The Czech Republic has placed 41st on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing
Business ranking for 2019. New Zealand topped the list, followed by
Singapore and Hong Kong.
A country’s performance is judged on a variety of factors, and a higher ranking indicates better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.
The Czech Republic excelled in conditions for foreign trade but did poorly as concerns excessive bureaucracy in starting a business and in gaining a construction permit where it placed 134th and 157th respectively.
Senator Lukáš Wagenknecht from the Pirate Party has filed a complaint
with the European Court of Justice regarding the fact that the European
Council has not set down regulations which would prevent the presidents and
prime ministers of member states holding office if they have a conflict of
Senator Wagenknecht claims that the Czech prime minister’s suspected conflict of interest could cast doubt on the European Union budget.
The European Commission is expected to finalize a definitive audit into the Czech prime minister’s suspected conflict of interest in the coming days.
The Czech Minister for Regional Development Klára Dostálová told Czech Radio that if the audit confirmed its preliminary findings regarding an existing conflict of interest on the part of the Czech prime minister, the country would take the case to the European Court of Justice.
A group of seven environmental activists forced their way into the Vršany
brown coal mine early on Tuesday to stage a protest against the planned
sale of the coal-burning Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven
Energy belonging to Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač.
Police are monitoring the situation and a mediator has been called to the scene. Academics and former politicians have also been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale on the grounds that the plant's continued operation would be in violation of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.
The Czech Interior Ministry has said it has no information which would
point to an increased risk of attack from Islamic State radicals following
the killing of their leader al-Baghdadi.
The statement comes in reaction to concerns in some countries regarding possible retaliatory strikes.
Nevertheless, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said that the country‘s security services were closely monitoring the situation and cooperating with partner organizations abroad.
Polish police have interrogated a Czech Catholic priest who is suspected of
paedophilia after arranging to meet with a minor in a hotel in Katowice.
The “young man “ he communicated with on the Internet claimed to be 15 and handicapped, but was in actual fact a Polish activist monitoring paedophile networks.
The priest was arrested by the police as he arrived at the hotel room for the set meeting. He admitted to having planned sex with the young man, but rejected the suspicion of paedophilia. He has resigned from all his functions in the Church.
President Miloš Zeman awarded high state distinctions to 42 Czech and
foreign personalities on the occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day on
Among the personalities decorated for outstanding achievements, professional excellence and exemplary personal qualities are former Czech president Václav Klaus, the last surviving Czech RAF pilot Emil Boček, ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr, Škoda Favorit designer Petr Hrdlička, the head of the Supreme Audit Office Miloslav Kala or, in memoriam, Corporal Tomáš Procházka, who died last year while serving with the Czech military contingent in Afghanistan.
Among the foreign laureates were former Slovak president Rudolf Schuster, Srbian film director Emir Kusturica and former mayor of Vienna, the late Helmut Cilk, awarded in memoriam.
Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová highlighted the significance of the
anniversary of the founding of independent Czechoslovakia in Bratislava,
laying wreaths at the Czechoslovak statehood memorial and by the statue of
one of the co-founders of the common state Milan Rastislav Štefánik.
The Slovak president noted that Czechoslovakia had helped Slovakia on the road to democracy and economic prosperity stressing that without it, the country would not be where it is today. She said it would be worth considering whether Slovakia too should not declare the anniversary a public holiday.
Slovakia celebrates its independence day on January 1st, when it separated from the Czech Republic in 1993.
Europe is facing a new threat in the rebirth of neo-Nazism and fascism, the
chairman of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters Jaroslav Vodička said at a
gathering of war veterans organized on the occasion of Czechoslovak
Vodička pointed to growing antisemitism in Europe, saying the society must remain vigilant in order to prevent history repeating itself. The fight against fascism, neo-Nazism and other forms of discrimination is a challenge we face in the present day as well, Vodička said.
The Czech Union of Freedom Fighters comprises World War II freedom fighters, their family members and supporters. It has faced criticism over the fact that members served the pre-1989 security services.
The union’s chairman caused an outcry last year when he presented a medal of merit to Communist Party MP Zdeněk Ondráček, who beat up demonstrators while a member of a Communist riot squad in 1989.
In line with tradition, President Miloš Zeman appointed new army and
police generals at Prague Castle on the anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s
Among those raised to the highest rank were the head of the General Inspectorate of the Security Forces Radim Dragoun, Commander of the Cyber Force and Information Operations Miroslav Feix and the head of the Military History Institute Aleš Knížek.
The president once again rejected the prime minister’s proposal to raise the head of the country’s counter-intelligence service BIS Michal Koudelka to the rank of general.
The president has been highly critical of the work of the counter-intelligence service. In a recent interview on commercial TV Barrandov, President Zeman said the BIS director should focus on real economic crime in the Czech Republic rather than engaging in a “fictitious hunt for Russian and Chinese spies”.
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