Daily news summary

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Kmoníček: President Zeman could smooth early interaction with Trump administration

President Zeman’s open support for the incoming US president Donald Trump, could smooth early interaction with the Trump administration, President Zeman’s chief foreign policy advisor, and the man slated to be the next Czech ambassador to the US, Hynek Kmoníček, told Radio Prague. Mr. Kmoníček said he expected a strong focus on domestic policy from the new US administration and and predicted unexpected moves from the incoming US president who as a self-made man was used to making his own decisions and was not likely to pay great heed to advisers. Czech President Milos Zeman, who openly supported Donald Trump during his election campaign, has received an invitation to the White House in April.

US Ambassador Schapiro leaves office

The US Ambassador to Prague, Mr. Andrew Schapiro, is leaving office on Friday. Ambassador Schapiro, who is not a career diplomat, was appointed to the post by the outgoing US president Barack Obama. He has served in the post since September 2014. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek recently said he feared that it might take some time to find a replacement. There has been speculation that the incoming US president Donald Trump’s Czech-born ex-wife Ivana has expressed an interest in the position.

Foreign Ministry advises Czech nationals to leave Gambia

The Czech Foreign Ministry has advised Czech nationals in Gambia to leave the country as fast as possible due to the highly volatile situation in the country in the wake of presidential elections. Czechs planning to travel to the country have been advised to postpone their journey. A state of emergency is currently in force in the country. Czechs in trouble have been advised to contact the Czech honorary consulate in Banjul.

Employers stress country’s need for more foreign workers

Employers have criticized Interior Minister Milan Chovanec for advocating a tough line with foreign workers who violate the law. In an interview for the daily Pravo, the minister said a foreign worker who violated the law should be sacked on the spot and should be banned from working in the country thereafter. Marketa Schormova, a legal expert for the Czech Business Chamber says this practice would be in violation of the Labor Code, since employers can only fire an employee who has been found guilty of intentionally breaking the law. Minister Chovanec based his proposal on statistics that suggest a growing number of foreign workers, predominantly from Poland and Ukraine, had in recent months committed petty crime or broken the law in some way. The Czech Business Chamber has stressed the country badly needs foreign workers and their lack could be a brake for future economic growth.

Czech regulator pushes Vodafone, O2 to cut LTE prices

The Czech telecommunications regulator CTU has warned operators Vodafone and O2 to cut wholesale prices for mobile internet services charged to virtual operators or risk losing their license. The regulator said a condition of the auction at which they acquired the licenses was to set wholesale prices that would allow virtual operators to operate profitably. CTU has given Vodafone and O2 a month in which to comply before it starts proceedings to strip them of their licenses.

President Trump figurine unveiled at Prague’s Grévin Wax Museum

A wax figurine of America’s 45th president, Donald Trump, has been unveiled at Prague’s Grévin Wax Museum. The figure is reported to be the third biggest on show –following that of the Golem and French actor Gerard Depardieu. It was made, with the help of a double, by sculptor Eric Saint Chaffray at Grévin’s Paris studios.

Weather forecast

The weekend should bring extremely cold weather with clear to partly cloudy skies and day temperatures at around – 6 degrees Celsius. Night time lows could drop to – 18 degrees in places.