• 09/26/2023

    President Petr Pavel and his wife Eva arrived in South Moravia on Tuesday for their first official visit to the region. Governor Jan Grolich welcomed the president in front of the regional government office in Brno with a gift of a case of wine made by young winemakers from the region. The president's visit continued with an hour-long meeting with Governor Jan Grolich and the Mayor of Brno, Markéta Vaňková, followed by a press briefing.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 09/26/2023

    Wednesday should be overcast in the morning and sunny in the afternoon, with daytime temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius. No rain is expected.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 09/26/2023

    Czechia is prepared to help protect the EU's external borders, but rejects the mandatory redistribution of refugees between EU countries, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said after a half-hour meeting with the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during her visit to Prague on Tuesday. He dubbed mandatory redistribution "inhumane and dysfunctional", adding that reducing the number of economic refugees by protecting the borders is a better solution than trying to deal with the subsequent problems that arise from mass migration.

    The prime minister also spoke with the head of the EU Commission about financial support for countries that have accepted a large number of Ukrainian refugees, with Von der Leyen proposing to increase the amount of support by 15 billion euros. The president of the European Commission praised Czech aid to Ukraine and its support of Ukrainian refugees.

    The pair also discussed energy, the EU's recovery plan, and Czechs taking up top EU positions during their meeting.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 09/26/2023

    The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, addressed Czech entrepreneurs and business owners at a Green Deal summit in Prague on Tuesday, telling them that Czech industry had "enormous potential" to lead the way in sustainable innovation. She described Czechia as a country "of inventors and innovators" with a strong industrial base and ingenuity, and called on Czech businesses to use the opportunities that the Green Deal affords, as it ensures a predictable environment for companies to invest in innovation and lays the foundations for future prosperity. She also praised Czechia for its contributions during its presidency of the EU Council, saying it played a key role in the approval of Fit for 55, a set of climate standards which is the main pillar of the Green Deal.

    Meanwhile, in his opening speech at the summit, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that without innovation, Europe risks losing out to foreign competition and the name "Old Continent" could take on a new meaning in the global economy. He emphasised that while the goals of the Green Deal are being met in terms of changing responsible behaviour towards the environment, the ambitions in terms of innovation and economic transformation are not. Mr. Fiala called on Czech entrepreneurs to get involved in the strategic changes and repeated the government's recently announced plans to support the development of infrastructure, nuclear energy, lithium mining, and microchips.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 09/26/2023

    Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský met with his Romanian counterpart, Luminitsa Odobescu, in Bucharest on Tuesday to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two countries' foreign ministries and to discuss a number of topics including support for Ukraine and Moldova against Russia, economic cooperation, and the Czech minority living in Romania. The pair agreed that dialogue between Czechia and Romania needs to be strengthened, with the memorandum they signed intended to ensure that the countries establish more regular and intensive cooperation at the governmental and expert level.

    Lipavský stated at a press conference after the meeting that he believes it will be possible for Romania's ethnic Czech population, the majority of whom live in the southwest of the country, to have its own representation in the next Romanian parliament, and thanked the Romanian government for its long-term support of the minority group. For her part, Luminitsa Odobescu said that the Romanian Czechs represent a bridge between the two nations and contribute to the cultural diversity of Romanian society.

    The two ministers also discussed security, Romania's role on NATO's eastern flank, and its entry into the Schengen area and the OECD, both of which Czechia supports, as well as the deepening of economic cooperation between the two countries, with Lipavský seeing opportunities for Czech companies in the development and modernisation of Romanian infrastructure and Odobescu seeing potential for increased cooperation in the transport, energy, tourism and education sectors.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 09/26/2023

    Some 130 health care workers from the Prague hospital Na Homolce are suing the hospital for violating the Labour Code. They claim that the work burden is such that they do not have time for lunch breaks and say the hospital does not reimburse them for the overtime they put in. The suit was filed mostly by nurses, but also by several doctors. According to the Labour Code hospital employees are entitled to at least a 30-minute break for food and rest after six hours of work, but many complain that work pressure does not allow this. In a related development many doctors have threatened to stop working overtime after an amendment was passed doubling their overtime hours.

  • 09/26/2023

    European Commission Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová has confirmed that she will not be seeking a third term in Brussels. Speaking to an audience at a POLITICO event on Monday, Jourova said that she was not even sure if she would return to Czech politics, adding that after 10 years in high posts, it might be time for a “political detox”.

    Politico notes that Jourová was first nominated to the Commission in 2014 by the former Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš and since Babiš’ ANO party is now in the opposition, it is unlikely that Jourová would get the necessary support for another mandate.

  • 09/25/2023

    Tuesday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 22 and 27 degrees Celsius.

  • 09/25/2023

    A Russian agent operating in Czechia paid selected journalists several thousand euros to secure the spread of Russian propaganda in this country, Michal Koudelka, head of the counter-intelligence service BIS said at conference on disinformation in the Czech lower house of Parliament on Monday. Mr. Koudelka said that even before the war in Ukraine the agent in question paid for pro-Russian articles and financed trips abroad. The counter-intelligence service also registered efforts on the part of Russian agents to establish ties with the leaders of anti-government demonstrations in Czechia. At the same time, the head of the BIS said that the impact of this disinformation campaign on the population was less effective than expected.

  • 09/25/2023

    The Czech Film and Television Academy has expressed support for Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who has come under fire in her home country Poland over her prize-winning refugee drama Green Border. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro described the film as "neo-Nazi propaganda", further escalating attacks on the artist, which include threats of physical liquidation.

    The Czech Film and Television Academy issued a statement denouncing the attacks, saying they were not only a vile attack against her person, but against free artistic expression, which is one of the pillars of European culture and a means of social dialogue.

    Green Border won the special jury prize in Venice last month. It tells the story of a Syrian family trying to get to Europe via the Belarus-Poland border in 2021, and the brutal treatment they receive at the hands of Polish border guards.

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