Daily news summary
Thousands demonstrate for independent judiciary in central Prague
Thousands of people protested in central Prague on Monday night in support of an independent judiciary and against the planned appointment of Marie Benešová as minister of justice. Organisers Milion chvilek pro demokracii said around 15,000 people had taken part in the demonstration entitled We’re Not Blind.
It was called after Benešová was announced as the new minister of justice just days after police recommended that Prime Minister Andrej Babiš stand trial in a fraud case. She has served as an advisor to President Miloš Zeman, who critics accuse of working in tandem with Mr. Babiš.
Czech cabinet wants to impose seven-percent tax on digital giants
The Czech government wants to impose a seven-percent tax on large digital companies, such as Facebook and Google. Under the plan, agreed by the cabinet on Tuesday, the multinational companies would have to pay taxes in the place they make earnings.
The cabinet is hoping the move could lead to increased revenues of around five billion crowns a year. The Ministry of Finance is due to draft a digital tax bill by the end of May.
Senators complete constitutional complaint against President Zeman
A group of senators from the Liberal Democratic Caucus – Senator 21 have completed a constitutional complaint against President Miloš Zeman for alleged gross violations of the Constitution.
“The aim of the complaint is not to remove the current president from his post but to determine the boundaries of the execution of his mandate,” Senator 21 club’s head, Václav Láska, told the Czech News Agency.
To lodge a complaint to the Constitutional Court, its initiators would need to secure the backing of at least another 21 Senators and 120 deputies of the Lower Chamber of the Parliament.
Three new ministers appointed Tuesday
President Miloš Zeman appointed three new ministers on Tuesday afternoon. Karel Havlíček became minister of industry and trade, Vladimír Kremlík took the transport portfolio and Marie Benešová took over at the Ministry of Justice. All three are the nominees of ANO, the dominant partner in a coalition government with the Social Democrats.
Mr. Havlíček also became a deputy prime minister, as did the minister of finance, Alena Schillerová.
Pellegrini: Czechia and Slovakia could cooperate in nuclear waste storing
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are considering finding a common deep nuclear waste storage site, Slovak Prime Minister Petr Pellegrini said on Tuesday. Speaking at the European Nuclear Energy Forum in Prague, Mr. Pellegrini told reporters it would be ineffective for the countries to invest billions of crowns into two separate sites. The search for a location for the deep geological nuclear waste repository in the Czech Republic has been going on for several years. There are currently nine localities which are being considered for the purpose. The nuclear storage site should be built by 2065.
Tomáš Řepka sentenced to two years in prison for fraud and attack on ex-wife
The former Czech football international Tomáš Řepka has been sentenced to two years in prison. The Court of Appeal in Prague on Tuesday increased his previous 15-month sentence, finding Řepka guilty of advertising sexual services on the internet in the name of his ex-wife Vlaďka Erbová and of selling a luxury car that he didn’t own.
Řepka earned 45 caps for the Czech Republic and played for a number of clubs, including Italy’s Fiorentina and the English Premier League side West Ham United.
Wednesday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional rain showers and storms. Daytime highs will range between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius.