Daily news summary Daily news summary

Prague may close several bridges for emergency repairs

A lightening inspection of Prague’s bridges, in the wake of the collapse of one of the city’s footbridges on Saturday, has revealed serious problems in other constructions as well.

Prague City Hall is considering closing down several more bridges for emergency repairs, among them the Radotin footbridge and Hlavkův Bridge.

According to the Prague councillor for transport Petr Dolínek trams may be banned from Hlavkův Bridge until its renovation has been completed. A decision is to be made in the coming weeks.

Dolínek rejected claims that Prague City Hall had neglected maintenance of the city’s bridges, saying Prague had invested 1.2 billion crowns into the maintenance of bridges between 2014 and 2017.

Footbridge expertise under scrutiny following accident

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has ordered an assessment of the latest expertise into the footbridge across the Vltava River which collapsed on Saturday injuring four people, two seriously.

The expert assessment reporting on the state of the bridge is just three weeks old and contained no warning that the bridge could present a public hazard. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

It is believed that the footbridge, which was thirty years old, was damaged by corrosion. Emergency crews have been working to clear the debris. The remains of the bridge are unstable and will have to be torn down.

Until a new bridge has been constructed a ferry will serve passengers needing to cross from Císařský Island to Troja.

Lower house to start debating 2018 budget next week

The lower house of Parliament will meet on Tuesday to start debating the 2018 state budget. As approved by the outgoing government the budget has a deficit of 50 billion crowns.

Deputy Finance Minister Alena Schillerová, who is to serve as finance minister in the new government, would like to see it approved without major changes, but observers predict a tough battle ahead. Deputies, including those of the outgoing coalition, are proposing shifts amounting to sixty billion crowns.

The lower house needs to approve the budget by the end of the year otherwise the country would have to start operating on a provisional budget.

Valuable 16th century herbarium retrieved

Police have retrieved a valuable 16th century herbarium that disappeared from the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.

The book was confiscated during a raid in the home of a Ukranian national who is suspected of illegal drugs production and bribery.

The herbarium had been missing for 26 years. The Ukrainian claimed to have bought it on the black market. Its value is estimated at 150,000 crowns.

Judoka Lukáš Krpálek wins silver in Tokyo

Czech judoka Lukáš Krpálek won silver in the over 100 kg category at the Grand Slam in Tokyo on Sunday. The Olympics gold medallist from Rio in the -100 category fought valiantly for the gold but succumbed to Japan’s Yusei Ogawa for whom it was the first gold medal at a grand slam. Krpálek had been out for five month because of a knee injury.

Extreme Taxis Gladiator Race premiers in Pardubice

The extreme Taxis Gladiator Race, copying the Velká Parbubice Steeplechase, including the famous Taxis hurdle, saw its premiere in Pardubice on Saturday. It proved a gruelling track for the 1,200 contestants, many of whom had to give up half-way. Freezing fog, mud and ice- old water in which the contestants waded, weighed down by rubber tyres, proved a major test of strength and stamina.

The track for human contestants was the same as for horses i.e. 6,900 metres but instead of 31 hurdles it had 39. The winner,Tomáš Tvrdík, covered the track in 33.5 minutes.

Weather forecast

Monday should be overcast around the country, with rain or snow showers and day temperatures between 1 and 5 degrees Celius.