The annual United Island music festival gets underway in Prague on Thursday night with the traditional club night. Ten venues in the city, including the popular Jazz Dock, will present the Czech contemporary scene covering various genres. For the first time this year, United Islands of Prague will take place in the district of Karlín, offering around 200 artists from 20 countries around the world. The festival will also mark the 25th anniversary celebration of the humanitarian organization People in Need.
Czech Prime Minster Bohuslav Sobotka met with his Slovak and Austrian Counterparts, Christian Kern and Robert Fico, in Brno on Thursday. The main topic on their agenda was migration crisis and the European Union summit in Brussels, which gets underway on Thursday. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico suggested it would be more effective to discuss migration among smaller groups of EU member states, rather than in the whole of EU. The prime ministers have also discussed regional cooperation, education and the so-called Industry 0.4 Initiative, which involves the digitalisation of the manufacturing sector.
Meteorologists have issued a heat storm warning for most parts of the Czech Republic on Thursday evening. A belt of heavy rain is expected to pass over the country from west to east- bringing torrential rain, hail storms and high winds. Rainfall at some places could average 25 litres per square metre, the forecasters say, and could result in local flooding.
The Czech Republic should step up its efforts to detect, investigate and prosecute foreign bribery, according to a new OECD report released on Thursday. The report, which evaluates the country’s implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Politician in International Business Transactions, says Prague must improve its system combating foreign bribery, especially in view of the country’s export-oriented economy. Seventeen years after ratifying the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the Czech Republic has yet to prosecute a case involving the bribery of foreign public officials.
The Czechs have kept alive their chances of further progress in the European Under-21 Championships following a surprise 3:1 victory against Italy on Wednesday night. The Italians equalised after the Czechs went ahead in the first half but a brace of late goals put the game beyond the stunned Italians. Czechs now have three points in two games and face Denmark in the final group game.
Gas and diesel prices at filling stations in the Czech Republic have reached the lowest level in the past six months, according to the data released by CCS, a company monitoring sales, on Thursday. The average price of top-selling Natural 95 fell by 21 hellers over the past week to an average 30.04 crowns per litre, while diesel dropped by 24 hellers to an average 25.89 crowns a litre. According to experts, the trend is likely to continue in the near future.
The police have charged two people with fraud on suspicion of manipulating public tenders for work on the premises of the president’s summer residence at Lany. Three employees of Lesní správa Lány, an organization administering close to six hectares of land and forests which belong to the Office of the President, were detaind on Wednesday including the head of the organization Miloš Balák. It is not clear if he is among those charged. Police suspect persons in the organization of manipulating public tenders worth 60 million crowns. The Office of the President has not so far commented on the development, citing lack of information.
President Miloš Zeman will open the Prague Žofín economic forum on Thursday with a wide-ranging speech expected to cover the effective functioning of state administration, diminishing trust in political parties and Czech interests in Europe and abroad. The economics forum is a platform for debate not just on economic issues but matters relating to security and social problems. It is attended by leading politicians, economists and members of the academic sphere.
President Miloš Zeman has appointed Stanislav Štech as Czech minister of education, youth and sports. Mr. Štech, who is 62, is a Charles University psychology professor and a former deputy minister of education. He replaces the Social Democratic Party’s Kateřina Valachová, who announced her resignation after one of her deputies was charged with large-scale corruption involving sports subsidies.