The committee for EU affairs in the Czech lower house will discuss the
nomination of Věra Jourová for another term as the Czech EU commissioner
on Tuesday, August 20, the ctk news agency reported.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, already informed the incoming president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen about the government’s choice and the lower house is expected to give its final stamp of approval.
Jourová’s nomination has won broad support both from the government and opposition parties. Prime Minister Babiš is hoping that her experience will increase the country’s chances of getting a more ambitious portfolio, such as the internal market or digitalization.
Communist party leader Vojtěch Filip has come under fire for linking the
growing price of pork on the market to the closure of the Lety pig farm in
South Bohemia, which stood on the site of a former Nazi concentration camp
The Museum of Romany Culture, which had been pushing for the farm’s closure for years so as to enable the authorities to build a dignified memorial to the victims, said it was shocked by Filip’s words, noting that the closure of the offensive pig farm had been an important step in preserving the memory of the nation.
It moreover cited the Association of Czech Pig Breeders as saying that the growing price of pork stemmed from growing prices on world markets in connection with the incidence of swine fever in China and had nothing to do with the closure of the Lety farm.
The Social Democratic Party called Filip’s populist claim “repulsive”.
The Environment Ministry has attacked a decision by the Central Institute
for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture to allow farmers to use a
certain type of rat poison in fields, orchards, meadows and vineyards.
The ministry says the Stutox II poison against rodents is highly toxic and presents a serious threat to birds and animals in the vicinity. The Environment Ministry says the application of the given substance violates the law on landscape protection.
The Central Institute for Supervision and Testing in Agriculture falls under the Ministry of Agriculture which has not yet commented on the development.However the institute has confirmed that the said rat poison has not up to the present time been used on Czech territory.
Around forty leading personalities linked to the 1989 freedom
demonstrations have signed an open letter protesting against what they see
as a manipulative campaign in the press aiming to rewrite 1989 events in a
way that will suit some present-day politicians.
The signatories, who include Dagmar Havlova, former dissidents and student leaders, objected to two interviews pertaining to the events of November 1989 published in the daily MfDnes, which took a different slant on the events and attempted to play down the significance of the student protests. The said interviews were with gallery owner and former communist apparatchik Jiří Jaskmanický and documentary filmmaker Pavel Chalupa.
The paper’s editor-in-chief, Jaroslav Plesl, countered that in the interest of objective reporting the prepared interviews on the 1989 events included people from all walks of life and politicial allegiances.
The second quarter has seen an increase in the number of foreign visitors
to the Czech capital, according to data released by the Czech Statistics
Office on Thursday.
The number of tourists in Prague in the second quarter reached 5.8 million, which in an increase by 4.9 percent on the previous year.
German tourists are the most frequent visitors from abroad, followed by tourists from the US, Great Britain, Russia, China and Italy. The number of Czechs who visited the capital city was slightly over 300, 000.
The world’s largest airline, American Airlines will launch direct flights
between Prague and Chicago as of next year. The five-days-a week service
will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft and will be launched
on May 8, 2020. Tickets will go on sale on August 12.
Chicago is one of the top five destinations in North America and the service will offer passengers a large number of connecting flights. It is expected to serve around 48,000 passengers a year. Passengers can also fly direct to New York, Philadelphia and Newark.
Prague’s traditional New Year’s fireworks display, held annually on the
evening of January 1, will be replaced with video mapping, city councillors
decided on Wednesday.
Prague city councillors consider it as a step towards accommodating residents’ who are sensitive to loud noise, but also to animals that are subjected to unnecessary stress.
Last year’s New Year’s Day fireworks show lasted around 10 minutes and cost some 1.7 million crowns. The venue of the planned video mapping lightshow has not yet been announced.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic increased to 2.7 percent in July up from
2.6 percent in the previous month, the Labour Office announced on Thursday.
The number of jobless last month was 205,120, an increase of about 9,400 people compared to June. Nevertheless, it is still the lowest figure for the month of July since 1996, when the number of jobseekers stood at 158,252. The number of vacancies increased in July to 346,563.
Windstorms and hailstorms in the first six months of the year caused
damages amounting to 1.2 billion crowns, the Czechs Association of
Insurance Companies reported on Wednesday. It is the highest figure since
2011, when detailed monitoring began.
The Czech Republic’s biggest insurance company, Česká pojišťovna,
investigated over 30,000 incidents caused by natural events, with damages
amounting to 1.5 million crowns.
Czech insurance companies say damages caused by hail and windstorms in the first half of 2019 amounted to one quarter of all damages cause by extreme weather conditions. They have also recorded an increased number of damages caused by lightening during the first six months of 2019.