Daily news summary
Security report on IS radicals attempting to transit Czech Republic
Eleven people, two of them Czech nationals, left the country in the course of last year to join Islamic State militants in Syria, according to an internal security report released by the Interior Ministry.
In the wake of the defeat of IS, the Czech authorities also noted an unspecified number of IS supporters who attempted to return to different parts of Europe via the Czech Republic. This is considered a grave security risk for the continent and European intelligence services are cooperating closely to minimize the risk.
PM Babiš: two-speed EU must not divide Europe
Attending the Globsec Security Forum in Bratislava on Friday, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš criticized the concept of a two-speed European Union.
The Czech prime minister said that the fact that different EU member states needed to go at their own pace in reaching the common goal should not be a divisive factor and should not be allowed to impede the functioning of the common market.
Babiš argued that an elite club would only undermine EU unity and that debates relating to the future of the European Union should be open to all members, without regard to their economic pace and degree of integration.
Social Democrats debate candidates for ministerial posts
The Social Democratic Party leadership meets on Friday to agree on its ministerial line-up in the emerging coalition government with ANO. Under the agreement reached, the Social Democrats should be in charge of the ministry of the interior, foreign affairs, labour, agriculture and the culture ministry.
Although the Social Democrats and ANO are finalizing the details of the new coalition government, the agreement could still be scuppered by a referendum in the Social Democratic Party which is to vote on whether to enter into a coalition with ANO. The result of the vote should be made public in mid-June.
CEFC China ready to settle debt at European firm
The Chinese consortium CEFC has protested against the financial group J&T’s decision to take control of CEFC Europe after the latter failed to pay back a debt on time.
J&T said on Thursday it had taken over shareholder rights and installed crisis management at CEFC Europe, the Czech-based part of the troubled Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy.
CEFC’s Czech representative Jaroslav Tvrdik said on Friday that CEFC China Energy would meet all the company’s commitments and had pledged to send 475 million euro to its Prague account by 2pm on Friday.
Zeppelin NT lands in Prague
The Zeppelin NT, the biggest helium-filled airship in the world, manufactured since the 1990s in Friedrichshafen, Germany landed on Prague’s Letnany Airfield around 3pm on Friday.
It should remain in the Czech Republic for about a week and fans will be able to admire it on several PR flights around the country.
People interested in buying a flight on it will have to go to Friedrichshafen where the company offers a selection of 13 tourist flights to different destinations.
The airship can accommodate up to 12 passengers.
Czechs lose 2-3 in Ice Hockey World Championship quarter finals
In ice hockey, the Czechs lost their quarter final world championships duel with the United States 2:3 on Thursday night. The result means that the Czechs will leave the championships for the sixth time in a row without a medal. Although the Czechs put up a fight and evened the score in the second period, the US team's Captain Patrick Kane found the net for a second time seven minutes into the third.
Saturday should be partly cloudy, with rain in places, and day temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.