President Miloš Zeman has appointed Jiří Havlíček minister of industry and trade. He replaces Jan Mládek, who was sacked by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at the end of February. Mr. Havlíček says he will focus on pushing through legislation aimed at reducing data charges for mobile device users. Inaction in that regard was cited as a reason for the dismissal of his predecessor. Mr. Havlíček was previously a deputy industry minister.
The head of the recently established Czech Literary Centre, Petr Janyška, has left the position after only five weeks, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. Mr. Janyška took up the post in late February, less than two months after the launch of the institution, which is tasked with promoting Czech literature internationally. He told Lidovky.cz that he had quit but refused to outline the reasons. A translator by profession, Mr. Janyška was one of the founders of the weekly Respekt and worked for several years as a diplomat.
Prague’s Parkhotel is to be considered for protected status after a group of experts from the Czech Technical University’s Faculty of Architecture filed a petition with the Ministry of Culture. The 1960s structure, one of the city’s leading hotels when it opened, is located in the Holešovice district near the Výstaviště exhibition grounds. The ministry can take several months to decide whether to make a site a cultural historical landmark.
A new guidebook to Brno has come in for strong criticism from representatives of nearby towns that it disparages, Novinky.cz reported. Entitled “This is Brno”, the guide compares Kuřim to a labour camp and a monument to the loss of human judgement, as well describing the wine cellars of Velké Pavlovice as kitschy buildings that are a mockery of architecture. Its authors say they wished to present an unorthodox view of the region. However, one town mayor described the publicly funded publication as a work of childish provocation.
Big names in Czech ice hockey have questioned the NHL’s decision not to release players for next year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. A member of the Czech team that won gold in Nagano in 1998, Jiří Šlégr, said the move was a step backwards as the Olympics would have less value. For his part, Vladimír Růžička, who has taken part in five Olympics as a player and coach, said there had been no better advertisement for the sport of ice hockey than the Olympics.
Wednesday is expected to see rain and some sunny spells in the Czech Republic. Temperatures are due to reach a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius.
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