Media mogul seen leading in Czech election despite scandals
PRAGUE (AP) — Elections in the Czech Republic this weekend are expected to leave the European Union with yet another euroskeptic government in Central Europe.
Although the country boasts one of the European Union's fastest-growing economies and lowest jobless rates, voters are fed up with corruption and with the unpopular center-left Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
Czech leaders clash over sanctions against Russia
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's prime minister has condemned the president's rejection of European Union sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
President Milos Zeman spoke Tuesday in Strasbourg, repeating his stance against the sanctions by saying they don't work. Zeman suggested they should be replaced with a dialogue that might result in some compensation for Ukraine from Russia. He also called Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula irreversible.
Czech Republic open new office to deal with cyberattacks
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic has opened a new office focused on preventing cyberattacks.
The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Office is based in country's second-largest city, Brno (BIR-no.) It employs 118 people for now, but officials say the staff could grow to 400.
The office's official opening on Tuesday comes as public institutions and businesses have reported a growing number of attacks.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his country is taking legal action against a new European Union directive on holding weapons.
Sobotka says his government agreed on the move on Wednesday because it considered the directive, approved as a reaction to a recent wave of terrorism, too restrictive.
The government is set to file the complaint at the European Court of Justice by Aug 17.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's possible next prime minister says he is opposed to setting a date for adopting the euro, the common European currency.
Andrej Babis, whose centrist ANO movement is favored to win October's parliamentary election, says his party considers "the eurozone a risk zone" due to Greek debts and the situation of Italian banks.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's president has fired Finance Minister Andrej Babis and appointed his replacement, a move that ends the country's political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka requested that President Milos Zeman fire Babis, one of the richest men in the country, over unexplained business dealings.
Babis denied wrongdoing and initially said he wouldn't resign. Zeman initially refused to fire him, saying he considered Babis a successful minister.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman has used his power to pardon a man convicted of a double contract murder.
Jiri Kajinek was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1998 for the murders he committed in 1993. Kajinek pleaded not guilty.
Tuesday's release of the 56-year-old was criticized by some politicians and legal experts but a majority of the public seemed to agree, according to a recent poll.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech President Milos Zeman says he is ready to accept a proposal for a new finance minister, a step that will end the country's political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has asked Zeman to appoint Ivan Pilny, the former head of Microsoft's operations in the Czech Republic.
That followed Sobotka's request for Zeman to fire the current finance minister, Andrej Babis, one of the richest men in the country, over unexplained business dealings.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his country will need to set a date for adopting the euro, the common European currency, following the presidential election in France and the forthcoming ballot in Germany.
The country is officially committed to join the euro but the previous governments as well as the current center-left coalition government led by Sobotka's Social Democrats have set no target date.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka rejected a proposal for a new finance minister on Monday, prolonging a political crisis centering on the Republic's finance minister.
Sobotka had asked President Milos Zeman to fire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country's richest people, over unexplained business dealings. Babis has denied wrongdoing and says he won't resign.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech presidential office said President Milos Zeman's latest shot at the media was a joke. Politicians and journalists just don't seem to get it.
Before meeting Russia's president Sunday in China, Zeman commented on the presence of journalists, telling Vladimir Putin that they were too numerous and they should be "liquidated." Putin countered that it could be enough to "reduce" them.
Their conversation was captured by a television microphone and posted on social media.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's finance minister says that his centrist movement is offering his deputy to take over his post, possibly paving the way to solving the country's political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka asked President Milos Zeman to fire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country's richest people, over unexplained business dealings. Babis has denied wrongdoing, saying he won't resign.
PRAGUE (AP) — Tens of thousands of people rallied on Wednesday in the Czech Republic's capital and other major cities against President Milos Zeman and Finance Minister Andrej Babis.
The protesters gathered at Wenceslas Square in downtown Prague demanded Babis' firing and Zeman's resignation in the latest development of the Czech political crisis.
