The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, says he would
support tougher European Union action against Turkey over its incursions
into northern Syria and attacks on Kurds. Speaking on Czech Radio on
Tuesday, Mr. Petříček said he would welcome further economic sanctions
against Ankara, but only if they were unanimously approved by the EU.
The Czech foreign policy chief called for more attention for the conflict at UN level, adding that a ban on arms exports was a strong signal that EU members did not want weapons made in their countries to be used in the fighting.
Mr. Petříček said that the Russian Federation and its ally in Damascus were benefiting most from the current situation in Syria.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to miss a lower house session on
Wednesday in which the 2020 state budget will get its first reading. The
ANO party leader is on a visit to Japan for the enthronement of the
country’s new emperor, at which he is deputising for President Miloš
Zeman, Novinky.cz reported.
Opposition MPs have slammed Mr. Babiš’s absence from such an important debate, the news site said.
While the PM will be absent, the president is set to attend Wednesday’s session of the Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Zeman was in hospital at the end of last week but was released on Sunday.
MPs should hold a vote on Czech Television annual reports on Thursday night
even if the session runs past 9 p.m. under a deal agreed by various
parties’ deputies groups. The Mayors and Independents and TOP 09 welcomed
the decision, which they said increased the chances of the reports for 2016
and 2017 being approved.
Voting on the reports has repeatedly been postponed. Attention is focused on the matter because failure to approve them could lead to the removal of the broadcasting council. That in turn could see the current director general of Czech Television being replaced.
Apartment prices in Czech cities increased by an average of 10 percent
year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, according to a report by
Deloitte quoted by news site Novinky.cz. In Prague property prices jumped
by 17.3 percent in the period in question.
The capital has the most expensive flats, with the average price per square metre standing at over CZK 84,000 between April and July. The second most expensive city is Brno, where that figure was CZK 60,500, according to Deloitte.
The French writer Pierre Michon is due to receive the Franz Kafka Prize in
Prague on Tuesday. He becomes the 19th recipient of the international
award, which is presented by the Franz Kafka Society. Previous winners
include Philip Roth Margaret Atwood, Václav Havel and Haruki Murakami.
Michon’s 1984 novel Small Lives is considered a masterpiece of modern French literature and he has won a number of prizes for it and other works.
Two out of five Czech households include dogs, suggests a survey by the
STEM/MARK agency released on Tuesday. Forty percent of Czech owners allow
their dog into their bed. Of those that do have a dog, only one in five
possess more than one, the study found.
Mid-sized dogs, weighing between six and 24 kilogrammes, are the most popular.
President Miloš Zeman is set to hand out a total of 43 honours for
services to the state during the annual celebration of Czech Statehood on
October 28 at Prague Castle, a record high number during his presidency so
far, the daily Lidové Noviny reported on Tuesday.
Among those to be honoured are former president Václav Klaus and World War Two veteran Emil Boček. Both men are set to receive the highest possible honour, the Order of the White Lion First Class. Other honours recipients include ice hockey superstar Jaromír Jágr, Škoda Favorit designer Petr Hrdlička or soldier Tomáš Procházka, who died last year while serving with the Czech military contingent in Afghanistan.
Some 24 percent of Czechs over the age of 40 do not know when the Velvet Revolution began and more than a half of those with basic or aprentice level education say they were better off under communism. This according to a survey conducted by the history focused non-profit Post Bellum and market researcher NMS, released on Tuesday. According to the survey results, the higher the education level among respondents the more likely i tis they see the Communist era in a more positive light. Meanwhile, those under the age of 40 are slightly more likely to celebrate this year’s anniversary.
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.