský told the daily
Lidové noviny in an interview published on Sunday. The judge went on to
say that while the specific date for the action is not stipulated in law,
the president should act without delay. In such a situation, Dr. Rychetsky
says, the presidential function is not that of an institution cooperating
with the prime minister, but rather one that executes his decision.
President Miloš Zeman has recently come under criticism for his delay in accepting the resignation of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk and his unwillingness to accept the Social Democrat nominee for the position, Michal Šmarda. The Czech Senate voted in favour of a constitutional complaint against the president’s actions earlier this week and the complaint will now be subject to a vote in the lower house of Parliament before it can be reviewed by the Constitutional Court.
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