Daily news summary
President will meet not only with Queen Elizabeth II but also with Britain's foreign minister, Boris Johnson
During his visit to Great Britain on Friday, President Miloš Zeman will meet with not only the queen but also with Britain’s foreign minister, Boris Johnson, although the main focus will be his audience with Queen Elizabeth II. The Czech president’s meeting with Mr Johnson will focus on Brexit – Great Britain’s decision to leave the EU – and bilateral relations. The news was confirmed by Rudolf Jindrák of the president’s office. There was also reportedly an interest by the Czech side for a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, but that proved too difficult to arrange following the complex political situation after the recent snap election, the Czech News Agency wrote.
Mixed reactions to Sobotka’s resignation as Social Democrats leader
There have been mixed reactions to Bohuslav Sobotka’s decision to step down on Thursday as chairman of the Social Democrats. ANO boss Andrej Babiš, who was recently sacked by Mr. Sobotka as minister of finance, said he was abandoning a sinking ship. Mr. Babiš said he had been looking forward to taking on his rival “like men” in October’s elections. By contrast, Christian Democrats chairman Pavel Bělobrádek said Mr. Sobotka had taken a strong step and had his admiration. For his part, the leader of the Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, said the Social Democrats were trying to evade responsibility for their actions by coming up with “desperate tricks”.
Prague European Summit enters final day
The Prague European Summit, an international event held for the third time in the capital, entered its final day on Thursday with discussion by expert panels focussing on the future of the EU and the expected political and economic impact of Brexit. The Deputy Chairman of the European Commission Hans Timmermans and Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, were among the scheduled speakers. Over the course of three days, foreign guests and key local figures focused on issues ranging from EU common security and defense to trans-Atlantic relations.
Ambassador Povejšil says Brexit negotiations must not lead to feelings of injustice which would impact future relations
Ambassador Martin Povejšil, the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU, has said that negotiations between the European Union and Great Britain should be carried out in a manner that should not escalate tensions and which would leave neither side with lingering feelings of injustice that – in the long term – could damage mutual relations. Mr Povejšil added that the negotiations should also in no way negatively impact NATO, of which 22 European countries are members. The ambassador discussed the looming Brexit negotiations at the Prague European Summit which wraps up in the capital on Thursday.
Meteorologists warn of high UV radiation in coming days
Meteorologists have warned of high UV radiation from the sun over the coming days, in particular this Thursday and Sunday at around noon. According to experts, people should limit exposure out of doors, use sunscreen with a factor of at least 30, and wear sunglasses with UV filters. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute warned that the level of ozone over the Czech Republic in the coming days would range from normal to extraordinarily low. The UV index is measured at three sites in the Czech Republic: in Hradec Králové and the areas of Pelhřimov and Znojmo.
Twenty-two charged in prison drug smuggling case
Twenty-two people have been charged in connection with drug smuggling into a Příbram prison; 12 of those charged are prisoners. Among the suspects are friends and relatives of prisoners at the jail. Five of the accused are women; if found guilty, the suspects, between the ages of 21 and 63, face a sentence of up to 10 years.
Cloudy conditions are expected on Friday with a chance of rain. Daytime highs should reach around 23 degrees Celsius.