Daily news summary


Civic Democrats urge PM to request vote of confidence

The head of the opposition Civic Democratic Party Petr Fiala has urged Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to ask the lower house for a vote of confidence in his minority government.

Mr. Fiala said that in view of the preliminary EU audit which claims the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest it is essential to know whether the Babis government still has confidence and if so which parties support it.

The opposition centre right parties in the lower house have called for the EU audit to be discussed in a special session of the lower house, the immediate suspension of all further subsidies to Agrofert companies, for the Czech response to the European Commission’s audit to be drafted by government ministers who are not in the prime minister’s ANO party and for the audit to be made public.

Protest against PM to be bigger than ever

Another in a series of protest events against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is to take place on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Tuesday evening. The organizers say they expect 100,000 protesters, which would make it the biggest public protest since the anti-communist demonstrations in 1989.

The initiative Million Moments for Democracy, which has organized weekly protests against the prime minister since the end of April, when the police proposed that he be charged with EU subsidy fraud, says that demonstrators will demand both the demise of both Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Justice Minister Marie Benešová who was appointed just days after the police recommended that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stand trial in a fraud case.

Aung San Suu Kyi begins official part of Czech visit with talks with PM

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in the Czech Republic on a three-day visit, met for talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in Prague on Monday. The talks focused on developing mutual relations, economic cooperation, Czech development projects in Myanmar and human rights issues.

On Tuesday Ms. Suu Kyi – who is Myanmar's de facto leader – will meet Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and President Miloš Zeman. Her country’s minister of investments and economic relations and minister of international cooperation are travelling with her.

Czech archivist: Fernyhough had no idea he was dealing with handlers

Harold Wilson Fernyhough an aide to Prime Minister Harold Wilson who was reported to have spied for Czechoslovakia in the 1950’s and 1960s, was very likely unaware that he was not associating with diplomats, but communist secret police handlers, according to Czech archivist Svetlana Ptáčníková.

Ptáčníková, who heads the Security Services Archive, said that according to the secret police files Fernyhough shared information willingly, but without knowledge of who he was dealing with. The archivist noted that secret police handlers were often placed in diplomatic posts in order to acquire information.

According to the files Fernyhough never revealed anything confidential, only sharing information that was either common knowledge or was later made public.

Reports that Harold Wilson Fernyhough had spied for the Czechoslovak communist secret police appeared in the British press at the weekend.

MEP: Czech pair in Turkish prisons in good state

Two Czechs serving six-year jail terms in Turkey for cooperating with the Syrian Kurd militia YPG are in a good state, Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský, who visited them last week, told the Czech News Agency. Diplomats from the two countries are discussing the conditions and situations of Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas.

The pair were arrested on the border between Turkey and Iraq in November 2016 after Turkish officers found materials on them that they said proved the pair were involved with the YPG, which Ankara considers a terrorist organisation. They are in prisons in different parts of Turkey.

Czechs heading to Great Britain advised to carry passport

The Czech Foreign Ministry has advised Czechs travelling to Great Britain to take along their passports in order to avoid possible complications in view of Brexit.

Martin Smolek, head of the ministry’s consular department told journalists that which it was still possible to travel to Britain on a citizen’s ID card the situation could change in time and in order to avoid possible complications with British immigration police it was advisable to carry a passport as well.

All other documents relating to stays in GB should remain valid until the end of October, Smolek said.

Weather forecast

Tuesday should bring clear skies with day temperatures between 27 and 31 degrees Celsius and the possibility of heat storms in the afternoon hours.