Download Breakfast Brief in PDF » NEWS Israel rejects EU mission proposal Israel on Monday rejected a plan presented by the EU delegation, led by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, in Egypt to send international observers to Gaza after a ceasefire. Instead, Israel wants international teams to prevent the smuggling of weapons between Egypt and Gaza through tunnels. most Czech press Proposed cabinet reshuffle sparks disagreement Leaders of KDU-ČSL and the Greens took a week to discuss personnel changes after PM Mirek Topolánek provided them with details of a planned reshuffle of the centre-right coalition. The debate resulted in a dispute within KDU-ČSL, as party head Jiří Čunek, among those who could leave the cabinet, said Miroslav Kalousek should beContinue Reading

NEWS Schwarzenberg: Fighting is Hamas’s fault Appearing on the Sunday political show Václav Moravec’s Questions, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg blamed Hamas for the Gaza conflict as it broke the ceasefire. The minister, who left yesterday to lead an EU mission to the region, said he has an idea of how the EU could help broker a new ceasefire but did not elaborate. Schwarzenberg also told Moravec his ministry should not take sole blame for the leak of transcripts of talks between PM Mirek Topolánek and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as multiple state offices could have done so. most Czech press Storm over presidency spokesman’s Gaza comment The comment Saturday by Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiří Potužník that the Israeli groundContinue Reading

NEWS ČR planning mission to help resolve Gaza conflict Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek confirmed Thursday that in its role as the new EU president the Czech Republic is planning a diplomatic mission to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Topolánek said it will not be possible to count on US participation in the mission. most Czech press Topolánek to announce cabinet reshuffle Monday PM Mirek Topolánek will announce major changes in his cabinet on Monday. Speaking Thursday on Czech Television, Topolánek said the cabinet shuffle will affect all three coalition parties but he did not specify how many cabinet members will be replaced. He said he has given up establishing the post of deputy PM for economics and will instead setContinue Reading

NEWS Schwarzenberg to travel to Middle East over Gaza Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg will travel to Israel in a few days to help pacify the recent violence in Gaza. Schwarzenberg said that as a leading representative of the EU’s foreign policy, he wants to meet with all key players in the conflict. most Czech press Vondra to light Letná metronome to launch EU presidency In the first minute of the New Year, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs Alexandr Vondra will illuminate the metronome at Prague’s Letná park to launch the Czech EU presidency. The metronome will display the European Union colours. ČTK ČSSD senator suspected of trying to get compromising info on colleague ČSSD Senator Vladimír Dryml met withContinue Reading

NEWS ČR to deal with Gaza conflict Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told Hospodářské noviny that he is calling his EU colleagues and gathering information and opinions on whether they should meet to discuss an EU reaction to the recent escalation of tension in Gaza. France has called for a meeting of EU foreign ministers today. Schwarzenberg told E15 that the Middle East peace process is a priority for the Czech EU presidency but he did not specify any steps. most Czech press Vondra rejects rumours of NATO post Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said yesterday he is not thinking of working for NATO nor does he consider it a realistic possibility. He was reacting to a recentContinue Reading

NEWS Xmas frost kills four A homeless woman died of hypothermia in an Ostrava hospital after being found lying on the street 23 December. Two skiers were rescued from an avalanche in Krkonoše 26 December, but one later died in hospital. A missing woman was found frozen to death in the Chrudim area 26 December, and a man froze to death the following night near Znojmo. most Czech press Sat Vlk: Pope to visit ČR next year Cardinal Miloslav Vlk told Aktuálně.cz that Pope Benedict XVI might visit the Czech Republic in September. Vlk declined to discuss a programme for the visit as it has not yet been officially confirmed. most Czech press Brno City Hall to run trauma centreContinue Reading