The Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Štefan Fuele, has said in an interview for Die Welt that Ukraine, Georgia and Moldavia should become full-fledged members of the European Union – stressing that if change in eastern Europe was the goal, EU enlargement was the strongest instrument. At the same time, the Czech commissioner said, the union needed political and institutional changes to help with enlargement and deeper integration. In addition to further expansion, the commissioner - who ends his term later this year - expressed support for a several tier or multi-speed Europe.
The decision to cancel a tender process for the extension of the Temelín nuclear power station in South Bohemia does not mean that the Czech Republic has given up on nuclear power, says the minister of industry and trade, Jan Mládek. Mr. Mládek told Friday’s edition of Mladá fronta Dnes that it remained the best option for the country as regards power generation. He and the minister of finance will produce a draft plan by the end of the year under which nuclear would replace coal-fired power plants by around 2030, he told the newspaper. New blocks might not be at Temelín but at the Czech Republic’s second nuclear station at Dukovany, Mr. Mládek said.
The Czech Society of Cardiology (CKS) was awarded the Dr Lee Long-wook Memorial Prize by the World Health Organisation this month for its contribution to treating acute heart failure. Back in January, Czech Health Minister Martin Holcát addressed WHO in a letter stressing that research by Czech cardiologists had allowed thousands of acute heart attack sufferers worldwide to benefit from advanced treatment methods. Members of the Society of Cardiology, including its chairman, Miloš Táborský, met in the Czech capital on Friday. The WHO presented the annual prize a week ago to CKS secretary Jaromír Hradec. The CKS, established in 1929, is the second oldest cardiology society in Europe and the third oldest in the world.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called a meeting for next week with Justice Minister Helena Válková and Deputy Justice Minister Hana Marvanová over apparently growing tensions at the Justice Ministry. The prime minister made clear he wanted to hear explanations from both women, as well as from the head of coalition partner ANO, Andrej Babiš. The minister and her deputy are reportedly at odds on a number of issues including the naming of judges. Some close to the prime minister have suggested there could be changes at the ministry in coming days; for some time there have been rumors the ministry was not being well run.
The Czech Republic and fellow Visegrad Four countries Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary, are considering launching a ‘Voice of Europe’ style television broadcast aimed at Russian speakers in Ukraine, website Lidové noviny writes. According to the daily, the broadcast would address those whose primary source of news in the Russian language was controlled by the Kremlin. In the ongoing crisis, Russia has been fighting a sophisticated information war, according to sources. Officials at the Czech Foreign Ministry have stressed the need for stable and independent media in Ukraine as well as other ex-Soviet states.
A new survey released by the CVVM agency suggests that just under 60 percent of Czech trust Andrej Babiš most among the party leaders or top party members in the Chamber of Deputies. The prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, ranked second at 47 percent, and controversial politician Tomio Okamura, the head of the anti-immigration Dawn Party, ranked third with 43 percent. Zuzuana Roithová, of the Christian Democrats, was fourth with 41 percent; others, such as former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg of the opposition TOP 09 ranked 39 percent or less. Among Czech parties, Andrej Babiš ANO movement recently won the elections to the European Parliament, narrowly edging TOP 09 and coalition partners the Social Democrats.
The trial of Czech fugitive business Radovan Krejcíř and five others in South Africa facing charges of kidnapping, assault and attempted murder, has been adjourned until June 9. The lawyer defending him has asked to be able to call additional witnesses, largely from among police ranks. The Czech News Agency reported some were individuals Mr Krejcíř had allegedly targeted. Krejcíř has been described in the South African media as a major underworld figure. The suspect, who has asked for asylum in the country, is also wanted in the Czech Republic.
In the men’s draw, Radek Štěpánek faced Ernest Gulbis of Latvia on Friday but couldn’t match his opponent’s game. Gulbis notched an impressive 19 aces and won the match in straight sets: 3:6, 2:6 and 5:7.
The Czech men’s No.1, Tomáš Berdych, leads Roberto Bautista of Spain in their third round match.
Czech players Petra Kvitová and Lucie Šafářová have reached the third round at tennis’s French Open. Kvitová, who is seeded sixth, overcame Marina Erackovic of New Zealand 6-4 6-4 on Thursday evening, while Šafářová beat Australia’s Casey Dellacqua 6-1 5-7 6-3 to advance to the third round at Roland Garros for the second time in her career.
Hopes of reaching this year’s Stanley Cup final were dashed for forward Tomáš Plekanec and his fellow Montreal Canadiens on Thursday as the Habs faced the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their series. Chasing Rangers’ goalie Lundquist in their prior match, the Canadiens were unable to score this time around. The Rangers won 1:0 at home and will face either Chicago or L.A. in the final. Should defending champions Chicago defeat the Los Angeles Kings, one Czech will remain in contention for a Stanley Cup ring: defenseman Michal Rozsíval, who won with the Blackhawks last year.
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