Czech president Miloš Zeman, accompanied by his wife Ivana and daughter
Kateřina, were received by British Queen Elisabeth II at Buckingham Palace
on Friday. Among other things, they were discussing Czech citizens who are
currently studying and working in Great Britain and their future after
Brexit, president Zeman told jounralists after the reception.
The meeting with the UK head of state is the high point of Mr Zeman’s visit to Great Britain, during which he has also set to meet with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Mr Zeman would like to discuss with Mr Johnson the case of the Czech national who was killed in London last year and whose alleged attacker was allowed to walk free from court.
The Czech head of state on Friday also presented a diploma of promotion to the rank of general to Miroslav Antonín Liškutín, a Czechoslovak pilot who flew with the RAF during the war and was promoted in his absence in Prague on May 8, and awarded a number of Czech and Slovak war veterans who served in the RAF with a medal for bravery.
The number of animals in the Czech Republic slaughtered according to halal requirements increased in 2016 by nine percent on the previous year, according to the data of the State Veterinary Administration. Nearly 114,000 animals were slaughtered according to Halal, which is less than one percentage of all the animals slaughtered in the country per year. There are currently nine slaughterhouses in the country which can carry out ritual halal or kosher slaughters.
The overall percentage of Czech fathers taking paternity leave is less than two percent, according to the data released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on Friday. Over the past fifteen years, the number of fathers staying at home with their kids has increased by only about one percentage point. Last year, some 5,200 Czech fathers officially took paternity leave. According to the non-profit Liga otevřených mužů or League of Open Men, ten percent of Czech fathers would like to take paternity leave but most of them reject it, stating mainly financial reasons.
Construction of the new Libušín, the historical chalet in the Beskydy Mountains in the east of the country, has already been launched, the Czech News Agency reported on Friday. The famous Art Nouveau Folk building designed by Dušan Jurkovič, which became the symbol of Pustevny in the Beskydy Mountains, was destroyed by fire in March 2014. According to Jindřich Ondruš of the Open Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, which is administering the building, the structural work should be completed by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans met in Prague on Friday to discuss migration and the future direction of European integration; they also discussed the upcoming meeting of the Council of Europe scheduled for next week. According to a press release summarizing their meeting, the prime minister stressed that the Czech Republic was ready to help fellow European countries when it came to heightening border security in the face of the migrant countries. The European Commission will initiate steps against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for failing to respect EU migrant quotas and take its share of refugees.
The year on year pace of industrial price increases at Czech factory gates slowed down in May to 2.3 percent, according to figures released Friday by the Czech Statistical Association. That compares with April’s 3.2 percent. But the producer price rises passed on by farmers, those in the construction sector, and in services rose in May compared with a year earlier. Agricultural prices climbed 12.6 percent, construction by 1.5 percent, and services by 0.9 percent. Higher fruit prices were one of the main factors in the farm sector figures.
The annual Smetana’s Litomyšl International Opera Festival gets underway on Friday in the eastern Bohemian town with a concert by the Czech Philharmonic headed by Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov. The festival, which is now in its 59th year, will offer more than 35 events, ranging across musical genres from opera to jazz and gypsy music. It will continue until July 5.
Prague Castle is hosting a two-day festival of mini breweries. The festival, which starts on Friday afternoon, will offer the production of 66 Czech and Moravian breweries and four foreign brewers. Altogether, visitors can taste 140 different sorts of beer. Last year, festival visitors consumed around 7,000 litres of beer.
The renowned Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek died on Thursday at the age of 91. The news was confirmed by the head of the National Film Archive Michal Bregant. Zoubek is known for numerous important works, including a memorial to the victims of the communist regime at Prague's Újezd. In 1969, Mr Zoubek cast the death mask of student Jan Palach, who used self-immolation to protest against the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.