The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, has reassured
the Israeli ambassador to Prague, Daniel Meron, of the Prague
government’s interest in further developing relations between the Czech
Republic and Israel. The move follows a newspaper article by Mr.
Petříček and two of his predecessors, Lubomír Zaorálek and Karel
Schwarzenberg, opposing Israeli plans to annex Jewish settlements on the
Mr. Petříček said on Tuesday that he had explained to Mr. Meron that the article stemmed from a long-term position based on respect for international law.
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš criticised the article, with the latter saying it was unacceptable for individual cabinet members to make statements on such an important foreign policy issue.
Work to build a replica of a valuable wooden church that burned down in the
Guty district of Třinec in the Moravian Silesian Region began on Tuesday.
It should be completed by next spring, with the first mass set to take
place there on 23 May 2021.
The original 16th century church was burned down by three youths in 2017. They received jail terms of three and a half, eight and nine years respectively.
From Wednesday it will be possible for Czechs, Slovaks and Hungarians to
travel freely between the three states without a negative Covid-19 test,
provided they return to their country within 48 hours. The news was
announced by Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, on
Mr. Petříček said he had also been in touch with his Austrian counterpart to discuss a similar relaxation on the Czech-Austrian frontier.
The new regime at the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia was agreed between the two countries’ prime ministers, Andrej Babiš and Igor Matovič, on Monday.
The owner of a Czech online retailer selling 2021 calendars featuring
“Personalities of the Third Reich” says Naše vojsko is not promoting
Nazism and is only seeking profit, iRozhlas.cz reported on Tuesday. The
Israeli and German ambassadors to the Czech Republic have criticised the
sale of the product, which features pictures of Hitler and other senior
The minster of the interior, Jan Hamáečk, says the sale of the calendar is tasteless and immoral. However, agencies in the criminal justice system have repeatedly reached the conclusion that it is not a criminal offence, he said.
The Czech government is going to take a legal action against the European
Commission over its blocking of subsidies of CZK 1.6 billion for a project
by the company Agrofert. The money is being withheld after a Commission
audit said that Agrofert’s founder, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, still
controlled the firm so is in conflict of interest.
A representative said on Monday that the Czech government had decided in February to contest the decision in Brussels. It has since withdrawn that lawsuit and will replace it with a new one.
New legislation on construction that should majorly impact building in the
Czech Republic is set to go to the government’s legislative council on
Thursday. The new Construction Code will then go before the Chamber of
Deputies in September, the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said on Tuesday.
The legislation should enter force in spring of next year and gradually take full effect by the middle of 2023.
The government says the new code will simplify and speed up planning permission processes, which it says are costing the economy billions of crowns ever year.
However, critics say it changed so much in the comment procedure that it will in fact make construction work more complicated.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dropped the idea of purchasing a
building for the country’s permanent representation in Brussels, the news
site Deník N. reported. It had planned to buy such a building in
connection with the Czech Republic’s presidency of the EU in the second
half of 2022.
The minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, said that the coronavirus crisis meant that savings would have to be made while a ministry spokesperson said the pandemic had delayed the necessary negotiations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now seeking to rent a building in the Belgian capital.
Deputy Health Minister Roman Prymula, who headed of the country’s Central
Crisis Staff in the initial phase of the COVID-19 crisis in March is to
serve as Government Commissioner for Research in Health Sciences. He was
approved in the post by the cabinet on Monday.
Mr. Prymula, who spearheaded the fight against the coronavirus epidemic in the country, will leave his post at the Health Ministry on May 31. His departure is linked to past conflicts with Health Minister Adam Vojtěch.
The prime minister created the post of Government Commissioner for Research in Health Sciences specifically for him, in an effort to keep the country’s leading epidemiologist in the public sector.
The government has further loosened restrictions on travel. As of Tuesday
all border crossings with Austria and Germany will open, with only random
International airports in Brno, Ostrava, Karlovy Vary, Pardubice and Prague-Kbely will renew flights within Schengen.
From Wednesday, Czechs and Slovaks will be able to travel from one country to the other without the need to produce negative tests for COVID-19 and without having to undergo a quarantine, if they return to their country within 48 hours.
Citizens of EU member states and citizens from third countries with long-term residence in the EU will be able to enter the Czech Republic for a period of 72 hours for “substantiated” reasons such as business trips or visits to close family.
They will need to produce a negative COVID 19 test and say where they are planning to stay during their time in the country.