Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party has been the mayor of Prague for only 10 months but has already garnered the attention of international media, particularly over his attempts to remove an article recognising the One China policy from the city’s partnership agreement with Beijing. I met with Mr. Hřib at City Hall to discuss his view of the situation, as well as his fondness for Taiwan. The mayor is actually a physician by training and I began by asking him for a diagnosis of tourism in Prague and the city’s plans in this area.
The parties of the coalition government are at odds over the draft budget for 2020. The Social Democrats, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, have demanded an additional 20 billion crowns for their ministries. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Wednesday ridiculed the demand, saying the Social Democrats have spending in their genes.
President Miloš Zeman is due to remain in office until early 2023. But that hasn’t stopped names of possible successors already appearing in the media. Mr. Zeman’s defeated opponent in last year’s runoff, Jiří Drahoš, says a second run is definitely “in play”, while ex-sports star Dominik Hašek has also signalled his interest.
The Social Democrats’ party leadership on Monday set a final condition for remaining in the minority government of Andrej Babiš – that his ally President Miloš Zeman appoints their nominee for culture minister. But while urging the prime minister to use his constitutional power to ensure the appointment, the party’s ultimatum did not include a deadline.
President Miloš Zeman has not made any final decision concerning the replacement of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said after a meeting at Lány Chateau on Thursday. Mr Babiš and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček met with the head of state with the aim to resolve the dispute that could bring down the government.