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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
A new 190-kilometre long ‘pilgrimage’ path linking two mountains with
mythical status in Czech history – Říp and Blaník – has been opened
by the Cesta Česka (Czech Way) association and the Czech Tourists Club.
Říp Mountain is where legend has it that Father Čech decided his people would settle in Bohemia. An army of knights are said to sleep under Blaník Mountain, ready to defend the nation if called upon.
Cesta Česka chairman Jindřich Chmelař told the ČTK news agency that taking the journey is an opportunity to learn about oneself.
The pilgrimage path starts in Louňovice pod Blaníkem, passes through Český Šternberk, Sázava, Kouřim, Sadská, Stará Boleslav and Mělník. Each hosts centres that offer pilgrimage maps and Pilgrim’s diaries.
PM Andrej Babiš’s ANO centre-right party would gain 30 percent of the
electorate if a vote were held in September, according to a poll by the
Kantar CZ agency for Czech Television.
The opposition Pirate Party and Civic Democrats (ODS) would gain 15.5 percent and 14.5 percent of the vote, respectively, the poll shows.
The largely unreformed Communist party polled at 6.5 percent, the right-wing Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) at 6 percent, the Mayors and Independents (STAN) at 5.5 percent.
Polling at the 5 percent threshold needed to enter the lower house of Parliament were the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) and ANO’s junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats (ČSSD).
The recently former Tricolour party of former ODS MP Václav Klaus Jr., the son of a former President, polled at 3 percent.
The cabinet is due on Wednesday to discuss the draft budget and staffing
levels for the Czech Presidency of the European Union in the second half of
2022 of the Presidency.
Early this year, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) requested that the anticipated expenditures of 2.6 billion crowns be halved. The current draft counts on spending 1.29 billion crowns over four years.
Several ministers have raised objections ahead of the Cabinet meeting, including Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats). He said the projected budget and proposed staffing levels are insufficient.
Neighbouring Austria and Slovakia, for example, each had over 200 staff for their EU presidencies, whereas the government is counting on having just 156 people at the permanent representation in Brussels.
Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová will not attend the Forum 2000
international conference in Prague, where she was to deliver a speech on
Monday, due to health reasons.
She was due to be one of the main speakers at the 23rd Forum 2000 Conference, which began on Sunday afternoon, and this year focuses on the legacy of democratic change since 1989, climate change, and social changes brought about by new technologies.
The conference was co-founded by the late Czech President Václav Havel. Its primary aims are the support of democratic values, civil society and respect for human rights. This year’s theme is “Recovering the Promise of 1989.”
President Čaputová had also wanted to visit Prague to pay her respects to the late Czech singer Karel Gott and actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová, both of whom died earlier this month.
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