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.
An oil painting by Oscar Kokoschka entitled Prague – View from the
Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star was auctioned off for
78.5 million crowns on Sunday, the most paid for any single painting in
auction, according to Alena Havlíková from the Adolf Loos Apartment and
Kokoschka painted the oil on canvas in the late summer of 1934 and it is considered the best of his Prague views. His depiction of Charles Bridge (1934) is in the National Gallery in Prague, while his Hradčany and Petřín (1936) are part of the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.
The works of one of the most important painters of the 20th century rarely appear at auctions, so its appearance at a Prague auction was a rare opportunity for art collectors.
President Miloš Zeman was released from hospital on Sunday after
undergoing what has been described as a four-day “reconditioning
His spokesman told journalists the treatment was to get the president in good shape for the national holiday celebrations on October 28.
Zeman, 75, has low blood pressure, diabetes and polyfunctional neuropathy that makes walking difficult.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is in Japan to attend the enthronement
ceremony of Emperor Naruhito together with some 50 foreign dignitaries the
In the course of his four day stay in Tokyo, Mr. Babiš is scheduled to hold talks with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and other foreign leaders.
Ahead of his departure the Czech prime minister described Czech-Japanese relations as “excellent” saying Japan was one of the leading investors in the Czech Republic.
Czech singers are giving a concert in Karlín on Sunday night in honour of
chanson queen Hana Hegerová’s 88th birthday.
Lucie Bílá, Hana Zagorová Lenka Filipová and Lenka Molavcová are among the artists who will be giving a rendition of some of Hégerová’s most popular hits.
Hegerová, who ended her career in 2011, will not be present for health reasons.
Former president Václav Klaus, the last surviving Czech RAF pilot Emil
Boček, Srbian film director Emir Kusturica and the president of the
Supreme Audit Office Miloslav Kala are among the personalities who will
receive a high state distinction from President Miloš Zeman on the
occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day, on October 28th.
Although the list of personalities selected for awards is confidential the president himself revealed some of the laureates ahead of the public holiday this year.
According to Prague Castle the laureates have been informed about the honour and the list of selected personalities has been countersigned by the prime minister.
Over 30,000 people joined in the campaign to save Czech forests on Saturday
planting trees in areas decimated by the bark-beetle. The campaign was
organized by the state-owned company České Lesy which owns half of the
forests in the Czech Republic.
People were given different kinds of trees to plant within the adopted strategy to grow mixed forests on the territory of the Czech Republic, which are more resistant to different kinds of pests.
České Lesy is planning to plant 55 million trees this year to help make up for the losses sustained through bark-beetle infestation.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said he regretted the postponement of a vote
on the Brexit deal in the House of Commons on Saturday, adding that he
hoped Britain would clarify its position as soon as possible.
Mr. Babiš noted that since no one in the EU wanted a no deal Brexit one could only hope that British MPs would manage to approve both the required legislative changes and the Brexit deal by the set deadline. Similar reactions have come from politicians across the political spectrum.