Due to the coronavirus, in place of the usual parades and military convoys,
Pilsen broadcast a live program online to celebrate the city’s liberation
by the US Army and the end of World War II.
Although Pilsen has postponed grand celebrations for a year, a dozen military Jeeps and other vehicles with crews in period U.S. uniforms passed through the city before noon on Sunday, Rudolf Bayer, chairman of the Pilsen Military Car Club, told ČTK.
The Czech government will take no retaliatory measures against Russian
authorities over a reputed plot to assassinate Prague’s mayor and others
without confirmation of secret service information, Deputy Prime Minister
Karel Havlíček said on Sunday.
In late April, the Czech weekly Respekt reported that Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and two district mayors, Ondřej Kolář and Pavel Novotný, were under police protection because a Russian intelligence agent with diplomatic status had been sent to poison them using ricin.
Speaking during a Czech Television panel discussion, Havlíček said retaliatory moves such as expelling Russian diplomats were not under consideration for the time being.
The Russian Embassy in Prague has accused Respekt of spreading fake news and filed a protest with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The country's foreign minister has said the idea of Russia sending an agent to assassinate Czech politicians is “inconceivable”.
The Czech National Bank board will probably reduce the key interest rate by
half a percentage point to 0.5 percent on Thursday (May 7) to mitigate the
economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a ČTK poll of
Some analysts polled by ČTK do not rule out a drop in the base rate to ‘technical zero’. The central bank board last cut the key interest rate by 0.75 pp at the end of March, to 1 percent. It had already cut rates by 0.5 pp at an extraordinary meeting on March 16.
The last plane of protective medical gear bought in China and transported
to the Czech Republic landed in Prague on Sunday morning. The so-called air
bridge was coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior.
Since March 20, when the Chinese flights began, 52 planes have delivered around 2,000 tons of facemasks, respirators and other material. So far, the ministry has paid almost 4 billion crowns for orders.
Minister of Interior Jan Hamáček said after the state of emergency ends, the State Material Reserves Administration should be the key body responsible for the purchase, storage and distribution of medical supplies.
Another 18 coronavirus cases were confirmed on Saturday, the lowest daily
increase since March 9. However, labs performed only 3,862 tests, compared
to 6,515 tests daily on average last week.
To date, 7,755 people in the Czech Republic have contracted coronavirus and 3,471 have recovered from it while 245 people have died, according to the Ministry of Health.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček says the Czech Republic’s borders
with neighboring countries should be fully open from July.
Negotiations with Slovakia and Austria are the furthest along, Petříček wrote on his blog on Saturday, while negotiations with Poland may prove more complicated and travel to Germany will depend on how the coronavirus develops there.
Petříček said he is hopeful that Czechs will also be allowed to travel to Bulgaria, Hungary and the Baltic countries in the first month of summer holidays, and to Croatia, Greece, Slovenia and Malta in August.
CNN Prima News, a new, 24-hour television channel established by the Czech
commercial station Prima and the U.S. cable news giant, begins broadcasting
on Sunday evening.
The channel will offer almost 30 shows and feature international news coverage by CNN, dubbed or subtitled into Czech, and national reporting by Prima TV.
CNN Prima News aims to reach 1.5 percent viewership in the 15-69 age group by the end of 2020. Prima TV, established in 1993, is currently the third most-watched TV station in the Czech Republic.
The Czech state should pay at least a third of the rent for the period of
March 12 through June to entrepreneurs who have had to close due to
anti-coronavirus measures, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) told the
The support would go to businesses of all kinds, from shopping centers to small stores, pubs and hair salons, whose landlords agree to forgiving a third of the rent. The tenant would pay the remaining third.
The opposition has been pushing for such support. Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (for ANO) said the government should discuss the measure next week, but no later than May 11.
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