Daily news summary
Babiš to discuss global problems in UN address
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he will discuss the Czech Republic, Europe and global problems in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, New York time.
Mr. Babiš told reporters that he would raise the issue of climate, including the fact that a number of large states were not fulfilling their commitments regarding the environment. He added that climate was not the only problem facing the world, saying he would also refer to other challenges, including poverty and access to water.
World leaders have been speaking at the UN General Assembly all week.
Slovak President Čaputová among guests at Forum 2000 conference
Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová and Yemeni Human Rights activist Tawakkol Abdul-Salam Karman will be among the foreign guests at this year’s annual Forum 2000 conference.
The 23rd edition of the conference, whose theme this year is ‘Recovering the Promise of 1989’, gets underway on October 13. It will include lectures and round-table debates on a variety of topics, including the challenges facing liberal democracies today.
The tradition of the annual gatherings of world leaders and thinkers was established 23 years ago by the country’s first post-communist president Vaclav Havel.
President Zeman to attend Chinese Embassy’s reception at Žofín
President Miloš Zeman is set to attend an official reception organised by the Chinese Embassy at Prague’s Žofín palace on Wednesday. The event marks 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) and China. Recently bilateral relations have been strained by a deepening feud between the Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, and Beijing, which has resulted in the cancellation of several cultural events involving Prague ensembles in China.
Czech-Chinese relations have also been hit by a scandal involving the Czech branch of the Chinese company Huawei, which is suspected of collecting sensitive data on officials and businessmen through its employees.
Ban on cyclists and canoeists consuming alcohol to remain in place
MPs have rejected legislation that would have allowed cyclists on minor roads or cycle paths or people canoeing on the country’s rivers to have a small amount of alcohol in their blood. The Chamber of Deputies had previously voted to allow canoeists to consume half a mille of alcohol before taking to the water.
The Senate then sent the bill back to the lower house with the demand that the change also apply to cyclists. However, the amended bill only received 89 of the required 101 votes from MPs on Tuesday evening.
Czech National Bank keeps interest rates unchanged
The Czech National Bank kept interest rates unchanged at its meeting on Wednesday. The main rate, the two-week repo rate, thus remains at two percent.
According to the Czech National Bank’s chief economist Jakub Seidler, the reason for leaving the rates unchanged was mainly the uncertain development abroad.
Czech clients of Thomas Cook facing problems abroad
Several hotels in Mallorca, Turkey, Greece and Austria have asked their Czech clients to pay for their accommodation, the cost of which had already been covered, the website idnes.cz reported. The incident concerned customers who booked their holidays through the travel agency Neckermann, part of the bankrupt British travel agency Thomas Cook.
The agency has advised their clients to contact their hotline and promised to reimburse any additional costs.
The travel agency has approximately 1,100 Czech clients abroad. According to its marketing head, Jan Šrámek, they should return home on schedule with no foreseeable problems.
Thursday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional rain showers. Daytime highs will range between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius.