Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he wants the Social Democrats to nominate
a new candidate for the post of arts minister by the end of the week. The
party’s previous nominee, Michal Šmarda, withdrew his name on Monday,
citing disrespect from Mr. Babiš. The PM had joined President Miloš Zeman
in rejecting Mr. Šmarda’s candidacy.
The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, has so far refused to mention any potential names.
Mr. Šmarda himself suggested Martin Netolický and Jiří Běhounek, who are regional governors for his party, or Kateřina Kalistová, who is at present a deputy minister of culture. She was also previously referred to as a possible candidate by the prime minister.
Speaking after talks with President Miloš Zeman on Tuesday, Mr. Babiš said he would propose a new candidate as soon as one was put forward by the Social Democrats.
The post of minister of culture has been a major political issue since May, when the previous occupant of the job, Antonín Staněk, offered his resignation.
Budget talks on Tuesday between the minister of finance, ANO appointee
Alena Schillerová, and the minister of labour and social affairs, Jana
Maláčová of the Social Democrats, produced no results. The two had been
due to meet for one hour but in the end spent over five hours locked in
Ms. Maláčová is pushing for CZK 11.7 billion more in 2020 than Ms. Schillerová is offering.
The two ministers are due to hold further talks in the coming days. Minister Schillerová has recently been holding budget negotiations with the heads of all government departments.
The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has launched an
interactive map showing where victims of the 1968 invasion met their
deaths. It details the victims’ names and where, when and how they died
in connection with the Soviet-led invasion between August 1968 and August
The map’s co-creator, historian Milan Bárta, said that while people initially died in big cities, later victims met their deaths on country roads as the result of traffic accidents as soldiers were barred from entering cities and withdrew to the regions.
Link to map (in Czech): https://obetiokupace.dejepis21.cz/
The Prague Supreme Court has ordered publishing company Bauer Media to pay
CZK 4 million in compensation to the widow of Václav Havel. One of its
tabloid titles, Pestrý svět, falsely claimed that actress Dagmar Havlová
had other lovers when the former president was dying.
It is unusually high payout in a libel case in the Czech Republic. The panel of judges said the award had been based on the extreme nature of the violation of the victim’s rights.
The publisher has also been ordered to apologise to Mrs. Havlová.
The company Tatra Trucks is due to supply 71 new trucks to the Czech Army
at a value of CZK 570,000 in the coming years, a spokesperson for the
company said. The firm, which is based in Kopřivnice in the Moravian
Silesian Region, signed a contract on the deal with the Ministry of Defence
All of the trucks will be delivered before 2024. The Czech Army currently uses more than 3,000 Tatra vehicles.
The Czech Republic’s candidate for the post of the country’s European
commissioner, Věra Jourová, says she would be interested in securing the
digital agenda, internal market or trade portfolio. She made the comment to
members of the Czech lower house’s European Affairs Committee in Prague
Ms. Jourová is currently the European commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said that his government will formally nominate her next Monday.
Eight firefighting units were called to put out a fire at a villa built by
fugitive Czech criminal Radovan Krejčíř.
The sprawling villa in Černošice, just outside of Prague, into which he built an aquarium and kept a shark, has been unoccupied since he fled the country in 2005.
The fire consumed most of the villa’s roof despite the efforts of some 50 firefighters called to the scene in the wee hours of Tuesday. Damages to the villa, once valued at 500 million crowns, exceed 5 million crowns.
Krejčíř is currently serving a 35-year prison sentence for attempted murder, kidnapping and drug trafficking in South Africa.
A court ruled last year that he could be extradited to the Czech Republic, where he was convicted in absentia of plotting to murder a customs officer.
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.
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