Social Democrat (ČSSD) deputy chairman Michal Šmarda has withdrawn his
name from consideration as Minister of Culture, he told Czech TV on Monday
night. He said it made no sense to try to join the cabinet without the
backing of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO).
President Miloš Zeman had refused to name Šmarda to the post, leaving it vacant for months, although under the Constitution legal experts argue he is obliged to accept the nominees put forward by the prime minister.
The Social Democrats had threatened to quit the government if Šmarda were not appointed, citing the coalition agreement with ANO that the Ministry of Culture was under their purview, and the president’s violation of the Constitution.
Zeman and Babiš are due to discuss the situation at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the president’s Lány residence.
Šmarda said he would recommend to his party that it leave the government. He also said he now intends to run in the Senate elections next year, contesting in the Žďár region.
The head of the National Cyber and Information Security Service (NÚKIB)
has denied that his agency shared its findings on a recent cyberattack
against the Foreign Ministry with the Senate Committee for Defence and
Last week that committee said a “foreign state power” had hacked into the ministry’s computer network, citing information from the NÚKIB, and called for more resources to be allocated to cyber security.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) at the weekend had criticized the agency for informing the Senate of the situation but no members of the government. At a National Security Council meeting on Monday, NÚKIB director Dušan Navrátil denied that was the case.
Police arrested 28 fans of the Banik Ostrava football club following a riot
after the team lost an away match against Sparta Praha by a score of 0:2 on
The visiting fans attacked local supporters, firefighters and police officers. At least one victim has been hospitalised.
Of those arrested 19 could be charged for disturbing the peace while seven may face charges for instigating a riot.
Czech professional rock climber Adam Ondra failed to advance to the finals
at the World Cup in Japan on Monday, and thus did not qualify for the
Climbing is one of four new sports set to make Olympic debuts at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The new triathlon format will see athletes awarded medals based on scores across three formats: Speed, Lead and Bouldering.
Ondra, who has seven world medals in Bouldering and three world championship titles, was among the pre-tournament favourites. He finished 18th in the combined qualifying round after being penalised for using a bolt meant for clipping the rope to as a foothold.
Scientists from the Technical University of Liberec have developed a
military uniform that changes camouflage depending on the environment, the
ČTK agency reports.
The camouflage fatigues are made from a material that contains thermochromic pigments and change colour depending on the environment.
If the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celsius, the material changes from a mix of green and brown – the classic ‘forest’ colouring – to a mix of brown and beige – the classic ‘desert’ colouring.
The scientists spent two years developing the material so that it could withstand long-term exposure to sunlight and still return to the ‘forest’ colouring.
The Czech Ministry of Culture needs to be more uniform and transparent in
how it dispenses grants and funds activities in the sector, the Supreme
Audit Office (NKÚ) says in its latest report.
The report analysed the distribution of over 500-600 million crowns allocated by the ministry in the years 2016 to 2018. It found there was no effective digital system in place to both centralise and track the flow of money.
The NKÚ also noted that nine different sections within the ministry allocated subsidies, each having their own regulations.
The result is a fragmented, overly complex system whereby, for example, an entity seeking support for a dance and theatre festival must submit two markedly different applications.
Czech piano maker Petrof has had its most profitable year since the global
financial crisis, earning more than 12.5 million crowns in 2018.
Petrof said 90 percent of its sales come from abroad, with its pianos sold in 65 countries worldwide, including China, which has become its largest market. Domestic sales grew 55% compared to the previous year.
The Hradec Králové-based company has been making pianos since 1864. Petrof said it hired another 50 employees in 2018 to meet demand.
Seven Czech gaming studios plan to present their products at the upcoming
Gamescom international trade fair in Cologne, Germany.
The exhibitors at the Czech national booth include established studios such as Bohemia Interactive, Charged Monkey, BadFly Interactive and Czech Games Edition as well as the start-ups Charles Games, Gold Knights and Outside the Fox.
The national booth is being organized by the Czech Game Developers Association and the state CzechInvest agency with the support of Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Gamescom runs from 20-22 August. It is the second time a Czech national booth is participating.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) and Social Democrat (ČSSD) chairman Jan
Hamáček failed to find common ground at a meeting Monday over the
appointment of a new Minister of Culture.
Hamáček said the Social Democrats, the junior coalition party, insist on their candidate, Michal Šmarda, and say President Miloš Zeman is violating the Constitution by failing to appoint him.
President Zeman said last week that Mr Šmarda was unqualified for the job, a view PM Babiš said on Friday that he shared.
Critics say the president is trying to exercise undue political power through his largely ceremonial position. He and Mr Babiš are due to meet to discuss the situation on Tuesday. The Social Democrats have threatened to quit the government if their candidate is not appointed.
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