Daily news summary
Supreme state attorney defends work of public prosecutors
Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman has criticized attempts to undermine public trust in Czech prosecutors on the part of some politicians.
In a statement sent to the ctk news agency the country’s chief public prosecutor said ungrounded attacks on public prosecutors were an attack on the legal order.
The statement comes in response to an attack by President Zeman on Olomouc chief attorney Ivo Ištvan who is in charge of a case of suspected corruption at the Czech anti-trust office and the firm Kapsch.
In an interview for commercial TV Barrandov President Zeman suggested Ivo Ištvan was overly active in an effort to redeem his reputation after supervising a case involving former government chief-of-of staff Jana Nagyová which led to the fall of the Nečas government and which, according to the president, had come to nothing.
Kuwaiti ambassador to Prague advises against relocation of Czech embassy to Jerusalem
Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Czech Republic Rashid Faleh Al-Hajri has warned that a relocation of the Czech embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would spark further aggression in the region and damage Czech relations with the Arab world.
In an interview for the ctk newsagency, the ambassador said that while he did not want to interfere in the country’s internal affairs, he did not consider such a relocation a good move.
The relocation of the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been actively promoted by President Miloš Zeman who said on a visit to Israel last year that he would do everything in his power to see it brought about.
The Czech Republic opened a Czech House- a cultural and business centre - in Jerusalem last year which the president said was “a first step” on the way.
However, the relocation of the Czech embassy in Israel would have to be approved by the Czech government which has not indicated an intention to do so.
Senators calling for trade minister’s dismissal over diplomatic incident
A group of senators are calling for the dismissal of Trade and Industry Minister Marta Nováková over an incident this week when a representative of Taiwan was forced to leave a diplomatic meeting at the trade ministry, at the insistence of the Chinese ambassador.
Senator Marek Hilšer said the incident was shameful and undignified and pointed out that this was not the first time the minister has failed in her duties.
The minister has also come under fire from the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Chamber of Deputues, Lubomír Zaorálek, who said the minister should not have bowed to pressure and warned that the decision could set a dangerous precedent. Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said on Friday he would discuss the matter with Minister Nováková in person.
Newly-elected Christian Democrat leader says party must return to its roots
The newly-elected leader of the Christian Democratic Party, Marek Výborný, has called for the party to return to its roots, learn from its mistakes and reinforce its traditional support for the middle classes and particularly families with children.
He said the party needed new dynamics and new faces and should not hesitate to broaden its cooperation with non-affiliated experts in different fields.
The second day of the party’s two day conference in Brno is devoted to policy program priorities and the party’s strategy in the upcoming European elections.
Czechs to join in annual Earth Hour campaign
Czechs will join millions of people around the globe in turning off their lights for 60 minutes on Saturday evening starting at 8:30pm local time in a symbolic show of support for the Earth Hour campaign against climate change.
Earth Hour will dim some of Prague’s best known landmarks including Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square or the Žižkov TV tower.
Prague and other cities around the Czech Republic first marked Earth Hour in 2012. Over 150 towns and cities are expected to join the campaign this year.
Shift to summertime on Sunday
The annual shift to summertime or daylight-saving time is due to take place at 2am on Sunday, when clocks will be moved forward by an hour.
The time shift is likely to be one of the last after the European Parliament recently votes to scrap daylight saving time from 2021.
The decision will need to win approval from national parliaments and then it would be up to individual member states to decide whether to remain on “permanent summer” or “permanent winter” time.
The Czech government, backed by health experts, has indicated a preference for wintertime while polls suggest the public would prefer to stay on summertime.
Sunday should be clear to partly cloudy, with scattered showers in the late afternoon, and day temperatures between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius.