Scrutiny regarding the handling of funds by the country’s two public
broadcasters – Czech Television and Czech Radio – should be handled by
the politically independent Supreme Audit Office instead of Parliament,
according to a proposal submitted in the lower house by four Social
Democrat members of the Chamber of Deputies.
The proposal was made amid an ongoing dispute in the lower-house, where the Communists and the Freedom and Direct Democracy party are blocking approval of Czech Television’s annual budgets.
Czech Television stated via its social media that its management is already subject to a multi-level audit and that it would not be opposed to scrutiny from the Supreme Audit Office.
The Russian Embassy in Prague has denied that the information provided
earlier on Monday by Czech civilian counterintelligence (BIS) Director
Michal Koudelka, who said that Czech security organs had uncovered and
broken up an FSB intelligence operation in the country, is in any part
The intelligence chief described the embassy as one of the sources of funding for a Russian operation in the country, which used a web of servers to attack targets in the Czech Republic and its allies.
Councillors at Prague City Hall have decided to cancel the memorandum of
understanding with Lime, the company which has been renting electric
scooters across the capital since last autumn. According to City Hall the
move is only a signal to Lime that it is not happy with the company’s
approach towards fulfilling its commitments and not a ban on its Prague
Lime bikes, which are often simply left in the middle of the pavement after being used, have been described by many locals as an inconvenience since their introduction and City Hall referred to the company’s inability to prevent parked scooters from interfering with pedestrians as one of the ways in which it has breached the memorandum.
The amount of registered groundwater increased in September compared to
measurements conducted last year, reaching normal levels in a quarter of
the country, the Czech News Agency reported on Monday citing the Czech
Hydrometeorological Institute. Meteorologists say that more water has been
entering underground waterways due to an increase in rainfall and lower
temperatures which has made soil more capable of absorbing water.
The Czech Republic has faced severe droughts in recent years and, although the situation is better than it was in 2018, meteorologists still measured below normal levels of groundwater around the Labe and Vltava rivers.
The Office for Economic Supervision of Political Parties and Political
Movements has found 17 cases of misconduct while reviewing the Freedom and
Direct Democracy Party’s 2017 election campaign. Examples include late
transactions of unused funds from the party’s election account and not
disclosing necessary details on all candidates who financially contributed
to the campaign.
The office will now consider its next steps, spokeswoman Linda Hrubešová told the Czech News on Monday. It may choose to initiate administrative proceedings or issue a fine order. The latter could amount to hundreds of thousands of crowns.
Prague Airport plans to boost its capacity up to 23 million annual
travellers by 2035, the Chairman of the Board of Directors Václav Řehoř
told members of the Chamber of Industry on Monday. This year the airport is
expected to handle 17.7 million passengers and is already encountering
The prerequisites for increasing the quantity of passengers that the airport can handle are the centralisation of security checks, as well as the construction of a parallel runway and two new terminal sections, which are to be completed by the year 2036.
The Czech Republic will not have sufficient sources of electricity unless
the issue of constructing new power plants, including nuclear blocks, is
resolved soon, Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček told
journalists at a press conference on Monday. Mr. Havlíček based his
conclusions on a newly released study, made by the country’s transmission
system operator ČEPS, according to which the country would become
increasingly dependent on electricity imports from abroad by 2030, raising
the commodity’s price, if no further construction takes place.
His statements echoed those made by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) last week, when the head of government stressed that it was vital for the Czech Republic to build new nuclear units even if they were to be in breach of European law.
Working in tandem with the National Centre for Combating Organised Crime,
the Czech Security Information Service (BIS) uncovered and broke an
intelligence network run by Russia’s FSB in the Czech Republic, BIS
director Michal Koudelka told members of the lower house at a security
conference on Monday. According to Colonel Koudelka the network was
financed through Russian funds and its aim was to attack targets in the
Czech Republic as well as neighbouring states through a variety of servers,
which were part of a wider network used by the FSB.
Colonel Koudelka also warned parliamentarians about the threat of right-wing extremism in the country, saying that an anti-Muslim attack could lead to the radicalisation of the local Muslim community and increase the danger of Islamic terrorist attacks in the country, which the BIS sees as the most short-term security threat to the country.
Currently, there are no indications of a direct terrorist threat to the country, according to the BIS chief.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is under fire from the opposition for the way
his cabinet is handling preparations for the country’s next EU presidency
The opposition Civic Democrats claim the prime minister is underestimating the opportunities the EU presidency affords and has failed to consult his cabinet’s plans and priorities with the opposition.
They are also critical of the fact that the government slashed the budget for the country’s EU presidency from the proposed 2.6 billion to 1.2 billion crowns. The country’s last EU presidency, ten years ago, cost 3.7 billion.
In an interview for Czech Television, Prime Minister Babiš countered that the institutions involved in preparations have hidden reserves and said he would make known his plans in due time. The prime minister said the presidency’s priorities would most likely be energy and the single market.
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