The Czech government expects economic growth to be driven mainly by rising
household demand in 2020. According to the draft Convergence Programme
submitted to the European Commission, Czech GDP should grow 2.4 percent
next year, down from nearly 3 percent growth in 2018.
According to projections released earlier in May by the Czech National Bank, however, the economy should grow by 2.5 percent in 2019 and 2.8 percent in 2020.
Analysts warn the risks are skewed in the direction of weaker growth, mainly due to slowing industrial production and external demand.
Czech tennis players Karolína Plíšková and Markéta Vondroušová have
made it to the quarter-finals of the WTA tournament in Rome.
Plíšková on Thursday defeated the American Sofia Kenin in three sets, by a score of 4: 6, 6: 4 and 6: 3. Vondroušová beat the Russian Darja Kassatkina, also in three sets, by a score of 7: 5, 2: 6 and 6: 2.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitová is out of the tournament due to a calf injury. in the second round she forfeited to Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari.
The annual Festival of Museum Nights opens in the West Bohemian spa town of
Karlovy Vary on Friday night. Between now and June 8th over 500 museums and
cultural institutions in 158 towns and cities will open their doors to the
public on a selected night.
Museums pull out all the stops for the annual event organizing special exhibitions, lectures, film-screenings, art competitions and concerts for visitors.
Museums in the Moravian metropolis of Brno will open their doors to visitors on Saturday night. The city of Prague which has 52 museums and galleries is at the end of the marathon with Prague Museum Night scheduled for June 8th.
A court in Pardubice is hearing the case of a Czech man accused of
involvement in a terrorist attack on the territory of Ukraine in 2015.
The man allegedly visited Ukraine in the summer of that year and joined in the fighting on the side of separatists in the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic.
He joined the Czech Army soon after his return, but failed to pass psychological tests and was given a menial job in the force.
He claims he is innocent of the accusations, saying that he had made up stories and bragged about his time in Ukraine to friends.
The 2019 Arnošt Lustig Award, founded in honour of the late Czech writer
by the Czech-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, was presented to General Karel
Řehka at a special ceremony in Prague on Thursday. General Řehka heads
the NATO Multinational Division North East based in Elbląg.The award is
given in recognition of exceptional courage, bravery, humanity and justice.
The general, who in the past headed the country’s special forces, said he was greatly honoured to have been selected, adding that he considered the award to be a recognition of all soldiers of his generation serving their country.
Police President Jan Švejdar has said he considers cooperation between the
Pirate Party and an officer from the National Centre Against Organized
Crime absolutely unacceptable.
In a statement on Twitter the police president said that if it were confirmed that Jan Šmíd, a member of this special force, had cooperated with the Pirate Party he would be sacked.
The ruling ANO Party which brought attention to the alleged close cooperation between Šmíd and the Pirate Party, expressed concern regarding possible information leaks and asked the Security Committee of the Chamber of Deputies to look into the matter.
The committee is due to meet on May 21st.
Communist Party deputy-chair Kateřina Konečná, who heads the party
ticket in the European elections, has said she will file a criminal
complaint against the head of the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party, Tomio
Okamura for allegedly spreading lies in the party’s election campaign.
The Communist Party’s MEP said she would provide further details at a
press briefing on Friday.
Konečná recently wrote on Facebook that Okamura was lying when he told voters that the Communist Party’s MEPs had voted in favour of admitting migrants from Africa to the Czech Republic.
Czech top officials have publicly distanced themselves from Communist Party
MP Zdeňek Ondráček’s visit to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s
Republic this week. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told journalists on
Thursday that the visit was not in accordance with Czech foreign policy.
His statement came a day after Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček
critisized Mr. Ondráček’s visit on Twitter, saying his actions were
shameful and damaging to the Czech Republic.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies met for a special session to debate the matter on Thurday, distancing itself from the visit and emphasizing that the Czech Republic does not recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and considers it a part of Ukraine.
Mr. Ondráček insists his trip was “private", but a video shows him being welcomed by the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in what looks like an official ceremony.