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Social Democrat Štěch for pulling out of coalition deal with ANO over Poche

Senior Social Democrat Milan Štěch says the party should pull out of a deal with ANO to form a coalition if it is broken before it can even come into effect. The speaker of the Senate was responding to ANO leader Andrej Babiš’s refusal of the Social Democrats’ nominee for the post of foreign minister, Miroslav Poche.

Mr. Babiš said ANO would not accept Mr. Poche just after the membership of the Social Democrats voted in an internal ballot to enter a minority coalition with ANO.

Such a government would be backed by the Communists, who also reject Mr. Poche as foreign minister. President Miloš Zeman is likewise opposed to the MEP’s nomination.

The chairman of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, says Mr. Babiš had been aware that Mr. Poche was their candidate. Mr. Hamáček says his party have done all they can to reach a coalition deal and have no room to make further concessions.

Social Democrats insist on Poche, await Zeman meeting

President Miloš Zeman may hold the key to resovling the situation surrounding the Social Democrats’ nomination of Miroslav Poche for foreign minister, according to top party members quoted by the news website Novinky.cz.

The Social Democrats insist Mr. Poche get the post, despite opposition from potential coalition partners ANO, the Communists, who would support such a government, and Mr. Zeman.

Social Democrats deputy chairman Roman Onderka said that party boss Jan Hamáček cannot replace Mr. Poche as his nomination has been approved by the leadership.

Mr. Poche is due to hold talks with President Zeman, who reportedly plans to tell him to step aside. Mr. Onderka said that meeting may shed light on a possible way forward, adding that it could lead to talks between the head of state and the leaders of ANO and the Social Democrats.

Babiš: Proposed EU budget from 2021 unacceptable

The European Union’s proposed budget for the next programme period is “absolutely unacceptable” to the Czech Republic, according to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. He said on Monday that the future budget was flawed in a similar manner to the one that is currently in operation. Mr. Babiš said the EU had dictated programmes for the 2014 to 2020 period in which large sums were earmarked for social areas but were hard to access.

The Czech leader said his government was therefore mapping fields in which investment was required and would push for more funding for those in the period beginning 2021.

Hundreds attend ceremony commemorating Anthropoid heroes

Hundreds of people including several senior Czech politicians attended a ceremony at the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in central Prague on Monday commemorating the heroes of Operation Anthropoid.

New plaques were unveiled in the pavement by the church honouring Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, who assassinated Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich, and other resistance men who met their deaths there 76 years ago this year.

Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček said the killing of Heydrich had been one of the most important acts of resistance in Europe and was certainly the most important on Czech territory. He said the men had laid down their lives for their nation’s freedom and deserved to be respected and remembered.

Report: Czech Republic one of weakest EU states on fighting climate change

The Czech Republic is one of the weakest states in the European Union when it comes to combatting climate change, according to Climate Action Network Europe. The Brussels-based organisation placed the Czech Republic 20th in the bloc on the basis of criteria including efforts to reach targets for the year 2020 set by the EU and enacted into legislation nine years ago.

The Czech Republic was directly behind Slovakia in the table created by Climate Action Network Europe. Sweden was judged the most successful EU country in tackling climate change while Poland was seen as having most to do.

Ombudswoman Šabatová presented with France’s Legion of Honour

The Czech ombudswoman, Anna Šabatová, has been presented with France’s Legion of Honour in a ceremony at the French Embassy in Prague. The former dissident was given the top accolade for her life-long work promoting human rights and the rule of law.

France’s president, Emannuel Macron, bestowed the medal on Ms. Šabatová, who on Monday received it from the country’s ambassador to Prague, Roland Galharague.

She said had been honoured and gratified to get the award, which recognised that she had fought for human rights both prior to 1990 and in the present day.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly bright in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, with temperatures of up to 26 degrees Celsius expected. Daytime highs will climb to around 30 degrees Celsius later in the week, when storms are also forecast.