Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka praised the 16 +1 talks between representatives of Central and East European countries and China as a good platform for intensifying trade relations and seeking new investment opportunities. Attending the talks in Budapest on Monday, Prime Minister Sobotka said these efforts had already born fruit in Czech-Chinese relations in the form of increased trade, a boost in tourism and four direct air links between Prague and China. The outgoing Czech prime minister said it was Prague’s ambition to host 16+1 talks in Prague next year.
Several hundred people attended the funeral of tennis legend Jana Novotná
in Brno on Monday. Novotná died last week at the age of 49. Among those
present were her colleagues Petra Kvitová, Helena Suková and Jan Kodeš.
The Duchess of Kent, who comforted Novotná after a heartbreaking loss in the Wimbledon final paid tribute to her on her death with the words “Jana Novotna was a brave, courageous sweet lady with a wonderful sense of humour. Wimbledon will not be the same without her."
A Czech family from Brno suffered a bad scare during their holiday in
Tunisia when they were stopped by men claiming to officers in plainclothes
and had their boot searched without explanation, the news site Novinky.cz
The family locked themselves in the car and called the local police help line. They said that in minutes officers with guns arrived at the scene, and forced them to go to the local police station where they were interrogated on suspicion of terrorism for two hours while their five year old boy was left alone in the car.
The police chief later apologized saying they had been “in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” The couple was geocaching on their holiday. The family has said it will report the incident to the Czech Foreign Ministry.
Wasteland', an original Czech TV series by HBO Europe, could pick up
two prizes at the upcoming C21 International Drama Awards in London.
The TV series has been nominated for two awards : Best Non-English Language Drama Series, and lead actress Zuzana Stivínová won a a nomination for Best Female Performance in a Drama Series – rubbing shoulders with the likes of Emily Watson and Elisabeth Moss.
The winners are selected by a jury of over 100 experts. The results will be announced on November 29 in London.
A growing number of Czech companies are aware of the need to have a profile
on the Internet and be active on social networks, the ctk news agency
reports. The results of a poll indicate that thirty four percent of Czech
firms now have a profile on the web, up from 15 percent just three years
Eighty-three percent of firms with ten or more employees present their activities on the Internet which is double the number compared to the year 2,000. Even so Czech companies are still lagging behind other EU member states in this respect. Among the most active are travel agencies, companies engaged in the tourist industry, real estate and media companies.
Jan Zrzavý’s painting Calvary in Locronan sold for a record 17.4 million crowns in an auction at Kodl Gallery in Prague on Sunday. It is the highest price ever paid for a Zrzavý painting in the Czech Republic. The starting price was six million crowns. Zrzavý’s Fantastic Landscape, an oil on canvas, sold for 14.4 million at an auction last year.
Prime minister designate Andrej Babiš says he has drafted an outline of
his minority government’s policy program. Babiš told Czech Television
the main points were lower income tax, lower VAT on food products, higher
pensions, digitalization of state administration and exemptions from the
law on electronic cash registers for small entrepreneurs.
Babiš said that after he is appointed prime minister by President Zeman he would start seeking support or tolerance for his minority government across the political spectrum. The president said earlier he would appoint Babiš prime minister on December 6th and appoint his government on December 15th.
Dozens of Czech families had lunch with immigrant families on Sunday within the annual Family Next Door project organized by the NGO Slovo 21 as a way of breaking down barriers and assisting integration. The event has become increasingly popular since it was first held in 2004 and has helped form many new intercultural friendships. Over 1,400 families have taken part in the project over the years.
The police has asked the lower house to strip deputy Bohuslav Svoboda,
former mayor of Prague, of his immunity, to enable further criminal
prosecution linked to the former mayor’s involvement in the city’s
Svoboda was earlier charged with misuse of public funds and violating the law on public tenders. The deal on the multi-purpose card was found to have been hugely disadvantageous for Prague City Hall.
Svoboda was served a suspended two year sentence in connection with the case, and appealed the verdict, before regaining parliamentary immunity in the elections.
The lower house has already received a similar request as regards ANO leader Andrej Babiš and his deputy chair Jaroslav Faltýnek, who were charged on suspicion of EU subsidy fraud earlier this year.