The planned renovation of the Czech embassy building at Wilhelmstrasse 44
in Berlin, Germany, is expected to cost around half a billion crowns (the
equivalent of around 19 million euros) the Czech News Agency reports. The
planned renovation, discussed for several years, would be completed by
The government is due to take a decision on the renovation in September. The building, which housed some 500 employees during the Cold War, was built in the 1970s. It was designed by the architects Věra and Vladimír Machonin and is an example of Brutalist architecture. The Machonins also designed the famous Kotva and DBK department stores in Prague.
The teachers’ unions have said they will call a strike alert if the
coaltion government council does not agree to meet their demands for higher
pay next Monday; the unions are seeking pay rise of 15 percent for
educators and 10 percent for non-teaching staff. The unions made the
announcement during a demonstration at Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel on
Friday, ahead of the new school year.
The Czech Rectors Conference is considering an extraordinary meeting on September 6, to consider possible steps such as delaying the start of the semester at universities if higher wages are not introduced.
Prime Minister Bohsulav Sobotka has told journalists it was regrettable
that decision-makers who agreed on the privatisation of Czech mining
company OKD in 1996 were not the ones now appearing in a court case over
the matter. The prime minister mentioned no individual names but referred
to the government in power then, which was led by Václav Klaus.
Mr Sobotka made the comment after leaving the court on Friday where he had been called as a witness. He added that others who should have been tried were those who gutted “enormous funds” from the firm in 2004. Mr Sobotka, finance minister in 2004, has long come under criticism for the sale of the mining company but he maintains the crux of the problem lay eight years earlier.
Czech brewery Budějovický Budvar is preparing a special batch of its beer for Pope Francis, which the head of the Roman Catholic Church will receive as a gift during a visit by a Czech delegation during the period of Advent this year. The delegation is scheduled to meet with the Pontiff on December 13. The special brew, which will fill 122 bottles, will be blessed in September and gifted to the Pope by Czech Bishop Vlastimil Krocil during the December audience.
Czech humanitarian aid has played a key role in helping Syrian refugees in
Jordan, lessening the motivation for them to continue on to Europe, the
Czech ambassador to Jordan Petr Hladík has said. In an interview for the
Czech News Agency, he added that Czech aid had also led to better
conditions for Czech firms exporting to Jordan; in 2016, Czech exports to
the country rose by 62 percent year-on-year.
In total, Czech humanitarian aid to Jordan last year amounted to 75 million crowns – 40 million of which of which went to the second-largest refugee camp in Jordan, Azrak. The funds went towards improving living quarters and capacity at the camp.
The number of road fatalities over the course of the summer holidays dropped to its lowest since 1990, according to preliminary statistics released by the police on Thursday. One hundred and two people died in traffic accidents on Czech roads over the course June and July, which is 18 fewer than in the same period last year. The overall number of road fatalities since the beginning of the year is 331, a drop by 12 compared to the same period in 2016.
The opera singer Gabriela Beňačková has been inducted into a new Hall of
Fame at the National Theatre in Prague on Thursday.
Beňačková, who is 70 years old, is the third person honoured in this way. She was preceeded by actor Vlasta Charmostová and ballet dancer Vlastimil Harapes.
Beňačková specializes in the music of her compatriots, notably Bedřich Smetana and Leoš Janáček and is considered to be one of the greatest 'Jenůfa's' in Janáček's opera of the same name.
Speaking at Thursday’s induction ceremony, the head of the national Theathre Jan Burian highlighted Beňačková’s succesfull international career.