Daily news summary


Saturday marks quarter century since signature of dissolution of Czechoslovakia

Saturday is the 25th anniversary of the signing of an agreement on the breakup of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The leader of the Czech government, Václav Klaus, and his Slovak counterpart, Vladimír Mečiar, put their signatures to the document at the Tugendhat Villa in Brno on 26 August 1992, six weeks after reaching agreement on the move at the same venue.

The dissolution of the Czechoslovak state took effect on January 1 1993, when the Czech and Slovak republics simultaneously came into existence.

Sobotka: No European countries have better relations than Czechs and Slovaks

The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, says there are no two states in Europe today that are closer than the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Mr. Sobotka made the comment on a Czech Television programme marking 25 years since the signing of an agreement to dissolve Czechoslovakia.

For his part the Slovak premier, Robert Fico, described relations between the former federal states as excellent. Mr. Fico said the important thing was not what happened a quarter of a century ago but how European Union integration would proceed and what role the neighbouring states would play in it.

Zeman says he proposed looser union as alternative to split of Czechoslovakia

President Miloš Zeman says the Czech Republic and Slovakia have extraordinarily great and fraternal relations a quarter century after the breakup of their joint state. Communicating through a spokesperson, Mr. Zeman said the fact both states had joined the European Union had contributed to their good relations today.

The Czech president said the split had in fact begun in 1990 with petty disputes over the name of the Czechoslovak state. He also said that in 1992 he had proposed an alternative to dissolution in the form of a loose “Czechoslovak union” under which both countries would have separate budgets.

Committee members begin reading police file on ANO MPs

MP Stanislav Huml on Friday became the first member of the lower house’s Mandates and Immunity Committee to examine the police’s file against ANO deputies Andrej Babiš and Jaroslav Faltýnek.

Mr. Huml told the daily Právo that he had been allowed to take notes while going through the 3,500-page document at a Prague police facility.

The other members of the committee have until Tuesday to familiarise themselves with the file.

The Chamber of Deputies is due to vote on whether to lift the parliamentary immunity of Mr. Babiš and Mr. Faltýnek on September 6.

The ANO deputies are accused of illegally acquiring around CZK 50 million in EU grants in connection with the Stork’s Nest farm and hotel.

At the time it was the property of Mr. Babiš’s firm Agrofert. However, the businessman turned politician denies any wrongdoing.

Parties preparing to intensify campaigning for October’s elections

The main political parties in the Czech Republic are planning to step up their campaigning in the coming weeks for October’s general elections, the Czech News Agency reported.

The Social Democrats are set to launch the main phase of their campaign in all 14 Czech regions on Tuesday.

The Civic Democrats will make major presentations of their programmes two days later, as will ANO and the Mayors and Independents group.

The Communists will take their campaign to the next level on September 16, while both TOP 09 and the Christian Democrats are also planning large events for the post-holidays period.

Four Czech officers to begin training Iraqi military police in September

The Czech military police will deploy four specialists to Iraq to train their local counterparts in Iraq next month, military police commander Pavel Kříž told the Czech News Agency on Saturday. The four will join a mission in which other Czech officers have been serving in the country since last year.

Next year Czech military police also will be deployed to Lithuania, where they will take part in a mission aimed at boosting NATO’s eastern wing, Mr. Kříž said.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be quite sunny with the chance of rain. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 28 degrees Celsius. Monday is due to see similar weather but with daytime highs of around 23 degrees Celsius.