Czech politicians have expressed concern regarding Turkey’s future course in the wake of Sunday’s referendum which gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. President Milos Zeman said that under its present leader Turkey was moving away from a secular state and democracy. Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek noted that while Turkey stood on the brink of far-reaching political reforms, it was and would remain an important partner and ally for the Czech Republic, the EU and NATO. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobradek pointed to the close referendum result, saying it would be interesting to see how Turkey would deal with the deep divisions in society over the country’s future course. Czech MEP Pavel Telička said Turkey’s vote would undermine democracy in the country and weaken its ties with the EU.
Similar concerns are being voiced around Europe. The EU Commission said in a statement that In view of the close referendum result and the far-reaching implications of the planned constitutional amendments, the Turkish authorities should seek the broadest possible national consensus in their implementation. The Council of Europe, a pan-European human rights body of which Turkey is a member, said that officials should consider the next steps carefully and stressed the importance of secure the independence of the judiciary.
President Miloš Zeman is presently the most popular candidate among those running in the 2018 presidential elections, according to a poll conducted for Czech Radio by the Median polling agency. If elections were here held today Miloš Zeman would win 37 percent of the vote in the first round, followed by lyricist and entrepreneur Michal Horáček with 20 percent and the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences Jiri Drahoš with 17 percent. Lesser known candidates such as physician Marek Hilšer or businessman Igor Sládek would be left far behind with just two and one percent of the vote respectively. Twenty-one percent of those polled said they were not yet sure who they would vote for.
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has said the Czech Republic is not planning to take in any more migrants. In an interview for the daily Pravo, minister Chovanec said the country had only taken in 12 of the 1,600 refugees it had been allotted within the EU migrant quota mechanism and he considered it preferable for the country to pay sanctions rather than take in any more. The EU could launch proceedings to implement sanctions in September of this year and the fine could reach several million euros. Minister Chovanec said it would be up to the government to make a final decision.
A Czech woman who was baptized by Pope Francis on Holy Saturday described it as a powerful, mystic experience. Taťána Čempelová from the town of Dětmarovice in Moravia, who was one of eleven believers from around the world whom Pope Francis baptized during the traditional Easter Vigil liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Saturday, said she was overawed by the atmosphere, and filled with humility and happiness to be part of the event. She is the first Czech in the country’s modern history to be baptized by the Pope.
The majority of Czech firms have started using 3D printing technology or are planning to introduce it within the next five years, according to the outcome of a survey conducted by the Prague School of Economics. Of the 71 companies surveyed 56 percent said they were using 3D printing technology or planned to do so in the near future in order to raise their competitiveness and reduce production costs. However experts say the Czech industry is still lagging behind countries such as Germany which is already using 3D printing technology on a massive scale.
Czech golf player Klára Spilková became the first Czech player to win a Ladies European Tour event with a one stroke victory over Suzann Pettersen at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on Sunday. The 22-year-old fired a final round of 66 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam and came from four strokes back to claim her first win with a 72-hole total of eight-under-par 280. It was her first start on the LET in 2017.
The coming days should bring overcast skies and sleet or snow showers around the country. Day temperatures on Tuesday are forecast between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius but may drop to -1 in the higher altitudes. Snow is expected in altitudes of over 400 meters above sea level. The mountain regions may see up to 20 cm of fresh snow in the coming days.