Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called on Finance Minister and ANO Party leader Andrej Babiš to provide a satisfactory explanation about his financial dealings by the end of April. Speaking at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Mr Babiš owed the public and the government answers to a number of questions, adding that threatens the credibility of the whole government. The criticism focuses on his use of so-called one crown bonds as an alleged tax dodge and other explanations about the financing and accounts of the Agrofert group. Mr Babiš said he was ready to answer the questions by Friday.
The governor of the South Bohemia Region, Jiří Zimola of the Social Democrats, has officially resigned from his post. Mr. Zimola announced his move earlier this month in the wake of the collapse of a regional government coalition comprised of the Social Democrats and two other parties. His resignation was the condition for the Social Democrats to negotiate a new coalition. Zimola, who has been governor for nearly nine years, will be replaced in the post by his deputy Ivana Stráská. Zimola has been blemished by criticism over the earnings of top hospital managers and revelations about some of his property deals.
Turkey has slammed a resolution adopted by the lower house of the Czech parliament recognizing the Armenian genocide. The Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide as well as the genocide of other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during WWI. The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Thursday also criticised President Miloš Zeman for his letter addressed to the Armenian diaspora in this country with regard to the events of 1915, claiming that the letter included serious inconsistencies.
The Ministry of Environment has announced a new programme of grants to encourage households to save water. The ministry has earmarked 100 million crowns for the programme, which takes off on May 29. The grants will be used for example to buy containers for rain water, to build ponds, or for water efficient equipment. The programme, called Dešťovka, is part of the government’s strategy to deal with increased likeliness of drought.
The renowned Czech-born US film director Miloš Forman will be awarded the title of honorary citizen of Prague, the city council decided on Thursday. Forman, who was a leading personality of the Czech New Film Wave of the 1960s, has won two Oscars and three Golden Globe awards. Among his best known US films are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, Hair and Valmont. The City of Prague Silver Medal will be awarded to conductor and choir master Jiří Chvála, who is heading the Kuhn children’s choir. Honorary citizenships of Prague have been awarded since 1920.
Fresh snow is complicating traffic in the mountainous region of the Czech Republic, mainly in the Jeseníky mountains in the north-east of the country. Traffic police have warned drivers to exercise caution and not set out with summer tyres. Meanwhile, persistent rain and melting snow have caused some rivers to swell. The lowest level of flood alert was declared in the region of Bruntál in the north of the country and in Opava in the southeast. According to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute, more rain and snow showers are expected towards the evening.
An exhibition mapping the 60-year-long career of Czech pop idol Karel Gott will be on display on Prague’s embankment during the summer. The show, entitled “Gott, My Life” will be launched on June 8 a on a boat moored near the railway bridge at Rašínovo nábřeží. Co-organised by the National Museum, the exhibition will run until the end of September.
The Czech Republic’s last uranium mine in Rožná located about 50 kilometres northwest of Brno, officially closed on Thursday with a ceremony marking 60 years of uranium mining in the location. The Rožná mine, which is also the last uranium mine in Europe, went into operation in 1957 and has produced around 17 million tonnes of uranium since then. The Radioactive Waste Repository Authority has turned one part of the mine - beneath the village of Bukov into a special laboratory for tests that will help it build a final repository for spent nuclear fuel from the Temelín and Dukovany plants.
The first film in a new trilogy named Garden Store by Czech director Jan Hřebejk enters distribution in Czech cinemas on Thursday. Family Friend focuses on a Czech family in the WWII period and the two other films in the series will focus on them in the post-war era and the early years of communism. As with Hřebejk’s previous works, including Cosy Dens, the trilogy sees the director collaborate with screenwriter Petr Jarchovský.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott