Daily news summary

Oyub Titiev wins 2018 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize

Oyub Titiev a staunch defender of human rights in Chechnya, who has been in detention in Russia since January of this year, is the winner of the 2018 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly announced on Monday. Other nominees shortlisted were young Cuban democracy and human rights activist Rosa María Payá and prominent democracy and human rights defender in Bahrain Nabeel Rajab who is currently also imprisoned.

The Václav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded each year by the PACE in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation to reward outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.

Coalition talks on set-up of local councils underway

Coalition talks on the set-up of local councils are taking place around the country in the wake of the weekend communal elections.

ANO, which won in all the big cities with the exception of Prague and Liberec, is consolidating its position in the other municipalities.

In Prague, the Pirates Party, which came a close second, after the Civic Democrats, is negotiating a possible coalition deal with TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents and the new grouping Praha sobě.

It has offered the said parties four seats each on the council, while it would take two and the post of Prague mayor.

Forum 2000 focuses on growing populism and nationalism

The Forum 2000 conference held under the theme “Democracy: In need of a critical update?” got underway in Prague on Sunday. The annual three-day conference, now in its 22nd year, is hosting a wide range of politicians, philosophers, authors, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and thinkers.

Among other topics, discussions will examine current social and economic challenges to democracy, growing populism and nationalism. Forum 2000 is looking to engage the younger generation to share their views on these issues and discuss ways to renew trust in democratic governance.

Petříček: politicians must do more to build trust in democratic governance

Politicians must work together to build trust in democratic governance and fight growing support for protest and anti-establishment parties and groupings not just in Europe but the world over, Deputy Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said at the international conference Forum 2,000 currently underway in Prague.

Petříček said liberal democracy was still the best system of governance created by mankind, but it would have to be more efficient and faster in dealing with problems in order to regain trust.

He added that Czech politicians who had experienced the communist regime had a duty to keep reminding society that freedom and democracy were not to be taken for granted and must be defended and protected at all times.

New foreign minister to be appointed next week

President Miloš Zeman is to appoint Tomáš Petříček foreign minister on October 16th, the president’s spokesman announced on Monday.

Although the appointment had been expected already this week, it was reportedly postponed due to the fact that the president will be travelling to Slovakia to attend a Visegrad Group summit in Bratislava.

The Czech foreign ministry has been run on a temporary basis by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, after President Zeman refused to appoint the Social Democrat’s previous nominee Miroslav Poche to the post.

Prague unemployment rate fell to 2.1 percent in September

Unemployment in Prague fell to 2.1 percent in September, down 0.1 percentage points compared to August.

The Czech capital has the fourth-lowest unemployment rate among the regions, after those of Pardubice (at 1.9 percent) and Pilsen and South Bohemia (both at 2 percent).

The Moravian-Silesian Region has the highest rate of unemployment (at 4.6 percent) followed by the Ústí nad Labem region (at 4.5 percent).

That national unemployment rate is currently under 3 percent, the lowest level in 22 years.

Weather forecast

Tuesday should be clear and sunny around the country with day temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.