The Ministry for Regional Development will ask the European Commission to
extend its deadline for replying to a draft report on Czech Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš’s (ANO) alleged conflicts of interest when drawing EU
The EU Commission's preliminary audit found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest in connection his subsidies dispersed to the Agrofert conglomerate that he founded and was compelled under Czech law to place in a trust.
Brussels had set a deadline of 30 days to reply following the receipt of the Czech-language version of the draft, which the Ministry received last week. It received the English-language version in late May.
Firefighters have found deficiencies in two-thirds of Prague “Escape
Room” games, mainly as regards fire safety rules. More than half of the
operators also had no valid occupancy permit.
Escape rooms are locked, enclosed spaces that teams of people must solve logical puzzles to leave. Intensive checks began after five teenage girls in Poland were killed in an escape room fire.
Fire Brigade deputy chief Daniel Miklós told journalists that firefighters had checked 178 spaces from late January to May.
The Zlín Zoo announced on Friday it has sent another endangered brown
vulture to authorities in Bulgaria for release into the wild.
Zoologist Václav Štraub told journalists that since it joined a project to revive the vulture population in Bulgaria, 14 have been released in the Stara Planina mountains.
The Ostrava Zoo has also sent vultures to the Balkan country.
The number of HIV-positive people in the Czech Republic has tripled over
the past ten years, according to data from the National Institute of
In 2008, there were 1,186 people living with the virus. At the end of this May, an estimated 3,468 people in the country were HIV-positive.
While noting significant advancements in treating people with the virus, the Institute called for renewed efforts to prevent its spread.
Two foreigners who were caught red-handed vandalizing Charles Bridge with
graffiti have been fined 100,000 crowns each and received a five-year ban
on entering the country. They will also have to cover the cost of clean-up
work and have been ordered to leave the country by Friday night.
The two men, German nationals aged 23 and 30, were caught by police spraying a 5-by-2 meter logo on a stone bridge support. A local resident saw them in action and called the police. Germany's ambassador to the Czech Republic apologized for the act of vandalism via Twitter.
The government will decide on who to nominate for a seat on the European
Commission by the end of August, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told
reporters on Thursday. He said the government was waiting for confirmation
as to whether the new EC President Ursula von der Leyen would, as earlier
stated, request two nominations from each member state.
The prime minister praised the work of the outgoing Czech EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová but stopped short of expressing support for her nomination.
Mr. Babiš said he would like the Czech Republic to have a stronger portfolio in the EC, for instance the internal market portfolio or digitalization.
China has asked the Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and the city’s
leadership not to interfere in Czech-Chinese relations, China’s state-run
press agency Xinhua reported. It cited the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign
Ministry Geng Shuang, who said that the “Prague government and mayor have
for some time behaved very badly on issues involving China's national
sovereignty and core interests, including issues related to Taiwan and
The spokesman did not specify his objections further, but it seems he was reacting to an earlier statement by Mr. Hřib on the sister-city agreement, which the former Prague leadership signed with Bejing. The current Prague City Council wants to revise the agreement and scrap the part which says Prague recognizes a single China.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said in response to the news that he would invite the Chinese ambassador to Prague to discuss the matter. Politics should not interfere in cultural cooperation, the Czech foreign minister wrote on Twitter.
The Czech Republic wants to increase the coalition potential of the
Visegrad Four (V4) group in the EU during its V4 presidency, which it
assumed on July 1, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said during a
debate organized by the Institute of Politics and Society in Prague.
Minister Petříček said the V4 group, which comprises the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, should actively focus on issues it considers important such as the deepening of the single market and strengthening defence cooperation within the alliance. He also spoke in favour of more intensive cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries and stronger support for the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.
The Slovak ambassador to Prague, Peter Weiss, stressed the need to change the perception of the V4 as a troublemaker that only blocks EU decisions in its own interests. Minister Petříček agreed that the V4 group should show a constructive attitude to the issues debated.