Daily news summary
Mayors and Independents to propose treason charge against Zeman over Novichok claims
Senators from the opposition Mayors and Independents Party want to propose a treason charge against President Miloš Zeman over his claim that the nerve-gas Novichok had been produced and tested in the Czech Republic. The party’s senators’ club announced the news at a press conference on Thursday, adding that by disclosing classified information from a military intelligence report, the president has threatened the security of Czech citizens.
Mayors and Independents have 12 deputies in the Senate, while the constitutional complaint must be presented by at least one-third of the 81 senators. To accept the motion, a three-fifths majority is needed in the Senate. It must be also be confirmed by three-fifths of all members of the Chamber of Deputies or at least 120 of them.
Intelligence service chief suspended from duty
Chief of the civilian intelligence service Jiří Šašek has been suspended from duty, the Minister of Interior, Lubomír Metnar, announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The dismissal of Mr Šašek, who has headed the Office for Foreign Relations and Information since July 2014, is connected with the investigation into the service’s financial management. The office will be temporarily headed by Mr Šašek’s deputy Radek Musílek.
PM Babiš: West Balkans should know their EU accession details
The European Union should provide the six West Balkan states with a calendar concerning their accession to the EU, outgoing Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš said at an EU summit in Sophia, Bulgaria, on Thursday.
Mr Babiš said the Czech Republic, along with other V4 countries, including Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, were critical towards the EU for not providing the West Balkan states with any specific dates. He also said the countries’ membership of the EU was in the best interest of the whole Europe.
Germany to design tunnel on Prague-Dresden high-speed railway
The tunnel on the proposed high-speed railway between Prague and Dresden is set to be designed by the German passenger rail company Deutsche Bahn, according to an agreement on Thursday by Czech transport minister Dan Ťok and his Saxon counterpart Martin Dulig.
The high-speed railway between Prague and Dresden could shorten the travel time to one hour as well as reduce heavy traffic through the Elbe valley. The construction of the new high-speed line is expected to start around 2030 and its costs are estimated as five billion euros.
Prague City Hall to announce public tender for Wenceslas Square renovation
Prague City Hall will announce a public tender for the renovation of the bottom part of Wenceslas Square, city councillors decided on Thursday. The cost of the project is estimated at 250 million crowns.
The plan by the Cigler-Marani studio, which was approved by city hall in autumn last year, envisages a traffic-free zone with more greenery more space for pedestrians, and a wider promenade, with car traffic severely restricted.
Karolína Plíšková smashes umpire’s chair after second round upset
Czech former world number one woman tennis player Karolína Plíšková is likely to face a fine after a temper tantrum when she exited the second round of the Italian Open in Rome.
At the end of her 6:3, 3:6, 5:7 loss to Greece’s Maria Sakkari, Plíšková went to the net and instead of shaking hands smashed her racket at the umpire’s chair three times, leaving a visible hole.
The sixth seed had a number of clashes with the umpire during the match but she appeared particular incensed when a smash was called out during a crucial point of the final set.
Friday is expected to be mostly cloudy with occasional rain showers and storms and daytime highs ranging between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.