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's prime minister has backtracked about resigning along with his government, saying Friday that he instead wants to solve a political crisis by firing his finance minister.
PRAGUE (AP) — It's no secret that Czech President Milos Zeman is not a fan of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
But what happened on Thursday surpassed anything that had happened between them in the past and shocked the country.
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech leaders met with President Milos Zeman on Wednesday in efforts to resolve a political crisis triggered by the prime minister's decision to resign with his government over the business dealings of the finance minister.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the resignation on Tuesday, saying the minister, billionaire businessman Andrej Babis, had not allayed suspicions that he avoided paying taxes.
Citizens’ rights, market access key for Czechs after Brexit
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says it is a key issue for his country to maintain the same rights for EU citizens in Britain after its exit from the European Union.
Sobotka spoke on Wednesday after a rare meeting of the chairmen of parliamentary parties from the ruling coalition and the opposition, who agreed on the country's common position ahead of the EU's exit negotiations with Britain.
Some 40,000 Czechs are estimated to live in Britain.
Czech PM fires industry minister who said roaming is luxury
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has fired his minister of industry and trade over his resistance to work to lower telephone and mobile data tariffs.
At a news conference on Monday, Sobotka said Jan Mladek's ministry has failed to support his government's efforts to reduce the high bills Czechs have to pay to telephone operators.
Czech PM foresees coalition government with Communists
PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his leftist Social Democrats are ready to form a coalition government with the hardline Communist Party after this year's parliamentary elections.
It would be the first time the Communists would get a chance to share power since the 1989 Velvet Revolution toppled 40 years of their often-bloody rule.
Czech foreign minister: ministry email hack took months
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic's foreign minister says that a successful hacking attack on his email account and the accounts of dozens of ministry officials took place for months.
Lubomir Zaoralek says that the breach was discovered on Jan. 16, but declined to give any further details about the amount of the data stolen, their content or who was behind the attack.
Iran’s FM in Prague to discuss business, nuclear cooperation
PRAGUE (AP) — Iran's foreign minister visited the Czech capital of Prague to talk business Friday, including the development of a nuclear program after the sanctions against his country were lifted.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's visit comes just six months after the head of Iran's nuclear program met Czech leaders in May to discuss developing bilateral nuclear cooperation.
Czech center-left coalition retains its majority in Senate
PRAGUE (AP) — The three parties in the Czech Republic's ruling center-left coalition have retained their control of Parliament's upper house.
With nearly all votes counted Saturday by the Statistics Office, the coalition won 10 of the 27 seats up for grabs in the 81-seat Senate to remain together the strongest force in the chamber.
Czech ruling coalition wins big in regional ballot
PRAGUE (AP) — The three parties in the Czech Republic's ruling center-left coalition dominated the election for the country's regions and are ahead in the first round of voting for Parliament's upper house, according to results released Saturday by the Czech Statistics Office.
Czech army to deploy medical personnel, instructors in Iraq
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech government has approved a plan to send medical personnel and additional military instructors to Iraq.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Wednesday that the initiative is part of international efforts to help Iraq fight Islamic State militants.
The Defense Ministry says a surgical field team of up to 17 people will be sent to a U.S. Navy's base located some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Mosul and treat injured Iraqi and coalition soldiers.
Czechs work to move pig farm from former Nazi camp
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech government is working to remove a communist-era pig farm from the site of a former Nazi concentration camp for Roma, Cabinet ministers said on Tuesday.
Roma activists have long demanded the removal of the farm from Lety, 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Prague, where some 1,300 Czech Roma were sent between August 1942 and August 1943 during the Nazi occupation of what was then Czechoslovakia in World War II.
Hungarian PM Orban urges EU to build an army of its own
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Hungary's prime minister urged the European Union on Friday to make security a priority and build an army of its own.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban spoke in Warsaw before heading into talks on EU's future with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of three other central European nations. The talks, in preparation for an EU summit next month, focused on security concerns and migrants.