Social Democrats insisting on Agriculture Ministry in coalition talks

As coalition talks continue, the Social Democrats say they will not give up the agriculture portfolio. The smallest party in the nascent three-party government, the Christian Democrats, have insisted that they get agriculture, and the issue has proven to be a sticking point in negotiations. On Wednesday, the Social Democrats said they were pushing for a cabinet in which they would have eight seats, ANO seven and the Christian Democrats three; the latter would include the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs and either Transport or Regional Development, along with a deputy prime minister’s post.

Author: Ian Willoughby

Latest News

  • Government to cover wages of companies hit by new Covid restrictions

    10/21/2020

    The Czech government says it will cover the complete wages and contributions of the staff of companies that have been forced to close because of new measures aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19. In addition firms who have been impacted by the restrictions, which come into effect on Thursday, may also apply for their rent to be covered under a government programme.

    The impacted sectors may also defer certain tax payments. At the same time the self-employed can apply for compensation amounting to CZK 500 per day. The proposal was approved by the Chamber of Deputies under a fast-track procedure.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Ex-referee Damková quits FA posts after arrest of partner

    10/21/2020

    Former referee Dagmar Damková has resigned from the Executive Committee of the Czech Football Association and as chair of the Steering Committee for Bohemia. The move follows the resignation of her partner Roman Berbr, who was recently arrested in a scandal surrounding alleged match fixing.

    Damková had a very successful career as a referee, officiating at an Olympics final and other major games.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Czech government to close most shops among strict new Covid-19 measures

    10/21/2020

    The Czech government has announced strict new measures in response to an enormous rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitaliations in the country. The new measures will take effect from Thursday and will be in place until at least Tuesday November 3.

    Non-essential contact with other people has been prohibited; people will only be allowed to go to work and to make necessary family visits or to make essential purchases, the minister of health, Roman Prymula, announced on Twitter.

    People are allowed to visit the countryside or parks in the company of no more than one other person. Face masks must be worn outside.

    All shops and small businesses will be closed with the exception of food stores, chemists and toiletries stores. Schools, restaurants and bars had already been ordered to close.

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the moves were intended to prevent a collapse in the Czech healthcare system. Minister Prymula denied that the current situation represented a lockdown.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Czech car production falls by 24 percent in first three quarters

    10/21/2020

    Czech car production declined by 24 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2020, the Automotive Industry Association said on Wednesday. Almost 810,000 vehicles were made between the start of January and the end of September.

    The country’s largest auto manufacturer, Škoda Auto, said its output had fallen by 20 percent in the first three quarters. Hyundai said its plant had produced 30.5 percent fewer vehicles in the same period.

    The industry was hit by the coronavirus crisis in the spring, when a number of car makers were forced to halt production.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • New website makes Czech theatres accessible online

    10/21/2020

    A new website has been launched in the Czech Republic that allows viewers to watch recording of theatre performances via their computers. The system, named Dramox, currently allows subscribers to watch around 40 plays from 30 theatres in different parts of the country.

    Over half of the subscription fee goes to the theatres themselves. Czech theatres are currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Weather forecast

    10/21/2020

    It should be overcast in the Czech Republic on Thursday, with an average maximum temperature of 17 degrees Celsius. The cloudy and unusually mild weather should then continue for several days.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Head of Czech coronavirus task force Hamáček tests positive for Covid-19

    10/21/2020

    The Czech minister of the interior and head of the Central Crisis Staff, Jan Hamáček, has tested positive for Covid-19. A spokesperson for his party the Social Democrats relayed the news to the Czech News Agency on Wednesday morning. Mr. Hamáček took a test for the coronavirus following a meeting with the minister of agriculture, Miroslav Toman, who himself tested positive on Sunday.

    The spokesperson said other members of the Social Democrats leadership who had come into contact with Mr. Toman on Thursday at the party’s headquarters had tested negative.

    Mr. Hamáček said on Twitter that he was self-isolating but continuing to work, including taking part in government negotiations.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • New Czech record 11,984 Covid cases registered Tuesday

    10/21/2020

    Some 11,984 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, which is a record one-day jump. The total number of active cases in the country now stands at 113,219.

    At present 4,065 people are hospitalised with the coronavirus, with 634 of them in a critical condition. To date 1,619 people have died with the virus, with over half of those deaths coming this month.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • Prymula says more measures needed ahead of special cabinet session Wednesday

    10/20/2020

    The Czech cabinet will hold an extraordinary meeting at 8 am on Wednesday to discuss the situation surrounding the coronavirus in the country. The minister of health, Roman Prymula, said on Tuesday that further measures aimed at curbing the rapid spread of Covid-19 would need to be introduced soon. He said current restrictions were not doing enough to reduce contact among the population.

    Mr. Prymula had previously announced that face masks would be required in built-up urban areas, if a distance of two metres cannot be maintained, from Wednesday.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • First statue in Czech Republic of Maria Theresa unveiled in Prague

    10/20/2020

    The first statue in the Czech Republic honouring the Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa was unveiled in the Prague 6 district on Tuesday. The local authority paid CZK 3.6 million for the monument to the Holy Roman Empress, who was sovereign of Bohemia when it was part of the Austrian empire.

    The unveiling was deliberately held on October 20, the day when Maria Theresa assumed the Austrian throne in 1740.

    Author: Ian Willoughby