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OECD: Czech economy thriving, focus should be on boosting skills, “greening” economy

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría is in Prague on Monday for an official visit, during which he presented the 2018 OECD Economic Survey and the Environmental Performance Review of the Czech Republic.

According to the OECD, the Czech economy is thriving, marked by robust employment, expanding exports and falling government debt. Efforts should now focus on boosting workforce skills and innovation to improve labour supply and productivity, further reduce poverty and inequality, and to “green” the economy, it said.

Czech GDP should grow 3.8% this year, according to the OECD, mainly driven by strong demand stemming from rising salaries and export growth. Next year, GDP growth should slow to 3.2%. The OECD warned that Czech property prices – the highest in the EU last year compared to wages – represent a risk to the stability of the economy. It also recommended reducing the overall tax burden.

Prague Pride festival launches campaign against “labelling” people

Prague Pride, a week-long festival in August celebrating sexual diversity and equal rights for members of the LGBT community, has announced its theme this year will be family relations and include a poster campaign against “labelling” people.

The posters aim to show how hurtful it can be to label someone a “mama’s boy” or the “black sheep of the family”, for example. The campaign also aims to stress that everyone, not just people who identify as LGBT, are welcome at the festival, which this year runs from August 6th to 12th.

Film and theatre director Petr Weigl dies at 79

The renowned Czech film and theatre director Petr Weigl, who achieved fame with his opera adaptions, has died at the age of 79 years.

Mr. Weigl directed opera and ballet performances in Czech theatres as well as abroad and created a number of short and feature films for the Czech and Slovak Television, as well as for German public channel ARD and ZDF, British channels BBC and Channel 4.

Among his best-known works are the poetic film drama Radúz and Mahulena, starring Jan Tříska and Magda Vašáryová or a 1977 film version of Antonín Dvořák’s opera Rusalka.

Annual street art festival gets underway in Prague

An annual festival of street art called Za Dveřmi or Behind the Door gets under way at Prague's Výstaviště exhibition grounds on Monday. Over the next four days, visitors can see over 40 performances by world and Czech troups, including DJuggledy, a performer, juggler and showman from Berlin. The tenth edition of the festival will kick off with a performance by Spanish stret theatre company Kamchatka.

ČD Cargo to issue 7-year bond worth 1 billion crowns

Freight carrier ČD Cargo, a subsidiary of state-owned Czech Railways, plans to issue 7-year bonds worth 1 billion crowns by the end of July with the coupon of 2.55 per cent to fund the purchase of new wagons and towards other investment, the daily E15 reported on Monday. Two years ago, ČD Cargo issued papers worth 500 million crowns.

Tigers, lion escape from private zoo enclosure

Two tigers and a lion escaped from their enclosure in a private zoo Biopark Štít in the eastern Bohemian municipality of Klamoš on Monday morning. A police spokesperson said a special task force, including a helicopter unit, was working to secure the area until the animals could be sedated. Biopark Štít is a private facility that breeds breeding animals threatened with extinction.

Weather outlook

Tuesday should be mostly sunny in central Bohemia, with daytime temperatures of between 25 and 29 degrees Celsius. Rain is likely in the Karlovy Vary and Pilsen regions to the west and in much of Moravia.