The Slovak president, Andrej Kiska, has warned against the spreading of
distrust in the state and populism in a speech at Brno’s Masaryk
University. Rector Mikuláš Bek said that Mr. Kiska was maintaining the
traditions of Masaryk and Štefánik in Czech and Slovak politics, adding
that he had not gone in for vulgar humour or cheap witticisms.
The Slovak head of state received Masaryk University’s Grand Gold Medal during a ceremony on Tuesday morning. On Monday the institution celebrated the centenary of its foundation.
The Czech Republic has improved its standing in watchdog Transparency
International’s Annual Corruption Index for 2018. The country has moved
four rungs up the ladder to 38th spot in the worldwide rankings.
Under TI’s criteria, the Czech Republic picked up 59 points compared to 57 in 2017. However, it is still lagging behind the EU average by six points.
Transparency International’s annual Index has rated countries by perceived levels of corruption since 1995 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being very corrupt and 100 being very clean.
The 18th century Villa Bertramka in Prague, notable for its connection to
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has been declared a national cultural monument,
the Ministry of Culture announced on Monday.
The villa, which was turned into a museum dedicated to the famous composer several years ago, has been closed for over two years for reconstruction. The Mozart Society running the museum has had problems revitalizing the property and making it attractive for visitors.
According to the ministry, the status of a national cultural monument would help the society in its endeavour.
Mozart stayed in this villa on his visits to Prague in 1787 and 1791. The museum has acquired some of the composer’s valuable manuscripts, his harpsichord and a lock of his hair.
The band Lake Malawi will represent the Czech Republic at this year’s
Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv, Czech Television announced
The indie-pop band, formed in 2013 by the charismatic frontman Albert Černý, collected most of the votes in the national round, leaving behind seven other contestants.
Last year, Czech singer Mikolas Josef finished sixth in the final, achieving the highest ever placing for a Czech artists in Eurovision.
The owner of the publishing house Ekonomia, financier Zdeněk Bakala, left
the organisation’s statutory bodies on Monday, as has his wife Michaela.
Mr Bakala remains the sole shareholder of Ekonomia, which publishes, among other titles, the business daily Hospodářské noviny, the weekly Ekonom and the liberal intellectual weekly Respekt.
In a press release issued Monday, Mr Bakala said that he regarded the publishing house as an important investment, through which he wants to promote independent journalism in the Czech Republic.
At the start of a two-day official visit to Ukraine Czech Foreign Minister
Tomáš Petříček met for talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavel
Klimkin on Monday.
The foreign ministers agreed to establish a Czech-Ukrainian forum to deal with sensitive issues from the past and focus on future cooperation. Mr Klimkin thanked the Czech foreign minister for his country’s support of EU sanctions against Russia and its condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Prior to the meeting, the Czech foreign minister laid flowers at the memorial of Czechoslovak soldiers who helped to liberate the Ukrainian capital Kiev during WWII. He is also scheduled to meet with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko.
Heavy snowfall with around ten centimetres of fresh snow has complicated
transport in the east of the country, especially in South Moravia.
Traffic is congested in many places and police have warned drivers to exercise extreme caution after being called out to several dozen accidents throughout Monday morning.
Most parts of the country are expected to see more snow and rain throughout the day.
The Czech Philharmonic is set to make its debut performance at the
Elbphilharmonie concert venue in Hamburg, the Czech News Agency reported on
Monday. The performance, which is part of the orchestra’s German and
Belgian tour, is scheduled to take place on February 4, and will feature
young Canadian pianist Jan Lisecki.
The concert hall in Hamburg, known as ‘Elphie’, was completed two years ago and has since become one of the city’s most popular tourist sights. The concerts, which are usually completely sold out, have so far attracted over 1.7 million people.
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