The Secretary-General of the European Council Javier Solana will arrive in Prague to meet with President Václav Klaus as well as the country’s prime minister in early December. It will be Mr Solana’s first official visit as the EU’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy. Topics that are expected to be discussed in Mr Solana’s meeting with Mr Klaus include foreign policy issues as well as the Czech Republic’s upcoming six-month EU presidency. The talks are expected to be closely-watched not least because Mr Klaus is a well-known critic of further European integration, as well as the Lisbon treaty.
Members of the legendary British rock group ELO are set to perform two concerts in Prague on Sunday. Organisers added a second concert in the afternoon after tickets for the evening were largely sold out. ELO Former Members will perform with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. It will be the band’s second appearance in the Czech Republic.
The Story of Prague Castle is a permanent exhibition at Prague’s most famous site, covering its magnificent thousand-year history – from its architecture to the lives of the Czech kings. But, this week, a new small exhibit was added, one that will be of most interest to those passionate about jewelry. Around 30 items in gold and silver, dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, in other words the early medieval period, have been put on display.
An exhibition of traditional Christmas nativity scenes has opened at Prague Castle. It features around four dozen nativity scenes of various ages and made of various materials, including wood, cardboard and gingerbread and was put together by the Spolek českých betlemářů (Czech nativity scene makers association).
Tuesday marks exactly 125 years since the opening of the National Theatre, one of the most important cultural institutions in the Czech Republic. The building was first opened in June 1881, but it was destroyed by fire and re-opened two years later, on the 18th of November 1883, to the sound of Bedřich Smetana’s Libuše. One year ago, the National Theatre launched an extensive renovation project; its first stage has just been completed. Earlier today, I asked the general director of the National Theatre, Ondřej Černý, to tell me what exactly was
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, will visit Prague later this month at the invitation of former Czech president Václav Havel and his Forum 2000 Foundation. He is scheduled to deliver a public speech and meet with lower house deputies who are members of the Friends of Tibet association. The Dalai Lama is a close friend of Mr. Havel and has visited the Czech Republic on several previous occasions.
Planning permission has been granted for a massive new office and commercial development at Prague’s Národní Třida metro station, which promises to change the face of this busy central intersection. The architects behind the plan promise to revitalize a location which has in recent years become associated with pickpockets and the homeless – but their plans have far from won universal approval. It looks likely that thousands of angry commuters whose journeys would be disrupted by the project will appeal against the construction.
Austria’s stock market operator Wiener Borse has gained a 92.4 majority stake in the Prague bourse, according to a deal reached between the operator and a group of Prague Stock Exchange shareholders in October. The news was released on Friday, but the cost of the deal remains unknown. The Prague bourse is one of the biggest in central and eastern Europe and some sources earlier in the year estimated the bid at least at 200 million euros. Austria’s stock market operator, Wiener Borse also holds majority stakes in the Budapest and Ljubljana Stock Exchanges.
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