• 10/20/2021

    Some 3,246 new Covid cases were recorded in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The figure was twice as high as for the same day last week. The number hospitalised with the coronavirus has jumped to 620, a two-fifths rise on a week ago.

    The death rate is also increasing fast. In the last week there have been 51 Covid deaths, compared to 44 for the whole of September.

    The weekly infection incidence rate has also climbed and now stands at 117 per 100,000.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/20/2021

    The supervising state prosecutor, Jaroslav Šaroch, will ask MPs to lift Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s parliamentary immunity once the new Chamber of Deputies is convened next month. Police have recommended that Mr. Babiš be charged in connection with the abuse of EU subsidies.

    Mr. Šaroch was originally due to decide on whether to follow that recommendation by today. However when the ANO leader won a seat in the lower house in elections this month he regained immunity. His prosecution is currently on hold.

    The new lower house will meet for the first time on November 8.

    Mr. Babiš denies any wrongdoing with regard to Stork’s Nest, a conference centre near Prague that received CZK 50 million in EU grants.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    The two houses of the Czech Parliament will seek another report from the Central Military Hospital in Prague on the health state of President Miloš Zeman before any vote to activate article 66 of the constitution, which would remove his powers on the grounds of incapacity. Likely next Czech prime minister Petr Fiala of the Civic Democrats said on Tuesday that this would be the preferred course of action.

    The Senate is likely to vote on removing the president on November 5 and the Chamber of Deputies should do so at some date after it is convened on November 8.

    A previous report from the hospital, made public on Monday, stated that the head of state was at present incapable of carrying out his duties.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    The Czech foreign minister, Jakub Kulhánek, has given Martin Nejedlý, a close advisor to President Miloš Zeman, a week to return his diplomatic passport. If he fails to do so, it will become invalid.

    Mr. Kulhánek said that it was unlikely that Mr. Nejedlý was using the passport for its original purpose, which was accompanying the head of state on international trips.

    Mr. Nejedlý does not have an official position at Prague Castle.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    The Covid epidemic in the Czech Republic is developing according to what the Institute for Health Information and Statistics describes as a “risk scenario”. While the number of patients with the virus in hospitals now stands at 544 (95 in critical condition), the agency expects that figure to rise to 1,200 (250 in ICU) by the start of next month.

    The number of freshly confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday was over 2,521, up from 1,343 the same day a week earlier.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    The Czech Senate’s Constitutional Committee has unanimously agreed that his powers as head of state be removed from President Miloš Zeman.

    Tuesday’s news comes a day after the speaker of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, made public a prognosis from the hospital where Mr. Zeman is being treated that said he was unable at present to perform his duties for health reasons.

    Under article 66 of the Czech Constitution a president’s powers can be removed if he “is unable to execute his official duties for serious reasons”.

    The Senate is expected to vote on article 66 on November 5. MPs should vote on it after November 8, when a new Chamber of Deputies is convened.

    The Senate speaker is due to hold talks with leaders of party groups in the upper chamber and the chairs of political parties later on Tuesday.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    It should be largely overcast in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with an average high temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs will fall in the following days.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called on the head of President Miloš Zeman’s office to resign, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. Mr. Babiš says that if Vratislav Mynář does not quit himself he will remove him following the activation of article 66 of the Czech constitution, under which a president’s powers can be removed due to incapacity, when he would make personnel changes himself.

    Mr. Babiš said Mr. Mynář’s activities were the main problem in current events surrounding the health of the president and that what he had done was “absolutely unacceptable”.

    Miloš Zeman has been in an ICU for over a week with an unrevealed chronic condition. His doctors say that he is not capable of performing his duties as head of state at present and that there is little chance of him being able to do so soon.

    The police are investigating whether a possible “crime against the republic” was committed in connection with his team’s handling of the president since he was hospitalised.

    Mr. Zeman’s doctors say that Mr. Mynář was informed of the president’s incapacity to perform his duties last Wednesday.

    However, a day later Mr. Mynář mediated a meeting between the head of state and the speaker of the lower house, Radek Vondráček, who later made public a document convening the new Chamber of Deputies in early November and purportedly signed by Mr. Zeman.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    The Czech police are investigating whether a possible “crime against the republic” was committed in connection with President Miloš Zeman, who has been in an ICU in hospital for over a week.

    The news follows revelations Monday, when the speaker of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, quoted doctors at the Central Military Hospital as saying the head of state was unable to carry out his duties due to his state of health.

    Mr. Vystrčil said the head of Mr. Zeman’s office, Vratislav Mynář, had been informed of the president’s incapacity last Wednesday.

    However, a day later Mr. Mynář mediated a meeting between the head of state and the speaker of the lower house, Radek Vondráček, who later made public a document convening the new Chamber of Deputies in early November and purportedly signed by Mr. Zeman.

    The crimes that qualify as being against the republic in Czech law are treason, sabotage and subversion.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 10/19/2021

    The Czech Republic registered 2,521 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, which is over a thousand more than on the same day last week and the highest daily incidence since May 4. The country now has over 100 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Over 500 people are hospitalized with Covid, of whom 95 are in a serious condition. The health authorities have urged people who are as yet unvaccinated to consider getting the jab and have shorted the term for Covid booster shots from eight to six months after primary inoculation on the recommendation of the European drug regulator EMA.

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