The Czech Republic is planning to spend billions in the coming decades on
fighting drought. Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting of the National
Coalition to Combat Drought, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said CZK 24
billion would be invested into connecting different water supply systems.
The state will also spend CZK 6 billion on renewing mains pipelines.
The minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, said further money could be drawn from EU funds and that a total of around CZK 50 billion would be invested.
Mr. Babiš said the prognosis was not good and this year could be the sixth in succession in which the country experiences drought. He said solving water shortages was the most pressing challenge facing his government.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey team travelled by train from Prague to
Bratislava on Tuesday, three days before this year’s World Championships
begin in Slovakia. Around 100 fans turned out to wish good luck to 15
members of the squad before they set off from the city’s Main Station on
the four-hour journey. Other players were due to get on board in Brno and
The Czechs’ first game at the World Championships is on Friday night against Sweden, who lifted the trophy the last two years.
President Miloš Zeman says Czech or other European politicians who regard
him as an agent of Russia’s Vladimir Putin are “absolute idiots”.
Speaking in an interview with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, Mr Zeman
said he had also been accused of being an agent of China and Israel but was
in fact an agent of the Czech Republic.
The Czech head of state said that the European Union lacked a strong leader, by contrast with the US, Russia and China.
Mr. Zeman said he had nothing against a Russian company winning a tender to construct new units at the Czech Republic’s Dukovany nuclear power plant.
Pilsen’s annual Festival of Freedom marking the West Bohemian city’s
liberation by General Patton’s Army in May 1945 drew some 70,000 people
over the course of four days, organisers told news agency ČTK.
A dozen war veterans from the US and Belgium who helped to liberate the city attended this year’s event, which got underway on Friday. Among the highlights was the Convoy of Liberty with over 200 historical vehicles that crossed the town centre on Sunday.
It culminated on Monday at Pilsen’s memorial to the US army with an event called “Thank You, America!” Among the speakers was Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera (Civic Democrats), who said that even an onslaught of lies and propaganda under Communism, the memory of the US and Allied liberators did not fade.
Meanwhile, members and supporters of the Night Wolves – a Russian nationalist biker gang close to President Vladimir Putin – rode across stretches of the country to commemorate the Soviet Army’s role in liberating Czechoslovakia.
Thousands again took to the streets of Prague, Brno and other cities on
Monday to protest against the appointment of a new justice minister shortly
after police proposed pressing charges of EU subsidy fraud against Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš.
It was the second street protest called by the group A Million Moments for Democracy, which believe Marie Benešová was named justice minister in an attempt to thwart justice.
Mr Babiš and several of his family members are suspected of having illegally tapped into a 50 million crown EU subsidy a decade ago in what has come to be known as the Stork’s Nest affair.
If stripped of his immunity, tried and found guilty, Mr Babiš could face a prison sentence of between five and 10 years.
MP Helena Válková (ANO), the newly appointed government Commissioner for
Human Rights, plans to focus on protecting the rights of children, seniors,
the socially disadvantaged and handicapped people.
Válková, a former minister of justice who helped draft a law strengthening the rights of victims of crime, said she plans to retain her seat in the lower house of Parliament.
The position of Commissioner for Human Rights had been vacant since Martina Štěpánková stepped down at the end of March, less than a year after taking office.
Cardinal Dominik Duka reportedly plans to appeal a Brno city court’s
rejection of his criminal complaint against local theatre groups over the
staging of a play by Croatian director Oliver Frljić.
At one point in the Frljić play in question, called “Our Violence, Your Violence”, an actor depicting Jesus rapes a Muslim woman. In another scene, a naked Muslim woman slowly pulls a bloody Czech national flag out of her vagina.
Cardinal Duka says the play, performed last year, amounted to an attack on his rights to freedom of religion, dignity and honour as guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The Brno city court ruled that the scenes were allegorical and could not be seen as violating anyone’s individual rights. Czech Television reports Cardinal Duka plans to file an appeal with the Brno district court.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček is in Bratislava for an informal
meeting on Monday between representatives of the Visegrad Group and Eastern
The Eastern Partnership was launched in Prague in 2009 during the Czech Presidency of the European Union.
The aim was to boost cooperation between the EU and the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
The tenth anniversary of the Eastern Partnership will be celebrated in Brussels from 13-14 May.
The salaries of doctors and nurses in Czech hospitals are now equal to the
European Union average, the Ministry of Health said a press conference on
Over the past five years, doctors’ salaries rose by 32 percent on average while nurses’ salaries rose by 41 percent.
In 2018, doctors in hospitals earned the equivalent of 243 percent of the average Czech salary and nurses 121 percent.
According to the Institute of Health Information and Statistics, this year their average salaries will reach 84,000 crowns and 43,000 crowns, respectively.
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