At a summit in Prague on Tuesday, representatives of 16 European Union
states issued a joint declaration calling for no reduction in the amount
spent on cohesion policy in the EU budget for the period 2021 to 2027.
The Friends of Cohesion group also demanded an end to all budget rebates – which chiefly benefit states from Western Europe – and for its members to obtain greater flexibility in handling money from EU funds.
The Friends of Cohesion alliance mainly comprises countries from the eastern part of the EU.
On the side lines of the main summit in Prague, Visegrad Four leaders called the EU budget framework for 2021 to 2027 unjust. They said its planned cut in cohesion spending would make worse off states poorer and better off states richer.
Petr Pavel says he may run for president in future under certain
circumstances. The retired army general told news site Echo24 he would
stand if a candidate entered the race that would push the country even
closer toward Russia and make the Czech Republic more like Hungary.
The one-time chairman of the NATO Military Committee made similar statements in other freshly published media interviews.
General Pavel told Reflex that he would run in certain circumstances as a “civic responsibility”. He added that he was not ashamed of his membership of the Communist Party prior to 1989; this fact is seen as potentially disqualifying him with a section of the electorate.
A freshly published opinion poll suggests that government leaders ANO enjoy
33.1 percent voter support. The STEM survey indicates that the Pirate Party
would have received 12.2 percent backing if elections had been held last
month, ahead of the Civic Democrats on 10.5 percent.
The poll indicates the Christian Democrats would scrape past the 5 percent threshold, though two other parties now in the lower house, TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents, would not.
By contrast the new Tricolour party, with 4.2 percent in the survey, would be close to winning seats.
Patrik Schick has been left out of the Czech football squad for the
country’s final qualifying games for the 2020 European Championship.
Trainer Jaroslav Šilhavý did name the Leipzig forward, who is injured, as
a possible late squad addition but he is unlikely to be called up.
There are no previously uncapped players in the group to face Kosovo at home on November 14 and Bulgaria away three days later. The Czechs are currently three points behind leaders England and one point ahead of Kosovo in their qualifying group.
MEP Mikuláš Peksa has stood down as deputy chair of the Czech Pirate
Party. He announced the step on Tuesday in protest at the fact that Jakub
Michálek had defended his post as deputy chair of the opposition grouping
in a vote that concluded on Monday evening.
Mr. Michálek had been accused of arrogant behaviour and the psychological harassment of subordinates. He denied the accusation, saying only that he placed high demands on people.
Mr. Michálek had earlier said he would not stand again for leadership position in the Pirates a congress in January.
Communist Party MP Stanislav Grospič has apologised for statements he made
regarding the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. He came
in for strong criticism two weeks ago when he said that what had occurred
was not an occupation and that most of those who died were victims of road
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr. Grospič said that he was sorry about the way his words had been perceived and apologised greatly for them.
He made the original comments before a vote making August 21, the anniversary of the invasion, a significant day in the calendar. Only one Communist MP voted for the motion, with the rest abstaining.
Pirate Party deputy chairman Jakub Michálek has retained his position
following an inconclusive vote internal party vote over whether to dismiss
him for allegedly having long bullied his subordinates.
While denying the allegation of bullying, Michálek, who also heads the Pirate’s caucus in the lower house, says that he will not defend his leadership position at the party’s national forum in January.
In the four-day online vote that closed on Monday evening, 371 voted against his dismissal, 294 voted for it, and 184 voted to postpone a decision until the forum. It would have taken 386 votes for an option to have been decisive.
Fellow party vice chair Mikuláš Peksa, who had said ahead of the vote that he would quite the post if Michálek remained, on Tuesday announced his resignation at the party forum.
Representatives of 17 European Union countries are meeting in Prague on
Tuesday to discuss the EU’s Cohesion Policy budget within the
multi-annual financial framework for 2021–2027.
The Cohesion Policy aims to reduce social and economic disparities among the EU regions. The ‘Friends of Cohesion Summit’ is focused on the interests of the main recipients of such funding.
As part of the EU’s current seven-year budget, 20.5 billion euros has been allocated to the Czech Republic for cohesion policy.
Ahead of the Summit, the prime ministers of the Visegrád Group (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) also held talks. They are calling for no drop in cohesion policy despite Brexit.
The government has approved an amendment to the Criminal Code that would
allow information gathered by intelligence services to be used as evidence
in certain criminal proceedings.
Minister of Interior Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats) informed journalists about the proposal on Monday.
The amendment should limit the admissibility of such information to such cases where it would be difficult or even impossible to obtain otherwise, such as the wiretapping of a specific conversation.
Currently, intelligence services can only alert law enforcement authorities to the possibility that some persons are committing crimes. Police must then gather their own evidence.