Czech EU presidency to organize informal summit to discuss financial crisis

The Czech EU presidency is to hold an informal EU summit to discuss how to deal with the global financial crisis, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek said on Monday. The summit will be held in Brussels before the end of February, said Mr Topolánek, though he added that a precise date for the meeting would only be announced on Wednesday, after he met head of the European Commission Jose Barroso.

Author: Rosie Johnston

Latest News

  • Prymula called on to resign after violating Covid-19 measures by visiting restaurant

    10/23/2020

    Opposition party leaders and a cabinet minister have called on Health Minister Roman Prymula (independent) to resign for having violated a state of emergency restriction to contain the spread of Covid-19.

    Prymula, an epidemiologist who pushed for stricter measures that include closing schools and restaurants, met MP Jaroslav Faltýnek, head of the ruling ANO party’s parliamentary group, in a restaurant on Wednesday evening. The tabloid newspaper Blesk published corresponding photos, which showed the health minister outside the establishment, not wearing a facemask.

    Faltýnek has taken responsibility for arranging the meeting, saying on Friday morning that he knew the restaurant’s owner well and put no one at risk. Opposition leaders have called on the health minister to resign, accusing him of arrogance and hypocrisy.

    Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats) said Prymula has lost all credibility by failing to comply with the government guidelines he advocated and shown contempt for people fight the pandemic on the front lines.

    "The rules are valid for everyone without exception (...) the state and coalition government cannot be represented by people who do not respect the measures put in place by that same government," Hamáček told the Czech press agency ČTK.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • New footbridge to open in Troja

    10/23/2020

    A new footbridge linking Stromovka park and the Prague Zoo is due to open to the public on Friday.

    The original bridge collapsed three years ago, injuring four people and sparking a wave of bridge inspections around the country.

    An examination later showed that corrosion of the steel support cables had weakened the bridge.

    Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib has promised that the new footbridge will be safer and wider, so it can also serve as a cycle path.

    The footbridge will open without a ceremony so as to prevent people from gathering during the coronavirus epidemic.

  • Second-highest daily increase in Covid cases registered on Thursday

    10/23/2020

    Over 14,000 coronavirus cases were registered in the Czech Republic on Thursday; the second time that the daily increase has crossed the 14,000 mark. Overall 223.000 cases have been registered in the country.

    The number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has reached 4,777, of which 735 are in a serious condition. The death toll currently stands at 1,845.

  • Weather forecast

    10/22/2020

    Friday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain and day temperatures between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius.

  • Government formally approves foreign aid as crises deepens

    10/22/2020

    The government has given its formal approval to foreign aid in helping to fight the worsening coronavirus epidemic.

    A team of 28 doctors from the U.S. National Guard in the states of Nebraska and Texas is expected to arrive in the Czech Republic next week in order to help Czech doctors.

    The aid was offered by the U.S. military and agreed on during a phone conversation between the US Ambassador Stephen King and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

    Negotiations about possible aid are also underway with Germany.

  • Supreme Court sets limits on concentration of drugs in blood serum of drivers

    10/22/2020

    The Supreme Court has issued a binding legal opinion stating the concentration of drugs in the blood which will allow criminal charges to be filed against drivers without the need for a medical examination to determine the degree of influence.

    For example, a person who has 10 nanograms of  THC per millilitre or 75 nanograms of cocaine per millilitre in their blood serum is considered unfit to drive a car.

    The legal opinion, which the court published on its website on Thursday also sets a ceiling on amphetamines and morphine.

  • Health minister actively fighting coronavirus-related fake news

    10/22/2020

    Health Minister Roman Prymula is concerned about the growing amount of coronavirus-related fake news circulating on social networks, which influence the behaviour of thousands of people.

    The fake news currently circulating claim that the pandemic is an international conspiracy, a weapon from a secret laboratory or deny the existence of victims.

    Some claim the pandemic does not exist, others question the severity of the virus and the potential risks associated with it, undermining government efforts to bring it under control.

    The health minister has started refuting the individual claims on his own social accounts and has appealed to people to use their common sense and protect themselves and others.

  • Traditional award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle cancelled

    10/22/2020

    The traditional award-giving ceremony held at Prague Castle on Czechoslovak Independence Day, October 28, will not take place this year due to the severity of the coronavirus epidemic, the president’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář said at a press briefing on Thursday.

    The chancellor said that the president had bowed to mounting pressure from the health minister, experts and politicians who pointed to the health risks of holding such a ceremony.

    Mr. Mynář said the president would hand out the respective state awards sometime next year.

    Nation-wide restrictions are currently in place to try to bring the epidemic under control.

  • Strict new Covid-19 restrictions, including closure of most shops, enter force

    10/22/2020

    New restrictions aimed at curbing a huge increase in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations in the Czech Republic came into effect on Thursday morning.

    Non-essential contact with other people has been prohibited; people are only allowed to go to work and to undertake necessary family visits or to make indispensible purchases.

    People are permitted to visit the countryside or parks in the company of no more than one other person.

    All shops and small businesses are closed with the exception of food stores, chemists and toiletries stores and some other outlets. Schools, restaurants and bars had already been ordered to shut. Face masks must be worn outside.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Fresh Czech record 14,968 Covid cases registered Wednesday

    10/22/2020

    Some 14,968 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, which is a record one-day increase since the start of the pandemic. The total number of active cases in the country now stands at 124,040.

    At present 4,417 people are hospitalised with the coronavirus, with 657 of them in a critical condition. To date 1,739 people have died with the virus, with 253 of those deaths coming so far this week and over half occurring since the start of October.

    Author: Ian Willoughby