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Sixteen states call in Prague for no reduction in cohesion spending under next EU budget

At a summit in Prague on Tuesday, representatives of 16 European Union states issued a joint declaration calling for no reduction in the amount spent on cohesion policy in the EU budget for the period 2021 to 2027.

The Friends of Cohesion group also demanded an end to all budget rebates – which chiefly benefit states from Western Europe – and for its members to obtain greater flexibility in handling money from EU funds.

The Friends of Cohesion alliance mainly comprises countries from the eastern part of the EU.

On the side lines of the main summit in Prague, Visegrad Four leaders called the EU budget framework for 2021 to 2027 unjust. They said its planned cut in cohesion spending would make worse off states poorer and better off states richer.

Communist MP Grospič apologises over 1968 invasion comments

Communist Party MP Stanislav Grospič has apologised for statements he made regarding the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. He came in for strong criticism two weeks ago when he said that what had occurred was not an occupation and that most of those who died were victims of road accidents.

Speaking on Tuesday, Mr. Grospič said that he was sorry about the way his words had been perceived and apologised greatly for them.

He made the original comments before a vote making August 21, the anniversary of the invasion, a significant day in the calendar. Only one Communist MP voted for the motion, with the rest abstaining.

General Petr Pavel raises possibility of standing for president

Petr Pavel says he may run for president in future under certain circumstances. The retired army general told news site Echo24 he would stand if a candidate entered the race that would push the country even closer toward Russia and make the Czech Republic more like Hungary.

The one-time chairman of the NATO Military Committee made similar statements in other freshly published media interviews.

General Pavel told Reflex that he would run in certain circumstances as a “civic responsibility”. He added that he was not ashamed of his membership of the Communist Party prior to 1989; this fact is seen as potentially disqualifying him with a section of the electorate.

Poll puts ANO far in front and Tricolour close to reaching threshold

A freshly published opinion poll suggests that government leaders ANO enjoy 33.1 percent voter support. The STEM survey indicates that the Pirate Party would have received 12.2 percent backing if elections had been held last month, ahead of the Civic Democrats on 10.5 percent.

The poll indicates the Christian Democrats would scrape past the 5 percent threshold, though two other parties now in the lower house, TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents, would not.

By contrast the new Tricolour party, with 4.2 percent in the survey, would be close to winning seats.

Pirates MEP quits party leadership after vote fails to oust Michálek

MEP Mikuláš Peksa has stood down as deputy chair of the Czech Pirate Party. He announced the step on Tuesday in protest at the fact that Jakub Michálek had defended his post as deputy chair of the opposition grouping in a vote that concluded on Monday evening.

Mr. Michálek had been accused of arrogant behaviour and the psychological harassment of subordinates. He denied the accusation, saying only that he placed high demands on people.

Mr. Michálek had earlier said he would not stand again for leadership position in the Pirates a congress in January.

Injured Schick left out of Euro 2020 qualifiers squad

Patrik Schick has been left out of the Czech football squad for the country’s final qualifying games for the 2020 European Championship. Trainer Jaroslav Šilhavý did name the Leipzig forward, who is injured, as a possible late squad addition but he is unlikely to be called up.

There are no previously uncapped players in the group to face Kosovo at home on November 14 and Bulgaria away three days later. The Czechs are currently three points behind leaders England and one point ahead of Kosovo in their qualifying group.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly overcast in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures reaching up to 11 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is expected for the remainder of the week.