The Czech Centres network has launched a travelling exhibition marking the 700th anniversary of the birth of Bohemian king and holy roman emperor Charles IV. The panel exhibition, entitled The Emperor on Four Thrones, will include casts of statues of the ruler and his four wives from Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral. It will run at the Czech Centre in downtown Prague until the end of April before making more than a dozen more stops in the international network of cultural institutes, including in New York, Paris and Tokyo.
Two-thirds of Czechs believe that there are too many foreigners working in the Czech Republic, suggests a new opinion poll conducted by the STEM agency. Three in every five respondents expressed the view that foreigners are depriving Czechs of jobs. Though both views prevail, they are down on last year. A similar survey in 2015 indicated that 80 percent of Czechs thought there was an excessive number of foreigners employed in the country and over 70 percent believed incomers took Czechs’ jobs.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reiterated at the government’s session on Monday that the new shortened, informal name proposed for the Czech Republic, Czechia, will in no way replace the official name. The prime minister also rejected criticism by the minister for regional affairs, saying that adopting of the shortened version would not affect the drawing of European funds, as she had suggested. The Minister for Regional Development Karla Šlechtová, not in favour of the shortened version, pointed out that around 1.1 billion crowns had been spent on marketing the country as the Czech Republic – Land of Stories as a tourist destination.
Sparta Prague grabbed a 2-1 series lead against Liberec on Monday winning the third match of the best-of-seven Extraliga final by a score of 4-1. Sparta, drew first blood at home in front of 16,768 fans and added three more goals before Liberec got on the scoreboard, all in the second period. Sparta capitalised on their powerplay while Liberec paid the price, showing a lack of discipline. The clubs face each other again on Tuesday.
An historic mountain chalet known as “Libušín” destroyed by a fire in 2014 should be restored within three years, Jindřich Ondruš, the head of the Wallachian Open Air Museum confirmed on Monday. The project is being underatken by the Brno firm Archatt, which won the tender to restore the site. Libušín was inspired by folk architecture and designed by Art Nouveau era architect Dušan Jurkovič. Named after the mythical Princess Libuše, the site opened in 1899.
The number of Czechs who see foreigners as a threat to their way of life has gone up according to a new poll conducted by the CVVM agency. According to the poll, some 78 percent of respondents felt that not everyone should be allowed to stay just because they expressed an interest; some three-quarters replied that foreigners should be allowed to reside in the Czech Republic only under certain conditions. Four percent replied that foreign nationals should be allowed to resettle in the country without restrictions.
President Miloš Zeman has suggested that criticism of the European Union on his part was not to try and “break it” but on the contrary to help focus on outstanding problems; the president was reacting to a recent charge by the prime minister that he criticized the EU as often as his predecessor Václav Klaus. Mr Zeman, for example, ridiculed the planned 1,500-strong border patrol meant to prevent the entry of up two million refugees. He called it a “ragtime army” which would do nothing to help. He suggested the EU was in dire need of real personalities like Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Charles de Gaulle or Francois Mitterrand.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec will reject mandatory refugee quotas at a meeting of European interior ministers this Thursday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka tweeted after the matter was discussed at the weekly government meeting. The Czech government remains opposed to mandatory refugee quotas on the grounds that such a system simply does not work, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek reiterated at the weekend. The Czech government instead supports the existing agreement on the return of refugees with Turkey and remains in favour of a stronger European border and coast patrol. At the weekend, the prime minister said that if a permanent mechanism which divided refugees among the EU countries was introduced, the Czech Republic would challenge it in court.
Participation in NATO as well as joint foreign-missions in Afghanistan and Mali and the fight against Daesh will be priorities for the Czech military over the next two years, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický tweeted on Monday. All missions still have to be approved by Parliament; the Defence Ministry is counting on allocating around 2.3 billion crowns for the missions. The current mandate for foreign missions expires at the end of 2016.
The District Court for Prague 1 rejected a request by former lawyer Zdeněk Altner to freeze Social Democratic party accounts, allegedly for failing to pay a 10,000 crown deposit. Mr Altner told Czech Radio he paid the fee on Monday and the court had reached its decision prematurely. In a recent court ruling, the Social Democrats were ordered to pay 337 million crowns owed to Mr Altner for past services, which had gone unredeemed. The party has lodged an appellate review request with the Supreme Court and says it will await the outcome of the appeal before making the payment, on the grounds that the money could end up in a foreign account and would be hard to retrieve if the court ruled in its favour.
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