• 01/31/2023

    The Czech Ministry of Finance is investigating a message from defeated presidential candidate Andrej Babiš, who told supporters they could win big if they bet on him at 12:1 ahead of last weekend’s elections.

    Officials are looking into whether the ANO leader illegally encouraged betting with the promise of profit, Czech Television reported on Tuesday.

    Mr. Babiš later said the appeal had been hyperbole but the Fortuna agency said some people had laid bets on the back of it.

    The police have also received a number of complaints over Mr. Babiš’s social media post.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/31/2023

    The Czech prime minister, Petr Fiala, has responded to Chinese criticism of a call between the Czech president-elect and the Taiwanese president, saying Czechia is a sovereign state and officials can phone and meet whomever they like.

    Czech future head of state Petr Pavel spoke with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen on Monday.

    Mr. Fiala said China should be respected as a major trading partner but that Czechia had good relations with Taiwan in several areas.

    He said there was no change in Czech relations with China, which were in line with those of the country’s allies.

    The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said Mr. Pavel had ignored its efforts to dissuade him from making such a move and had interfered in Chinese affairs.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/31/2023

    It should be mainly overcast in Czechia on Wednesday, with an average high temperature of 4 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is expected on the following days.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/31/2023

    The Czech economy is in a technical recession, after two consecutive quarters of declining economic output. According to preliminary data from the Czech Statistics Office, gross domestic product fell by 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2022.

    By contrast, the economy grew by 0.4 percent year on year in the same period.

    Officials also said that GDP expansion for the entire year was likely to be 2.5 percent. However, that is a comparison with 2021, a year greatly affected by Covid measures.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 01/31/2023

    Justice Minister Pavel Blažek has urged outgoing President Miloš Zeman not to destabilize the country by appointing a new Constitutional Court head several months in advance. Mr. Zeman, whose term in office ends on March 8, has said he is considering appointing a successor to Pavel Rychetský, head of the Constitutional Court, despite the fact that Rychetsky’s term in office will end in August and his successor should logically be appointed by the new president.

    Minister Blažek said the move would cause confusion and legal uncertainty, adding that there was no point in Zeman entering into a drawn-out  battle with lawyers, politicians and the media at the end of his term. The minister said he would meet with the president to try to dissuade him from this course of action.

  • 01/31/2023

    Czech president-elect Petr Pavel held a telephone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday. The two leaders stressed their countries' shared values of freedom, democracy and human rights and the next Czech head of state said he hoped to meet with President Tsai in the future. He likewise expressed interest in strenghtening the partnership.

    The move is reported to have angered China which is opposed to countries with which it has diplomatic ties engaging in any form of official exchange with the Taiwan authorities. Beijing said it was in touch with the Czech authorities over the matter and reminded the country that it had pledged to respect the "One-China" principle.

  • 01/30/2023

    President Miloš Zeman and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić on Monday opened the Czech House in Belgrade. The building, which was built a century ago by the Czech expat community and confiscated by Yugoslavia in the 1960s, has been repaired and will be donated to the Czech Republic. It will house the Czech Centre, Czech organisations and serve for exhibitions and cultural activities.

    On a state visit to Serbia, President Zeman met with the country’s top officials to discuss bilateral ties, security and business interests. He thanked Serbia for condemning Russia’s war in Ukraine, saying its leaders could assist in the process of brokering peace.

  • 01/30/2023

    The newly-elected president, Petr Pavel on Monday met with Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. They discussed the current security situation, foreign policy issues and future cooperation. Foreign Minister Lipavsky told the ctk news agency it had been a pleasant and constructive debate. He said he was looking forward to working with a head of state with whom he saw eye-to-eye on foreign policy issues.

  • 01/30/2023

    Historian, dissident and writer Jaroslav Šedivý who served as Czechia’s second foreign minister has died at the age of 93. Mr. Šedivý was one of the intellectuals who was relegated to manual labour by the communist regime after signing Charter 77 and was only able to return to his work after the Velvet Revolution in 1989. He served a foreign minister in the government of Vaclav Klaus.

  • 01/30/2023

    Tuesday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast and very windy, with snow showers around the country and day temperatures between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius.

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