Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for May 26, 2021

MP resigns over sexaul abuse accusations, Kellner widow named biggest shareholder of O2 Czech, Belarusian flights over Czech territory to be banned. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.05.2021 09:53:00 (updated on 26.05.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Young MP Feri gives up MP’s mandate over sexual abuse accusations

Czech MP Dominik Feri (TOP 09) will give up his seat in parliament and not run in the October general election after several women accused him of inappropriate behavior. Feri will defend himself against the accusations of sexual violence, he announced Tuesday. The Denik N daily and the Alarm server write that a number of women reported that Feri behaved sexually inappropriately toward them between 2015-2020. Eight anonymous female students accused him of sexual assault, others said he made sexually offensive statements in public or requested naked photos. Feri, aged 24, is one of the most high-profile members of the TOP 09 party. He was running in the autumn election for the Together alliance of the Civic Democrats (ODS), Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), and TOP 09 as candidate number four in Prague. He has been a Member of the Chamber of Deputies since 2017 since being elected at the age of 21, making him the youngest and the first Black member of the Chamber of Deputies in the history of the Czech Republic. ČTK

Czech Republic won't withdraw lawsuit over Turow mine

The Czech Republic will not withdraw the lawsuit it lodged with the European Court of Justice (CJEU) against Poland over the expansion of its Turow lignite mine near the Czech border, Czech PM Andrej Babiš told journalists in Brussels Tuesday. Poland has acknowledged the Czech objections and wants to reach an agreement, he added. After meeting Babiš on Monday, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki told the PAP Polish news agency that the Czech Republic would withdraw the lawsuit. Martin Puta, governor of the Liberec Region which neighbors the Lower Silesia where the mine is located, said the Czech Republic can withdraw the lawsuit only after the interstate agreement with clearly guaranteed steps is signed. On Friday, the CJEU ordered Poland to stop the extraction in Turow immediately until the legal dispute is settled. Morawiecki said on Monday that Poland was not to obey the ruling. "We are not going to retract the lawsuit," Babiš said, ruling out the option and saying that Poland must suggest a solution. Both countries might conclude an international agreement, but financial compensations are also being discussed, he added. Puta said the Czech government would probably get the first draft of the inter-state agreement next week. ČTK

Czech Republic to ban flights from Belarusian airlines

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš expects the Czech Republic to ban Belarusian airlines from flying to the Czech territory, he told reporters in Brussels Tuesday after an EU summit on Monday agreed on new sanctions against Belarus. The sanctions come in reaction to a Sunday incident when the Belarusian authorities forced a civilian Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk in order to arrest journalist and opposition activist Raman Pratasevich, who was aboard the plane. The PM said, "It is fundamental that the sanctions for this 'act of state terrorism' affect the Belarusian regime and not the inhabitants. He added that he would discuss the ban with the transport minister. The resolution was approved by all the 27 EU countries' leaders. According to the document, the EU member states will prevent the Belavia Belarusian airlines' flights above their territory and landing in it. The resolution also calls on the EU carriers to avoid flights in the Belarusian airspace. ČTK

Kellner widow listed as largest shareholder of O2 Czech Republic and Moneta

Widow of Czech billionaire Petr Kellner has been listed as the largest shareholder of telecoms firm O2 Czech Republic and MONETA Money Bank, regulatory filings showed on Tuesday, Reuters reports. Kellner died at the age of 56, in a helicopter crash on an Alaskan skiing trip in March. His death set off one of the largest private wealth transfers in the former communist bloc countries since the shift to democracy three decades ago. Kellner’s investment group PPF said in a statement: "During the ongoing inheritance proceedings, Ms. Renáta Kellnerová was appointed administrator of the estate of the late Petr Kellner. As such, she is listed as the holder of relevant public companies subject to regulation by the CNB. Ms. Kellner’s appointment as the administrator of the estate doesn’t mean the inheritance process is complete yet."

Czech embassy in Moscow dismisses most Russian employees

The Czech embassy in Moscow has dismissed most of its Russian employees as of last Friday, and the total number of Russians to be dismissed by the end of May will reach 79, Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Eva Davidová has told server Seznam Zprávy. The dismissals are due to the recent diplomatic rift between the Czech Republic and Russia, which led to a reduction of the Czech embassy's staff and also of the number of Russian people employed by the Czechs at the embassy. The staff reduction has mainly paralyzed the Czech House in Moscow, which will close down its restaurant and hotel as of next Tuesday. The rift flared up in mid-April over security services' information that two Russian military intelligence agents are suspected of causing two devastating blasts in an ammunition depot in Vrbětice, south Moravia, in 2014. Only less than a week is left before the May 31 deadline Prague and Moscow set for evening the two embassies' staff. The Prague-Ruzyně airport has registered three special flights from and to Russia at the end of May, the server reports. ČTK

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