Finance Minister and billionaire businessman Andrej Babiš was unanimously re-elected leader of the ANO party in Prague on Saturday. Mr Babiš was the only candidate to run for the post. In his opening speech to the conference on Saturday, Mr Babiš criticized other parties, accusing them of teaming up together against his movement. He repeated his call on abolishing the Senate and suggested that deputies should only be allowed to serve two terms. In his speech Mr Babiš paraphrased Donald Trump`s election slogan, saying that his election goal was to make the Czech Republic great again.
Around one thousand people demonstrated in the centre of Prague on Saturday against the law on electronic cash registers, which came into effect in December 2016. The gathering on Wenceslas Square was organised by the Association of Entrepreneurs and Managers and two other groups. The system, under which businesses’ sales are relayed to an online taxation database in real time, enters its second phase on March 1, when it starts to apply to retailers. The association’s chairman described the system as instrument of state despotism and spying on business people. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš argues it will curb tax evasion.
The National Gallery in Prague has unexpectedly closed down all its premises due to “serious technical and operational reasons”. The information was published on the gallery`s website on Saturday. According to the news site Denik.cz, the move was a result of a terminated contract with the security agency guarding the gallery`s buildings. According to the head of the PR ad marketing department, Miroslav Krupička, the gallery will prolong the validity of the purchased tickets until the end of May. It is not yet clear when the gallery will re-open again.
Czech news agency ČTK's photographer Roman Vondrouš has won second place in the Sports Action category of the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition. Mr Vondrouš won with a photo called “Irish bank”, picturing the jockey Dušan Andrés falling off his horse at a hurdle during the the Czech Republic's Velká pardubická steeplechase. The Pictures of the Year International competition was established in 1944. More than 50,000 works from over 70 countries are submitted to the contest each year.
The Czech Republic has been marking “masopust” or the traditional Czech carnival which comes before the fasting period of Lent. Processions of people wearing colorful masks and costumes on Saturday marched through a number of villages and towns across the country, celebrating the beginning of Lent, which is traditionally accompanied by a zabijačka or pig-slaughter. One of the biggest event took place in the town of Roztoky u Prahy, with more than two thousand people attending the costumed parade to nearby Únětice.
Czech midfielder Bořek Dočkal has agreed on his transfer from Sparta Prague to Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League. Both clubs confirmed the move on their website on Saturday. According to Czech media, Sparta may have received up to 230 million crowns (around 8.5 million euros), which makes Dočkal the twelfth most expensive Czech football player in history. The 28-year-old player, who joined Sparta in 2013, has scored six goals in 29 internationals.
Czech tennis player Lucie Šafářová has advanced to the finals at the WTA tournament in Budapest, after beating Germany`s Carina Witthöft 6:4, 6:3. It is Šafářová`s first singles final since she won Prague Open last year. The one-time world number five will be playing for the eighth title in her career.
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