The growth of the Czech economy provides the opportunity to deepen
structural reforms, the European Commission advised Prague in its annual
analysis of economic and social affairs in the Czech Republic. According to
the commissions study data, the relatively low rate of social inequality
and growing quality of life is masking a growing regional divide in the
Based on its findings, the commission advises focus should be put on investments in education and local innovations, while growth potential in the more backward regions of the country should be boosted by digital and transport infrastructure.
NÚKIB, the Czech Republic’s National Cyber and Information Security
Agency has been building a web of specialised ‘cyber attaches’ together
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in three strategic foreign missions,
daily Lidové Noviny reports. These specialists have so far been posted in
Brussels, Washington and Tel-Aviv.
Their activities include consultation and information sharing with members of foreign intelligence services.
President Miloš Zeman has officially proposed to the Senate that Charles
University prorector Aleš Gerloch becomes a Constitutional Court judge.
With three Senate parties already criticising Mr. Gerloch’s close
relationship with the president, it is unclear whether the nomination will
pass in the upper house.
Earlier in February the president said on TV Barrandov that senators would be ‘wretches’ if they were more interested in who had proposed a nomination rather than the judge himself. However, many parties are uneasy about the relationship between Mr. Gerloch and the president, especially after a January exposé by the weekly Respekt cited judges complaining that members of the president’s staff were trying to influence them.
The Senate has passed a bill proposed by the government that seeks to
protect the rights of British citizens in the country in case of a no-deal
Brexit. The legislation seeks to create an ‘intermediate period’
lasting until the end of 2020 during which British nationals will retain
the same rights as EU citizens. The bill is now expected to be signed by
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Interior there are currently around 8,000 British citizens living in the Czech Republic, 5,000 of whom are employed.
The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) which runs
the EU’s satellite navigation programmes will undergo an expansion at its
headquarters in Prague. This will include hiring dozens of new staff and is
likely to be a further boost to the Czech space industry.
Representatives of the EU Commission, the European Parliament and
individual member states agreed to proceed with the plan in Brussels on
Tuesday. The exact amount for the GSA’s increased budget, which was
proposed by the EU Commission last summer, is yet to be agreed upon.
Currently EU member states are responsible for a third of the world’s satellite production and their combined space industry currently employs nearly a quarter of a million people.
The Czech Republic’s Food Banks organisation has opened its first kitchen
and begun offering cooking lessons, Czech Television reported. The charity
says that many impoverished people don’t eat healthily and don’t know
how to handle the foodstuffs it provides to them.
On Tuesday professional chefs provided instruction at the Food Banks’ first cooking course. It plans to offer free lessons to single parents, seniors and the unemployed once a month.
Last year the organisation redistributed foods at a value of CZK 225 million. A law introduced in January requires large outlets to provide all their waste foodstuffs to the Food Banks.
The Social Democrats’ Tomáš Petříček believes the party must target
urban voters if it is to turn around its electoral fortunes, the news site
Aktualne.cz reported. The minister of foreign affairs intends to stand for
a deputy leader’s post at a Social Democrats’ congress this weekend.
Mr. Petříček said it was necessary to attract new voters and to regain the trust of urban voters. The Social Democrats need to win over those who now back the Czech Pirate Party, Aktualne.cz quoted him as saying.
The Social Democrats headed the previous government but only gained 7 percent in the last general elections.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says an invitation to the White House for a
meeting with President Donald Trump actually applies to the Czech Republic
and not just to him personally. Speaking on Tuesday after a discussion with
President Milos Zeman about the visit – which is scheduled for Thursday
next week – Mr. Babiš said the head of state had been pleased by the
news it would take place, Novinky.cz reported.
The prime minister said that Mr. Zeman had chiefly discussed the economic interests of the Czech Republic and Europe with regard to the US during their 90-minute conversation.
Earlier in the day Mr. Babiš had told reporters that his meeting with Mr. Trump would focus on cooperation within the framework of NATO, economic relations with the US, cyber security and the situations in Venezuela and Syria.
In March and April the Czech Republic will hold talks with mobile telephony
operators from the US, Italy, France, the UK and South Korea about the
planned introduction of a fourth operator onto the Czech market, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš said on Tuesday. An auction of frequencies should
take place by the end of December, with the winner expected to receive them
from the state in January or February 2020.
Mr. Babiš also said he would put forward a bill making it easier for customers to end their contracts with existing mobile operators in the Czech Republic.
Under his legislation, clients would be able to cancel their agreements after two days, instead of 10 at present, while they would be able to end a contract without paying any penalty after three months. Mr. Babiš is due to meet operators in two weeks’ time.
Prague was the seventh richest region in the European Union in 2017 in
terms of per capita GDP, according to the latest data released by Eurostat.
The Czech capital occupied the same position in the rankings a year
GDP per person in Prague two years ago stood at 187 percent of the average for the whole of the EU. UK capital London topped the rankings, achieving 626 percent of the EU average.