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31-07-2019

Deputy minister René Schreier to head arts ministry in interim capacity

Deputy minister René Schreier is to be named as interim minister of culture. His appointment was announced by outgoing department head Antonín Staněk and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Wednesday, Mr. Staněk’s last day in office.

Mr. Babiš said Mr. Schreier will hold the reins at the ministry until President Miloš Zeman decides on whether to appoint the Social Democrats’ nominee Michal Šmarda. The party have threatened to quit the government if Mr. Zeman rejects their candidate.

Legal expert Jan Kysela told Novinky.cz that the absence of a minister was in contravention of the constitution and the Competence Act. Though deputy ministers have taken over at government departments in the past it is still wrong, Mr. Kysela said.

Social Democrat ministries lacking 20 billion crowns

The Social Democrats cannot support the proposed draft state-budget for 2020, party leader Jan Hamáček told reporters on Wednesday. According to Mr. Hamáček, the five Social Democrat-led ministries, including the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Social Affairs, would fall short of 20 billion crowns.

Mr Hamáček says the proposed state budget would not allow the government to fulfil its promises, as stated in its policy program. While the Social Democrats don’t want to increase the proposed 40 billion crown deficit, they argue that the state budget income is undervalued.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the budget negotiations, led by Finance Minister Alena Schillerová, would continue until the end of September

Culture minister announces selection process for National Gallery head

Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has announced a selection process for the post of the head of Prague’s National Gallery. The new director of the National Gallery should be appointed by the end of February 2020. Mr Staněk made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday, on his last day in office.

Mr Staněk sacked the head of the National Gallery in Prague, Jiří Fajt, as well as the head of Olomouc’s Museum of Arts, Michal Soukoup, in mid-April, accusing them of improper management. The sacking of Mr. Fajt caused a huge wave of criticism from the domestic art scene, forcing the minister to step down a month later.

Norwegian rescuers fail to retrieve bodies of two Czech climbers

Rescuers in Norway have so far failed to retrieve the bodies of two Czech mountaineers who died while climbing the Trollvegen or Troll Wall in the south-west of the country. The climbers were found at the bottom of the mountain-side on Monday afternoon after being reported missing earlier in the day.

The Czechs, both allegedly experienced climbers, set out on their journey on Thursday last week. The Troll Wall is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, measuring 1,100 meters from its base to the summit of its highest point.

Ziggy Marley to perform in Prague’s Archa Theatre

Jamaican singer Ziggy Marley is set to perform at Prague’s Archa Theatre on Wednesday evening. The eight-time Grammy award winner and the oldest son of Bob Marley will perform in Prague for the first time, following up on his appearance at the Colours of Ostrava music festival last year. The reggae star will present his latest Grammy-nominated studio album called Rebellion Rises.

Plzeň knocked out in Champions League qualifiers by Olympiakos

Viktoria Plzeň have been knocked out in the second qualifying round of football’s Champions League by Olympiakos. After a 0:0 draw in the first leg in West Bohemia last week Plzeň lost 4:0 away to the Greek side on Tuesday night.

Coach Pavel Vrba’s charges will now face Antwerp in the second-tier Europa League. The first leg of their third qualifying round tie takes place in Belgium on Thursday next week.

Plzeň last season reached the Champions League group stage for the third time.

Weather

Thursday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with occasional showers. Day-time highs will range between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius.

31-07-2019