Daily news summary
Czech Foreign Ministry criticizes Russia over Sea of Azov incident
The Czech Foreign Ministry has issued a statement condemning Russia’s use of force against Ukraine’s naval vessels. The ministry says the blockade of the Kerch Strait by Russia is in breach of international law.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said in a tweet on Monday that Russian appropriation of the Sea of Azov was as unacceptable as its annexation of Crimea. The Czech foreign minister said he expected a joint EU statement on the matter, adding that the Czech Republic would be ready to join international sanctions over the incident.
President Zeman tells Israeli host “one state with two nations” is bold idea
On an official visit to Israel Czech President Miloš Zeman said he was fascinated by President Reuven Rivlin’s idea of “one state with two nations”, saying he could not envision an independent state in the Gaza Strip since he perceived Hamas as a terrorist organization. President Zeman said the idea of one state with two nations, was provocative but noted that all bold ideas were.
During the three-day visit, President Zeman is expected to inaugurate the new "Czech House" cultural center in Jerusalem alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On Monday afternoon he will address the Israeli Parliament – the Kneset. The Czech head of state is accompanied by the Speaker of the Czech lower house of Parliament Radek Vondráček and four cabinet ministers.
Prime minister questioned by police over son’s alleged abduction
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was questioned by the police on Monday in connection with an investigation into his son’s alleged abduction to Crimea.According to Czech Radio, the prime minister spent close to two hours at a Prague police station giving testimony with regard to the case.
The prime minister, who claims there was no abduction, says journalists used his son who suffers from schizophrenia, to create a slander campaign against him.
The opposition called a vote of no-confidence over the scandal last Friday, but the prime minister’s government survived it.
In a related development, according to the weekly Euro, investigators working on the Stork’s Nest case in which the prime minister is suspected of EU subsidy fraud say they will need more time to assemble evidence. The investigation is thus unlikely to be concluded by the end of the year.
Prague court opens MUS privatization case
The Prague Municipal Court has opened the case of the fraudulent privatization of the Czech Republic’s largest coal mining company Mostecka Uhelna(MUS).
All five former managers charged appeared at Monday’s hearing. Their lawyers pointed out that all of them have already been convicted in the same case in a Swiss court of law.
The Czech judiciary opened the case for formal reasons, since none of those convicted have so far served their sentences.
The Czech Republic participated in the trial in Switzerland as a damaged party. The Czech finance ministry is seeking compensation for damages caused to the state. The damage incurred to the Czech Republic has been estimated at over two billion crowns.
Phil Collins to perform in Prague in June
British music legend Phil Collins will bring his Not Dead Yet: Live! tour to Prague next year. The singer is to perform at Prague’s 02 Arena on June 25, 2019. Tickets, ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 crowns will go on sale at the end of November.
Collins, who first performed live in Prague in 1997, originally wound-up his solo career in the Czech capital with his Final First Farewell Tour.
Record e-sales on Black Friday
E-sales on Black Friday reached a record 4.2 billion crowns, according to the Association for Electronic Sales. This amounts to a 19 percent increase year-on-year.
On Friday E-shops saw a 300 percent increase in sales as compared to regular days. The annual sales event was so successful this year that Alza decided to stretch it to a fortnight. An increasing number of Czechs have got used to buying Christmas gifts online.
Tuesday should be cloudy to overcast around most of the country with day temperatures between -1 and + 3 degrees Celsius.