A number of leading opposition politicians will not be attending the
traditional award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle on the occasion of
Czechoslovak Independence Day on October 28th.
According to the ctk news agency they were either not invited or will refuse the invitation in protest against President Zeman’s behaviour.
The leader of TOP 09 Jiří Pospíšil, who failed to receive an invitation, said Zeman was denigrating the holiday by awarding his friends and failing to invite his critics to what should be a state ceremony on the country’s Independence Day.
The head of the Civic Democrats Petr Fiala and the leader of the Pirate Party Ivan Bartoš likewise failed to get an invitation.
The lower house has approved the 2020 state budget draft in its first
The proposed budget, which envisages a 40 billion crown deficit, passed through its first reading thanks to support from the ruling ANO and the Social Democrats as well as the Communist Party which however said it would table a number of proposals for amendments in later readings, particularly as regards more money for social services.
The centre-right opposition parties voted against the bill, criticizing the size of its deficit at a time of economic growth.
The Central Military Hospital in Prague will release President Zeman’s
complete medical records on Thursday, the president himself told reporters
as he left the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday morning.
In reaction to intense speculation regarding his state of health President Zeman said he was only troubled by his “ailing feet” and had no intention of resigning because of his health problems.
According to Denik N the hospital may only release a comprehensive report on the president’s health rather than the full documentation.
The president has appeared very tired in recent weeks and was in hospital twice in the space of a month for what his spokesman described as “reconditioning” stays. Zeman, 75, has low blood pressure, diabetes and polyfunctional neuropathy that makes walking difficult.
The lower house of Parliament is debating the 2020 state budget in its
first reading.The session opened with an address by President Zeman who
said he was ready to sign the budget in its present form, but pointed out
possible reserves in the area of tax exemptions and state employees which
he said could both do with a significant reduction. The prime minister was
absent from the first reading due to a working visit to Japan where he
attended the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito.
The proposed draft, which envisages a 40 billion crown deficit, is expected to get support from the ruling ANO and the Social Democrats, as well as the Communist Party which is backing the government from the opposition. The right-wing opposition parties and the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party have said they will vote against it, criticizing the size of its deficit at a time of economic growth.
The Czech Republic needs to build new electric power plants if it wants to
maintain its self-sufficiency in the field of energy, according to leading
experts in the field polled by the ctk news agency.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš recently stressed that the question of future energy sources has become a major government priority, saying that it was vital for the Czech Republic to build new nuclear units even if they were to be in breach of European law. He defended the country’s right to decide on its energy mix.
According to the results of a recent study the country would become increasingly dependent on electricity imports from abroad by 2030, raising the commodity’s price, if no further construction takes place.
President Miloš Zeman is to attend the opening of a Czech House in
Bratislava together with Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová on November 16,
the ctk news agency reported, citing the Office of the President.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will visit Bratislava on November 17th where he will attend the freedom celebrations on the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
Prague Castle said earlier that President Zeman would not be attending any public events on the occasion and would mark the anniversary in private.
The lower house swept an isolated proposal for the introduction of
euthanasia off the table on Tuesday, making it clear there was scant
support for the idea in the Czech Republic.
The proposal, put forward by Věra Procházková from ANO, sparked a heated debate with the Christian Democrats, Civic Democrats, TOP 09 and the Social Democrats all pointing to the high risk of abuse. Support from the ruling ANO party itself is not clear.
Only the Pirate Party indicated it would be ready to consider the idea.
Turkey’s membership in the EU is inconceivable following its military
offensive in Syria, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petříček said in an
interview for the news site Novinky.cz.
Minister Petříček said Turkey fell short of fulfilling the basic requirements for membership such as rule of law, democracy and protection of human rights.
He said the EU should make the situation clear to Ankara and focus on expanding to the Western Balkans instead.
In an interview for Czech Radio on Tuesday Petříček made it clear he would support tougher European Union action against Turkey over its incursions into northern Syria.
Temperature records were broken in many parts of the Czech Republic on
Tuesday. Forty-five of the 150 weather stations in the country keeping
records for at least 30 years had not seen such a warm October 22.
The east of the country was especially balmy and the highest temperature, 23.9 degrees Celsius, was registered in Strání in the Zlín Region.
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