Daily news summary
Tomáš Petříček appointed Czech foreign minister
President Miloš Zeman appointed Tomáš Petříček of the Social Democrats Czech minister of foreign affairs in a ceremony at Prague Castle on Tuesday morning. Mr. Petříček, who is 37, had formerly been a deputy foreign minister.
The president rejected the Social Democrats’ previous nominee for the post of foreign policy chief, Miroslav Poche, and the party’s interior minister, Jan Hamáček, filled the role for a number of months in a caretaker capacity.
Zeman’s vulgar language in interview inappropriate, says Babiš
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has criticised the vulgar language used by President Miloš Zeman in an interview on Czech Radio on Monday. Mr. Babiš said he understood that the head of state became angry when referring to the likes of Viktor Kožený, a 1990s financier wanted on an international arrest warrant, and Zdeněk Bakala, the former owner of mining company OKD. However, such language was inappropriate, the prime minister said.
The president used one of the strongest Czech expletives in the live interview. Mr. Babiš rarely questions the head of state in public.
Zeman and Babiš set for centenary anniversary TV discussion
President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are to take part in a special Czech Television discussion on the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia on 28 October, the news website lidovky.cz reported. The two men will talk about key moments in Czechoslovak history, a spokesperson for Czech Television said.
The programme will be pre-recorded without an audience at Prague Castle and will be presented by Czech TV journalist Světlana Witowská.
Chinese Investment Forum opens at Prague Castle
The Chinese Investment Forum, expected to draw more than 500 guests from 14 countries, gets under way at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Following the opening ceremony will be a full day of panel discussions featuring politicians, economists and business executives.
President Miloš Zeman is expected to take part in the gala evening, alongside the chairman of Chinese conglomerate CITIC. The forum cooperates with the so-called 16 + 1 format comprised of Central and Eastern Europe countries and China.
Zeman’ chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, earlier said the forum would be attended by some 250 guests from China, up to 150 guests from CEE countries and roughly 100 guests from the Czech Republic.
After some high-profile failed or lacklustre Chinese investments in the Czech Republic, organisers said they aim to make the forum more business-oriented and result driven.
Fiftieth anniversary of ratification of presence of Soviet troops
Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of the approval by the Czechoslovak government of the presence of Soviet troops on the country’s territory. The move followed the invasion of the country in August 1968 by Warsaw Pact soldiers. Previously Czechoslovakia was the only country in the Eastern Bloc not to possess Soviet troop bases.
The text of the treaty document was drafted in early October 1968, when senior Czechoslovak Communist Party officials Alexander Dubček, Oldřich Černík and Gustav Husák held talks in Moscow on the conditions of the temporary deployment of allied troops. Russian soldiers finally left Czechoslovakia 23 years later.
Plekanec scores in 1,000th NHL appearance
Tomáš Plekanec became the 11th Czech ice hockey player to reach 1,000 games in the NHL when he appeared for Montreal Canadiens in their 7:3 win over Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The forward garnished the landmark appearance with his first goal of the season.
Plekanec, who is 35, joined Montreal Canadiens in the 2001 draft and made his NHL debut for the club in the 2005–2006 season.
It should be quite bright with the chance of rain in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 19 degrees Celsius expected. Daytime highs are expected to fall to below 10 degrees Celsius in a week’s time.