Daily news summary
President to appoint new ministers on April 30
President Miloš Zeman will appoint two new ministers to the Babiš government on April 30th, the Office of the President said on Monday. The head of state met with the ministerial nominees on Monday to discuss their priorities in office.
Vladimír Kremlík who is to take over the transport ministry portfolio said he would strive to increase the pace of highway reconstruction and push ahead with plans to build a train link to Prague’s Václav Havel Airport while Karel Havlíček, who is to be the new minister of trade and industry, highlighted the need to focus on the country’s long-term energy concept, reduce the price of mobile data and support entrepreneurs and exporters.
The ministerial nominees will replace Transport Minister Dan Ťok, who is leaving office at his own request following months of severe criticism from the opposition and Trade Minister Marta Nováková, whose dismissal the Prime Minister Babiš announced last week, citing discontent with her performance.
Ťok to vacate his seat in the lower house
Transport Minister Dan Ťok, who announced his decision to leave the government last week, said on Monday he would also be vacating his seat in the lower house of Parliament.
Ťok was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 2017 as an independent running on the ticket of the ruling ANO party. He has served as transport minister since 2014.
Ťok said he was resigning as minister because of the persistent attacks against him. He did not reveal his plans for the future.
Czech economy 13th fastest growing in EU
In 2018 the Czech Republic had the 13th fastest-growing economy in the European Union, according to the head of the Czech Statistics Office, Marek Rojíček.
With a growth of 2.9 percent, the Czech economy surpassed that of some of the founding EU members such as Germany and was significantly above the EU average.
In 2018 Czech economic growth dropped to 2.9 percent from 4.5 the previous year.
The economy was driven by investments and consumer spending but hampered by lower foreign demand. The fastest-growing economies were those of Ireland, Malta and Poland.
Czech companies leaving tax havens
Czech companies have started leaving tax havens such as Malta and Lichtenstein, according to statistics published by Bisnode. In the first quarter of this year the number of Czech firms based in tax havens dropped by 259, which is a bigger drop than in the preceding three years put together. The number of Czech firms operating from tax havens in now just over 12,500. According to Bisnode analysts it is too early to say whether this is a trend or a one-off occurrence.
Czech livestock production sliding
The Czech Republic is becoming less competitive in livestock production and increasingly dependent on imports of livestock and meat and dairy products from abroad despite the growing amount of state support channelled into this sphere, the Supreme Audit Office said in a report released on Monday.
According to the report, Czech livestock producers received close to 21 billion crowns in state funds from 2015 to 2017, ten billion of which came from European funds. Subsidies to this sphere have been steadily rising since 2012.
Despite this the number of pig breeders and chicken farms has dropped and the country has become more dependent on pork, beef and poultry imports.
Stalemate in Prague “S” derby marred by refereeing decision
Slavia Prague remain five points clear in Czech soccer’s top flight with two rounds of the regular season to go after a 1:1 draw with rivals Sparta Prague on Sunday evening. The hosts took the lead in the first half thanks to a header from Tomáš Souček before the visitors equalised with a wonderful strike from Srdjan Plavšič. However the main talking point of the game was a foul on Josef Hušbauer for which Slavia should have been awarded a penalty. The referee later admitted he had made a mistake in not pointing to the spot kick and instead penalising the player.
Tuesday should see clear skies around most of the country with day temperatures between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.