Daily news summary


Czech senator files complaint with European court over PM’s suspected conflict of interest

Senator Lukáš Wagenknecht from the Pirate Party has filed a complaint with the European Court of Justice regarding the fact that the European Council has not set down regulations which would prevent the presidents and prime ministers of member states holding office if they have a conflict of interest.

Senator Wagenknecht claims that the Czech prime minister’s suspected conflict of interest could cast doubt on the European Union budget.

The European Commission is expected to finalize a definitive audit into the Czech prime minister’s suspected conflict of interest in the coming days.

The Czech Minister for Regional Development Klára Dostálová told Czech Radio that if the audit confirmed its preliminary findings regarding an existing conflict of interest on the part of the Czech prime minister, the country would take the case to the European Court of Justice.

Interior Ministry moves to quell security concerns in wake of al-Baghdadi killing

The Czech Interior Ministry has said it has no information which would point to an increased risk of attack from Islamic State radicals following the killing of their leader al-Baghdadi.

The statement comes in reaction to concerns in some countries regarding possible retaliatory strikes.

Nevertheless, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said that the country‘s security services were closely monitoring the situation and cooperating with partner organizations abroad.

Communist Party leadership fails to reprimand Grospič for shocking 1968 claims

The leadership of the Communist Party has not distanced itself from shocking statements made by the party’s deputy chair Stanislav Grospič who said in an interview for Czech Radio that the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia had not been an invasion and that the people killed had died mostly in road accidents. His words were condemned by politicians across the board.

Opposition politicians are calling for his resignation as head of the Mandate and Immunity Committee in the lower house.

The head of the Communist Party Vojtěch Filip said after a meeting of the party’s leadership that its members should be more restrained in expressing themselves in public and should make sure their statements do not go counter the official party line.

Environmental activists protesting against sale of Počerady electric power plant to Tykac

A group of seven environmental activists forced their way into the Vršany brown coal mine early on Tuesday to stage a protest against the planned sale of the coal-burning Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven Energy belonging to Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač.

Police are monitoring the situation and a mediator has been called to the scene. Academics and former politicians have also been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale on the grounds that the plant's continued operation would be in violation of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.

Czech Republic 41st on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking for 2019

The Czech Republic has placed 41st on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking for 2019. New Zealand topped the list, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong.

A country’s performance is judged on a variety of factors, and a higher ranking indicates better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights.

The Czech Republic excelled in conditions for foreign trade but did poorly as concerns excessive bureaucracy in starting a business and in gaining a construction permit where it placed 134th and 157th respectively.

Ruling ANO party would win landslide victory in general elections

The ruling ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babis would win general elections by a large margin, according to an October poll conducted by the Median agency.

The Pirate Party would come second with 12.5 percent of the vote and the Civic Democrats would place third with 11.5 percent.

The Freedom and Direct Democracy Party would gain 8 percent, while the Social Democrats and Communist Party would get 7.5 and 7 percent respectively.

The only other party which stands a chance of crossing the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in the lower house is TOP 09 with 6 percent support.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with day temperatures reaching just 7 degrees Celsius.