The mandate and immunity committee of the lower house has recommended
stripping ANO leader Andrej Babiš and the party’s deputy chair Jaroslav
Faltýnek of their immunity, thus opening the way for criminal charges to
be brought against them.
The ANO deputies are suspected of having illegally acquired a 50 million crown EU grant for the Stork’s Nest farm and hotel which at the time was the property of Andrej Babiš’ Agrofert conglomerate.
Police say they provided false data to get the grant which was intended for small and medium sized companies.
The lower house of Parliament is to vote on whether to strip the deputies of their immunity next week.
Mr. Babiš denies any wrongdoing claiming it is a smear campaign against him ahead of October’s general elections.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is to pay a one-day visit to the
Czech Republic on September 12th, President Milos Zeman said at a meeting
with Czech ambassadors on Wednesday.
The Czech president said he had invited his German counterpart to visit the Czech Republic shortly after his election in February of this year, also in view of the fact that in 2017 the two neighbour states are marking an important anniversary : 20 years since the signing of the Czech-German Declaration on Reconciliation.
The Czech ambassador to Egypt Veronika Kuchynová -Šmigolová has said
Egypt is delaying the results of an investigation into a knife attack in
which one Czech and two German tourists were killed at a beach in Hurghada
in July of this year for fear of putting off tourists.
The ambassador said that while the Egyptian side was extremely helpful and cooperative the likely conclusion that it had been a terrorist attack was not in their best interests. An official conclusion into the affair may take time, the ambassador said.
Negotiations are also underway regarding compensation for the families of the victims.
The European Commission is to come to a decision in the autumn as to
whether to take the infringement proceedings launched against the Czech
Republic, Slovakia and Hungary over discrimination of Romany children in
schools further, Czech Euro Commissioner Vera Jourova told the ctk news
In her annual human right report released this week Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová said that although Romany children were no longer segregated in special schools for children with learning disabilities, the practice of segregation continued in regular schools by putting Roma children in separate classrooms.
The famous organist at the church of Saint-Eustache in Paris
Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard will be the main star of the 49th
International Organ Festival in Olomouc, its organizers told the ctk news
Marle-Ouvrard is one of the leading French organists of the young generation and a fabulous improviser. He will perform one of the five concerts at St. Moritz Church in Olomouc, together with organist Tuomas Pyrhon and Belgian organist Edward de Geest and others.
The festival takes place from September 4th to September 18th.
The D8 motorway connecting Prague and Dresden should be fully operational,
without restrictions, by the end of September, Transport Minister Dan Tok
told the ctk news agency on Wednesday.
The construction of the motorway leading through a protected nature reserve in the Czech Middle Mountains, was dogged by problems, among them a landslide close to a stone quarry in 2013 which buried part of the road.
Although the final stretch of the motorway was completed at the end of last year a 16-kilomenter stretch was restricted to one lane due to unstable land.
The Road and Rail Directorate will start dismantling billboards located in
the close vicinity of highways and 1st class roads in compliance with the
law, Transport Minister Dan Tok said on Wednesday.
The law, which will come into effect on September 1st, bans advertisement billboards within 250 metres from the roads in view of boosting safety.
The legislation has met with strong opposition from outdoor advertising operators some of whom have started replacing advertisements with gigantic Czech flags and other non-commercial posters and leaving the billboards in place.
The first animated film featuring the Czech puppet characters Spejbl and
Hurvínek has been received its debut public screening. The film, entitled
Hurvínek and the Magic Museum, was made in a co-production with partners
from Belgium and Russia.
The film, which also comes in a 3D version, is due to enter general cinema release in the Czech Republic on Thursday. The Czech News Agency reported that it had a budget of CZK 170 million.
A three-month transition period following the introduction of a smoking ban
in Czech restaurants and pubs has come to an end. From Wednesday operators
may be fined up to CZK 50,000 if inspectors find lit cigarettes on their
premises. The ban came into effect on May 31.
The Czech Ministry of Health is preparing to launch an information campaign in the coming months to clarify the legislation. A particular issue is the interpretation of the ban with regard to hostelries’ outdoor covered areas and beer gardens.
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