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14-10-2019

Minister tells Turkish ambassador country should stop military operations in northern Syria

Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček summoned the Turkish ambassador for a meeting on Monday to reiterate the European Union’s priority of finding a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria and called on Turkey to halt its ongoing military operations in the region.

An official statement posted on the ministry’s website on Monday morning expressed particular concern over the violent death of the Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf on Saturday and those of many other civilians. The Czech Republic respects Turkey’s right to defend its border, but strongly opposes the massive military intervention, the statement goes on to say.

Public pay last respects to deceased actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová

Leading representatives of the Czech cultural scene gathered at the National Theatre in Prague on Monday to attend an official farewell ceremony for actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová, who died this month at the age of 92. The event, which featured a number of speakers including her former colleagues from the National Theatre, culminated with a symbolic funeral procession exiting the building.

Mrs. Chramostová was an accomplished actress before her refusal to accept the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 led to her losing the opportunity to perform in film, television and radio. During the normalisation era she was active in the country’s dissent and signed the Charter 77 protest document. For her activities in the service of human rights and democracy, Ms. Chramostová was awarded the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk by President Václav Havel in 1998.

Court: State apology not necessary for Zeman’s statement about Peroutka

The Ministry of Finance will not have to issue an apology on its website regarding Czech President Miloš Zeman’s false statement that the acclaimed Czech writer Ferdinand Peroutka wrote an article entitled “Hitler is a gentleman” during the 1930s. The Prague 1 District Court dismissed the lawsuit put forward by the writer’s granddaughter Terezie Kaslová. According to the judge the conditions for liability were not met, because the president’s public addresses are not governed by procedural regulations.

Mrs. Kaslová originally sued the Office of the President. However, despite the initial ruling going partially in her favour, the Supreme Court then ruled that she had directed her claim incorrectly. The dispute returned to the beginning, with the Ministry of Finance becoming the defendant.

EU’s future regional funding budget for Czechia to be 20 percent lower

The EU has so far promised to provide CZK 100 billion in funding through its Integrated Regional Operational Program between the years 2021 to 2027, a decrease of around one-fifth compared to the previous term, the minister of regional development, Klára Dostálová of ANO, told journalists on Monday. Meanwhile, the rate of national co-financing will increase from the current 15 percent to 30 percent. However, Ms. Dostálová said that negotiations are still ongoing.

In terms of overall funding the Czech Republic is expected to receive CZK 520 billion crowns, which is a 100 CZK billion increase to the current funding budget. The European Commission is asking for three-quarters of the funding to be put into the union wide Intelligent Europe and Green Europe programmes, the minister said.

Moody’s downgrades outlook for Czech banking sector

The international rating agency Moody's Investors Service has downgraded its outlook for the Czech banking sector from positive to stable. The change is mainly due to the slowdown in the country’s economic growth, the Czech News Agency reports. Moody’s said on Monday that after years of rapid loan growth, it expects a slight deterioration in the quality of its loan portfolio in the Czech Republic.

The New York-based bond credit rating business continues to see the country’s credit rating as one of the best in Central and Eastern Europe, but it expects Czech GDP growth to decelerate from last year’s 2.9 percent to 2.7 percent this year, with a further 0.2 percent decrease in 2020.

D1 motorway accident leaves one dead, 10 injured, 4 cars aflame

A mass accident on the D1 highway in the Benešov region on Sunday evening left one person dead, 10 injured and four cars burned. A police officer directing traffic away from the scene was also injured by passing driver.

The accident involved a tanker truck and occurred at the 49-kilometre marker in the Brno direction. Firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze at about 8pm, but that side of the D1 motorway was still blocked early on Monday.

Siniaková and Krejčíková qualify for doubles WTA Finals

The Czech doubles team of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková has qualified for tennis’s WTA Finals in Shenzhen. It is the second time in a row that the pair have qualified for the prestigious, season-ending tournament. They secured their place after winning the Linz Doubles on Sunday, adding another title after their August victory in Toronto.

They will join compatriot Barbora Strýcová, who will be lining up alongside Taiwanese partner Hsieh Su-wei at the WTA Finals, which begin in two weeks’ time.

Weather

The country’s Indian summer is set to continue on Tuesday with sunny skies and temperatures hovering between 18 to 24 degrees Celsius. The warm spell is expected to end on Wednesday, when the average temperature will go down to 16 degrees and rains hit the northern and eastern parts of the country.

14-10-2019