Daily news summary


Petříček: One of four top jobs in EU should go to Central Europe

One of the four top jobs in the European Union should go to somebody from Central Europe, the Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, said at the Prague European Summit on Wednesday. Following the weekend’s elections to the European Parliament debate has begun on who should take the roles of president of the European Commission, president of the European Council, high representative for foreign and security policy and president of the European Parliament.

Mr. Petříček said he sensed a positive mood as regards Central European states’ expectations being met in this regard.

The Czech foreign policy chief also told delegates at the conference that there were too many disputes between Central European and Western European EU members, saying that while the two parts had differences they had more in common.

President Zeman refuses to accept culture minister’s resignation

President Miloš Zeman has not accepted the resignation of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk, the president’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, said in a press release on Tuesday. The president expressed the view that Mr Staněk should not be punished for revealing serious economic malpractice at the Ministry of Culture.

Mr Staněk announced his resignation last Wednesday following pressure from the Czech cultural scene and his own party. He stated publicly that the decision was not made of his own accord, but at the request of Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček.

Mr. Hamáček has now asked Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to dismiss Culture Minister Antonín Staněk; a decision that the president would have to respect. Staněk is to be replaced by fellow party member Michal Šmarda.

Sculptor attempts to rebuild Marian column on Prague’s Old Town Square

Sculptor Petr Váňa on Wednesday attempted to start rebuilding a Marian column that stood on Prague’s Old Town Square until 1918. Mr. Váňa said that he had planning permission for the column. However, he did not have the required permit to close off the part of the square in question and was stopped by the police after having removed seven square metres of cobblestones to make way for the new structure.

The original Marian column was regarded by some as a symbol of Austrian rule and was torn down by protestors shortly after Czechoslovakia was founded.

Two accused of attack on MP could face three years in jail

Two men accused of a physical attack on MP Dominik Feri could face up to three years in prison. Police suspect the pair, who are father and son, of attempted bodily harm and disorderly conduct. The incident took place at a wine-tasting event in Moravia last month.

News website iRozhlas.cz reported on Tuesday that the state attorney’s office had ordered the police to carry out a fast-track investigation of the incident.

A friend of Mr. Feri’s has accused one of the alleged attackers of using a racial epithet. However, prosecutors do not perceive a racial element to the case.

International defence and security trade fair opens in Brno

A major security trade fair has got underway in Brno. Over 500 firms from 35 countries are taking part in the International Defence and Security Technologies Fair (IDET). The opening of the event was attended by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar, as well as the chief of the general staff of the Czech Army, Aleš Opata.

IDET runs until Friday. Taking place alongside it are the related trade fairs PYROS, which is focused on fire-fighting technology, and ISET, which is dedicated to security technology and services.

Čech to make final appearance in Europa League final

The Czech football goalkeeper Petr Čech is preparing to make the last appearance of his career on Wednesday night. The 37-year-old will line up for Arsenal against his former club Chelsea in the final of the European club competition the Europa League in Baku.

Čech holds the record for number of international caps with the Czech Republic and collected a large number of trophies as well as goalkeeping records during a very successful period at Chelsea.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with some rain in the Czech Republic on Thursday, with temperatures of up to 17 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to climb to up to 25 degrees Celsius at the weekend, when the weather will be quite sunny.