News Right-wing opposition agrees with civil service law draft
The right-wing opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats are ready to support the draft of a new civil service law, TOP 09 deputy Martin Plíšek told the CTK news agency on Monday. The new proposal reflects a compromise agreement reached with the coalition. It doesn’t include the establishment of a public service directorate and an independent public service top official who would govern public administration and be immune from political interference. Under the new proposal, the civil service would fall under the interior ministry, and be overseen by a deputy minister in charge of public administration. The coalition and opposition parties will meet on Wednesday for further discussion of the draft law.
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The Czech government agreed in principle Monday that wider consultations with local councils take place before choosing a site to store high level nuclear waste. But the government rejected a specific proposal put forward by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which also suggested that the upper house, the Senate, be involved. That idea in particular sparked opposition from other ministries and the government’s own legislative council which warned that dangerous precedents might be set. The industry ministry has now been tasked to create a working group to come up with new ideas by June 2018, after elections to the lower house of parliament scheduled to take place in October this year. The repository site should be selected by 2025 with seven sites now in the shortlist as possible locations.
The former governor of the Czech National Bank Miroslav Singer has landed a new jobs as the chief economist of Generali CEE Holding. He also stands in line to be chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Republic’s biggest general insurer, Česká Pojišt’ovna. Singer ended his term as governor of the Czech National Bank in June last year after previously serving on the bank board. He had been earlier linked with a possible job at the Council of Europe Development Bank.
Mid-sized Czech brewer, Bernard, has reported record production figures for 2016. The brewer produced just over 315,000 hectolitres of beer last year with around a fifth of it destined for export. The biggest export destinations are Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Russia. Exports were renewed to the United States in December.
Tuesday will be cloudy with some sunny intervals, especially in the north and east of the country. Top daytime temperatures will range between minus 1 and minus 4 degrees Celsius.
Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, has said he expects a satisfactory outcome in the case of two Czechs detained in Turkey on suspicion of aiding terrorists. On Monday the foreign ministry sent a formal letter to Ankara demanding details of Markéta Všelichová and Miroslav Farkas. The minister said their expulsion and return to the Czech Republic could be expected soon. The two were detained in November last year by Turkish police apparently over their alleged contacts with Kurdish groups.
Czech scientists have discovered that a tapeworm found in Alaskan salmon can infect humans. The tapeworm had previously only been found in fish on the Asian Pacific coast. The discovery was made by a team from the Biological Centre of the Academy of Sciences based in České Budějovice led by Roman Kuchta. Infection can take place from eating under cooked or uncooked fish, such as in Sushi.
A Nigerian arms dealer being investigated for suspected corruption over arms deliveries for the fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram has bought a 50 million crown luxury penthouse apartment in Prague, according to the news server Seznam. It said that 43-year old Hima Aboubakar bought the flat at Prague Libenský Ostrov last year. His company, SEI, is being investigated over an alleged US 930 million dollar scam surrounding arms deliveries to the Nigeria army which according to some reports never took place.
The Ministry of Justice has come under fire from the country’s main financial watchdog, the Supreme Audit Office. Looking over the accounts of the ministry for 2015, the office said they did not represent a clear or reliable picture of its housekeeping with around 2.5 billion crowns worth of faults. It added that the capital accounted for, inflows, outflows, and dealings with third parties was often flawed from an accounting viewpoint. It in particular highlighted the fact that the ministry had written off 130 million crowns from the value of its main Prague headquarters over six years under a bizarre auditing concept.
Czechs are marking the 48th anniversary of the self-immolation of student Jan Palach in protest against the nation’s growing apathy to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Palach set himself ablaze at the top end of Wenceslas Square, suffering burns to 95 percent of his body, on January 16, 1969. He died three days later. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was among the first to pay homage to his memory at the site on Monday telling journalists Palach’s courageous act was an important part of the country’s history and should never be forgotten. A number of events have been planned in the course of the day, including the start of a chain hunger strike by students, mirroring the course of events between Palach’s self-immolation and his tragic death in 1969.
Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikan has said he will file a complaint with the Supreme Court against the cancellation of a verdict in the corruption case of former Social Democrat governor of Central Bohemia David Rath. The Prague High Court cancelled the verdict on the grounds that it was based on the unlawful use of wiretappings. It returned the case to the Regional Court which will not be able to use the wiretapping recordings as evidence in new proceedings. The Regional Court sentenced Rath to 8.5 years in prison and the forfeiture of some 20 million crowns for corruption in July 2015.