Daily news summary
Senate passes law on British citizens’ rights in case of no-deal Brexit
The Senate has passed a bill proposed by the government that seeks to protect the rights of British citizens in the country in case of a no-deal Brexit. The legislation seeks to create an ‘intermediate period’ lasting until the end of 2020 during which British nationals will retain the same rights as EU citizens. The bill is now expected to be signed by the President.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Interior there are currently around 8,000 British citizens living in the Czech Republic, 5,000 of whom are employed.
European Commission points to growing regional divide in Czech Republic
The growth of the Czech economy provides the opportunity to deepen structural reforms, the European Commission advised Prague in its annual analysis of economic and social affairs in the Czech Republic. According to the commissions study data, the relatively low rate of social inequality and growing quality of life is masking a growing regional divide in the country.
Based on its findings, the commission advises focus should be put on investments in education and local innovations, while growth potential in the more backward regions of the country should be boosted by digital and transport infrastructure.
NÚKIB building ‘cyber attaché’ network in strategic foreign missions
NÚKIB, the Czech Republic’s National Cyber and Information Security Agency has been building a web of specialised ‘cyber attaches’ together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in three strategic foreign missions, daily Lidové Noviny reports. These specialists have so far been posted in Brussels, Washington and Tel-Aviv.
Their activities include consultation and information sharing with members of foreign intelligence services.
EU agency responsible for Galileo will expand in Prague
The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) which runs the EU’s satellite navigation programmes will undergo an expansion at its headquarters in Prague. This will include hiring dozens of new staff and is likely to be a further boost to the Czech space industry. Representatives of the EU Commission, the European Parliament and individual member states agreed to proceed with the plan in Brussels on Tuesday. The exact amount for the GSA’s increased budget, which was proposed by the EU Commission last summer, is yet to be agreed upon.
Currently EU member states are responsible for a third of the world’s satellite production and their combined space industry currently employs nearly a quarter of a million people.
President proposes Aleš Gerloch as Constitutional Court judge
President Miloš Zeman has officially proposed to the Senate that Charles University prorector Aleš Gerloch becomes a Constitutional Court judge. With three Senate parties already criticising Mr. Gerloch’s close relationship with the president, it is unclear whether the nomination will pass in the upper house.
Earlier in February the president said on TV Barrandov that senators would be ‘wretches’ if they were more interested in who had proposed a nomination rather than the judge himself. However, many parties are uneasy about the relationship between Mr. Gerloch and the president, especially after a January exposé by the weekly Respekt cited judges complaining that members of the president’s staff were trying to influence them.
Czech, Slovak and Polish police forces set to cooperate in reducing crime in areas with large segments of foreign workers
Industrial regions, which feature large communities of foreign workers will be regularly policed by joint patrols made up of policemen from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday after signing a memorandum of cooperation with the Region of Central-Bohemia that seeks to combat problems associated with foreign workers in industrial zones.
According to Mr. Hamáček tens of Slovak and Polish policemen will undertake work visits in cities such as Mladá Boleslav and Plzen. Such cooperation has shown itself useful in the past, the interior minister said and he is now discussing details of implementing such project again with his Polish and Slovak counterparts.
Petříček before congress: Social Democrats must target urban voters
The Social Democrats’ Tomáš Petříček believes the party must target urban voters if it is to turn around its electoral fortunes, the news site Aktualne.cz reported. The minister of foreign affairs intends to stand for a deputy leader’s post at a Social Democrats’ congress this weekend.
Mr. Petříček said it was necessary to attract new voters and to regain the trust of urban voters. The Social Democrats need to win over those who now back the Czech Pirate Party, Aktualne.cz quoted him as saying.
The Social Democrats headed the previous government but only gained 7 percent in the last general elections.
Food Banks launch free cooking lessons for clients
The Czech Republic’s Food Banks organisation has opened its first kitchen and begun offering cooking lessons, Czech Television reported. The charity says that many impoverished people don’t eat healthily and don’t know how to handle the foodstuffs it provides to them.
On Tuesday professional chefs provided instruction at the Food Banks’ first cooking course. It plans to offer free lessons to single parents, seniors and the unemployed once a month.
Last year the organisation redistributed foods at a value of CZK 225 million. A law introduced in January requires large outlets to provide all their waste foodstuffs to the Food Banks.
The sun is expected to shine across the Czech Republic on Thursday, with some clouds appearing in the western and eastern regions. Temperatures are set to hover between 14 to 17 degrees Celsius. However, rain is expected to come during the night.