News ANO boss Babiš wants to change coalition agreement and bring back hospital fees
The minister of finance, Andrej Babiš of ANO, says he wants to hold talks with coalition partners the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats on reintroducing a fee for overnight hospital stays. The three parties agreed to abolish the fees in a coalition deal signed in January. However, Mr. Babiš said on Czech Television on Monday night that doing away with the CZK 100 a night fee was a mistake. He also wants to discuss bringing back a second pillar of the pension system, another legacy of the previous centre-right cabinet abolished by the current government. The Social and Christian Democrats have reacted coolly to the ANO chief’s call.
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The weather on Thursday will be cloudy with some sunny intervals and top daytime temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius. Some parts of the country could see fog and light showers.
Eleven new destinations will feature in the winter timetable out of Prague’s Václav Havel airport taking effect from October 30. Two new long distance flights to China feature for the first time in the new timetable. As well as that, new services will launch to Tunisia and Radom in central Poland. In total, 105 destinations to 39 countries will be offered out of Prague.
Czech spending on research and development continues to climb and is already at one of the highest levels per capita among new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe. Last year R&D spending rose by 3.6 billion crowns (around 145 million euros) to 88.7 billion crowns, according to latest figures from the Czech Statistical Office. That represented a 4.2 percent increase on the previous year. Czech R&D spending has risen by two-thirds over the last five years. The proportion of spending per capita is second in Central Europe, bettered only by Slovenia.
The Czech Republic has climbed the World Bank’s annual rating of countries for their business environment. In the Doing Business 2017 survey, the Czech Republic is now placed 27th, up nine places on its position a year earlier. The latest position is also the best ever for the country and an advance of 47 places compared with the placing in 2010. One black point in the survey is the red tape needed to get building permits where the country’s performance actually worsened from year to year.
The Czech police inspectorate has called for criminal charges to be pressed against two police officers over an incident this summer when a patient released from a Prague psychiatric hospital went on to stab to death a customer in a superstore. The police officers were called to an incident two weeks earlier when the patient attacked another person in a Prague café. The 33-yearold woman was taken back to hospital but police failed to give staff the information about the attack. Soon afterwards the woman was released from the hospital again and on the same day carried out the knife attack in central Prague.
China has said that it has taken into account a joint statement by Czech political leaders and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distancing them from the meeting by some Czech politicians with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama last week. A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said the statement respected China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the fact that Tibet is part of China. He added though that China would see whether the Czech Republic honoured its words in the future. The Czech joint statement was issued by the president, prime minister, and leaders of both houses of parliament following a private meeting with the Dalai Lama by culture minister Daniel Herman and members of both houses of parliament.
Organisations representing theatres and actors have issued a joint statement entitled We Cannot Keep Silent sharply criticising the Czech Republic’s political elite, in particular President Miloš Zeman. The Association of Professional Theatres and the Actors’ Association condemned a recent declaration from Mr. Zeman and three other senior politicians on the country’s official policy toward China. By giving in to pressure from a foreign power the politicians offended all free-thinking citizens, they said. They also slammed what they called the “vengeful shamefulness” of the president in not giving a reportedly promised state honour to Holocaust survivor George Brady.
Valuable papers and documents pertaining to the statesmanship and political and diplomatic work of the Bohemian king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV are being installed at the National Archive in Prague on Wednesday. The items will be on show from Friday to Monday as part of the exhibition Archive of the Czech Crown – The Documentary Treasure of Charles IV. Most of the documents have never been publicly displayed before and virtually all of them passed through the ruler’s own hands, according to the archivists.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, is to present George Brady with the Karel Kramář Memorial Medal. In a statement, the PM said that the mayor of Mr. Brady’s hometown of Nové Město na Moravě had requested that he honour the 88-year-old in that way. The news follows a backlash after reports that the president’s office had struck Mr. Brady off a list of people to get high state honours later this week. Mr. Sobotka said the Canadian citizen deserved the medal for the courage he had shown during the Holocaust and his educational activities.
It should be cloudy with some fair spells on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 11 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should remain roughly the same for the rest of the week, though rain is also due.