As long as Czech churches are dependent upon the state, they will remain quite on issues contrary to their teachings, says the former Christian Democrat (KDU-ČSL) chairman Cyril Svoboda, who furthermore argues that the draft church restitution law is flawed in many respects. According to Svoboda, the clergy would be better able to fulfil their spiritual roles if the Czech Republic looked to the French model for inspiration.
The Czech Republic is the only country in the world to have two secretaries of state for EU affairs. But for one of them to be a young man who has never been elected to an office or served as a diplomat — and with no experience of EU structures — is truly unique. What are his qualifications? His anti-EU conservative ideology and secretive close connections with PM Petr Nečas and the conservative Civic Institute.
Karel Schwarzenberg has just marked a jubilee: His visit to Trieste, Italy, on June 10 was his 50th official foreign visit since becoming foreign minister in July 2010. There is increasing chatter that Schwarzenberg is spending too much time abroad, which is reportedly playing into the hands of power cliques in the foreign ministry and “rogue elements” in his own TOP 09 party. The disparaging motto “keep granddad in the air” is widely heard in the corridors of power.
The independent Belarusian Internet news server www.naviny.by published three diplomatic cables sent from the US Embassy in Prague in March and April 2005, according to which the US Navy wanted to purchase Russian missiles from Belarus via the Ukraine and Czech Republic. The cables, published Jan 19, were passed to the news site by Israel Shamir, Wikileaks’ partner for Russia.
KDU-ČSL party chairman Cyril Svoboda — the top Czech diplomat during the country’s accession to the European Union — has been trying to win support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MZV) to establish a Czech answer to France’s elite École nationale d'administration (ENA).