The fourth edition of the Open House festival gets underway in Prague on
Saturday, allowing people to visit buildings and spaces which are otherwise
inaccessible to the public.
A record 65 buildings, from historical sights to state-of-the art office buildings, will be open to the public over the weekend, including the former restaurant of the Brussels exhibition EXPO 58 or the original Zátka’s soda plant.
On the occasion of this year’s 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, the festival will also offer twenty buildings built between the World Wars, Tyrš House, the home of the Sokol movement.
The Czech supreme court has ruled for the first time that two gay partners
should be legally recognised as the fathers of a surrogate child, the daily
Mladá Fronta reported on Saturday.
The child was born a few months ago to a surrogate mother in California through artificial insemination. In its ruling, issued at the beginning of May, the Czech supreme court sustained a decision issued by a court in California, which recognised the two men as the baby girl’s parents.
Since 2006, gays and lesbians in the Czech Republic can live in an officially registered partnership. However, they are still prevented from adopting children as a couple, which means that the non-biological partner does not have the same legal rights to the child.
The Zeppelin NT, the biggest helium-filled airship in the world,
manufactured since the 1990s in Friedrichshafen, Germany landed on
Prague’s Letnany Airfield around 3pm on Friday.
It should remain in the Czech Republic for about a week and fans will be able to admire it on several PR flights around the country.
People interested in buying a flight on it will have to go to Friedrichshafen where the company offers a selection of 13 tourist flights to different destinations.
The airship can accommodate up to 12 passengers.
Eleven people, two of them Czech nationals, left the country in the course
of last year to join Islamic State militants in Syria, according to an
internal security report released by the Interior Ministry.
In the wake of the defeat of IS, the Czech authorities also noted an unspecified number of IS supporters who attempted to return to different parts of Europe via the Czech Republic. This is considered a grave security risk for the continent and European intelligence services are cooperating closely to minimize the risk.
On Friday afternoon Prime Minister Babiš is to hold talks with Austrian
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna. The two heads of cabinet are to
discuss Austria’s upcoming EU presidency, the debate on a new EU budget,
migration and bilateral relations.
On Sunday, the Czech prime minister will visit Finland for talks with his Finnish counterpart Juha Sipila.
Mr. Babiš has stressed the need for the Czech Republic to be more vocal in the EU and more active in defending the country’s interests as well as seeking new allies in the bloc.
Attending the Globsec Security Forum in Bratislava on Friday, Czech Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš criticized the concept of a two-speed European
The Czech prime minister said that the fact that different EU member states needed to go at their own pace in reaching the common goal should not be a divisive factor and should not be allowed to impede the functioning of the common market.
Babiš argued that an elite club would only undermine EU unity and that debates relating to the future of the European Union should be open to all members, without regard to their economic pace and degree of integration.
The Social Democratic Party leadership meets on Friday to agree on its
ministerial line-up in the emerging coalition government with ANO. Under
the agreement reached, the Social Democrats should be in charge of the
ministry of the interior, foreign affairs, labour, agriculture and the
Although the Social Democrats and ANO are finalizing the details of the new coalition government, the agreement could still be scuppered by a referendum in the Social Democratic Party which is to vote on whether to enter into a coalition with ANO. The result of the vote should be made public in mid-June.
The Chinese consortium CEFC has protested against the financial group
J&T’s decision to take control of CEFC Europe after the latter failed
to pay back a debt on time.
J&T said on Thursday it had taken over shareholder rights and installed crisis management at CEFC Europe, the Czech-based part of the troubled Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy.
CEFC’s Czech representative Jaroslav Tvrdik said on Friday that CEFC China Energy would meet all the company’s commitments and had pledged to send 475 million euro to its Prague account by 2pm on Friday.
The Senate on Thursday approved the planned reinforcement of some of the
current military missions abroad as well as presence of new troops in the
Baltics. However, the missions are yet to be approved by the lower house,
the Chamber of Deputies, whose defence committee did not issue any
recommendation last week.
Communist party leaders said last week they had a problem with increased Czech participation in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the possibility of the Czech army playing a role in a NATO rapid reaction force in the Baltic States.
They have warned that they could refuse to support a proposed ANO-Social Democrat minority coalition government if the missions are boosted.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’