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PM says no agreement with Germany on return of asylum seekers

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has denied that the Czech Republic is among the fourteen European Union countries which reportedly agreed to sign deals with Germany to take back asylum seekers who had previously registered elsewhere.

Babiš said during a visit to France on Saturday that he had not discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the EU summit earlier this week and would, in any case, never consent to an agreement that would mean accepting any number of illegal refugees.

According to the DPA and Reuters news agencies, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, all countries which have opposed any scheme to share-out asylum seekers across the continent, have said they are open to signing such an agreement with Germany.

Under the EU’s Dublin convention asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.

Communist Party to support minority government in confidence vote

The Communist Party will support the newly-appointed minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats at its upcoming vote of confidence on July 11th. The Communist Party leadership met on Saturday to take a vote on the pre-negotiated tolerance agreement with the two parties in government. Fifty-four members of the party leadership voted in favour, 23 were against and one abstained. The Communist Party linked its support to a number of conditions, such as a law on national referenda, a minimal wage hike and support for a law taxing church restitutions.

PM attends celebrations in France marking birth of Czechoslovakia

French President Emanuel Macron met with the Czech and Slovak prime ministers in Paris on Saturday, on the occasion of celebrations in France marking the birth of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago.

On June 29 the government of France officially acknowledged the right of Czechs and Slovaks to independence, and the next day 6,000 Czechoslovak legionaries took an oath of allegiance to the new state in the presence of the French president.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš thanked France for its crucial role in assisting the birth of independent Czechoslovakia and said the seven decades of coexistence had helped Czechs and Slovaks to develop into the strong, sovereign, democratic states they were today.

After the meeting the French president and Czech and Slovak prime ministers signed framework agreements on strategic partnership outlining future cooperation in security, the fight against terrorism, research and development and student exchanges.

Green activists protest at coal mine

Several hundred green activists protested at the Bílina coal mine in the north of the country on Saturday.

Two dozen of them managed to enter the mine in the early hours of the morning and chained themselves to the excavator. When other protesters tried to force their way into the mine the police intervened, detaining over 170 people.

The protest was organized by the group Limity jsme my which is striving to get the mine closed.

Nine detained on suspicion of manipulating contracts for Prague hospitals

Nine people have been detained on suspicion of manipulating contracts for two Prague hospitals, Na Františku and Na Bulovce, the ctk news agency reports.

Among those charged are the head of the Na Františku hospital Robert Zelenák, and influential north Bohemian entrepreneur Tomáš Horáček.

The anti-corruption police have been conducting raids on dozens of homes and medical institutions and old age home in Central Bohemia in connection with the case.

Tim Robbins awarded Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival has honoured the Oscar-winning actor, director, screenwriter and producer Tim Robbins with its prestigious Crystal Globe award for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema.

Robbins, who is the main star at this year’s festival, will personally introduce a screening of his films Bob Roberts and Shawshank Redemption on Saturday night.

In his thank you speech at the award ceremony on Friday night Tim Robbins expressed his admiration for two Czechs, the late president Vaclav Havel and film director Milos Forman who died earlier this year and whose film Loves of a Blonde opened this year’s film festival as a tribute to his work.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.