In his Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman highlighted the country’s economic successes, telling Czechs they had much to be proud of. As regards the country’s political future, Miloš Zeman ruled out early elections, telling politicians they would have to play the cards they had been dealt in the elections.
The European Commission has called on the Czech Republic to exclude
expenditures from the controversial Stork’s Nest project from an EU
programme for the Central Bohemia region. The Czech Ministry of Finance
says it will decide on the matter within two months. However, the
commission said on Friday that the Czech Republic would not be seeking the
sum in question from the EU. This would mean that the Czech state would end
up paying the CZK 50 million.
Eleven people were charged with the abuse of EU funds in connection with the Stork’s Nest farm and hotel complex. They include now-prime minister Andrej Babiš and his senior ANO colleague Jaroslav Faltýnek.
The pair have parliamentary immunity after being elected in October and the Czech lower house is to decide on whether to allow them to face trial in connection with the matter. They deny any wrongdoing.
Europe’s leading anti-immigration parties gathered in Prague at the weekend for a conference aimed at coordinating their policies and rallying anti-EU, anti-immigration forces on the continent. On their way into the heavily fortified hotel on the outskirts of Prague they were booed by hundreds of demonstrators chanting “shame” and “NO to fascism, populism and xenophobia”.
The newly-elected Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, went to the EU summit in Brussels with two priorities uppermost in mind: defending the country’s anti-migrant stance and gaining more allies in the block. However neither his arguments nor a financial pledge of 220 million euros in aid of the migrant crisis helped him to avert the threat of legal action from Brussels.
The newly-appointed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is representing
the Czech Republic at a two-day EU summit in Brussels, has reaffirmed the
country’s negative stance to mandatory migrant quotas, highlighting its
strong engagement in helping to resolve the situation in the countries of
migrant origin. The Czech prime minister met with the heads of government
of the Visegrad Four states and with EC President Jean Claude Junker to
discuss the ECs decision to sue the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary over
their unwillingness to accept migrants.
The Visegrad Four announced at the summit that they will contribute 35 million euros to strengthen Libya’s borders and alleviate the plight of migrants in the country.
Just days ahead of a scheduled EU summit on migration, Prague has announced the launch of a Visegrad group project to strengthen Libyan border protection and improve the plight of refugees in the country. The Czech Republic, which now faces a lawsuit over its failure to take in refugees, is pushing the view that the crisis needs to be resolved outside of Europe.
The European Commission has announced it is suing the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary in the bloc’s top court for their refusal to take in asylum seekers in line with the Commission’s mandatory re-distribution mechanism. Prague says it will not change its stand and warns that a court case will only further undermine public trust in EU institutions.