Petra Kvitová has won her fifth tennis title of the season. The Czech
player came from behind to defeat Magdaléna Rybáriková of Slovakia 4-6
6-1 6-2 on Sunday to lift the title at the Birmingham Classic in the UK.
Kvitová did not drop a set on her route to the final in Birmingham, where
she also took last year’s trophy.
The two-time Wimbledon winner suffered a terrible hand injury when she was stabbed in late 2016 but has made an impressive recovery and is now ranked eighth in the world.
One of the last remaining Czechs who served with Britain’s RAF during
World War II, Pavel Vranský, has died at the age of 97. Mr. Vranský was
promoted to the rank of brigadier general by the president last year.
The war hero, who came from a Jewish family in Ostrava, joined the RAF in 1942 and served with the 311 Squadron, which was a Czechoslovak-manned bomber squadron. Prior to that he had fought in Syria and at Tobruk.
The razing to the ground of the village of Ležáky in Eastern Bohemia and
the murder of the local community by the Nazis was remembered on Sunday, 76
years after those terrible events took place. Hundreds of people attended a
memorial at the spot where the atrocities occurred.
Among those who spoke at the ceremony was Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who highlighted the importance of the EU and NATO in safeguarding peace in Europe.
Some 33 residents of Ležáky were executed by the Nazis on 24 June 1942 as part of reprisals for the assassination of governor Reinhard Hedyrich. A similar fate had earlier befallen the village of Lidice near Prague.
President Miloš Zeman says that the Social Democrats’ nominee for
minister of foreign affairs, Miroslav Poche, has not been proposed to him
as a cabinet member by the prime designate, Andrej Babiš of ANO. The
president said in an interview on Sunday that there had been a blank space
by foreign affairs in a list of ministerial candidates he received from Mr.
Mr. Zeman is opposed to Mr. Poche heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accusing him of being soft on migrants.
However, Mr. Babiš said that the information provided to the president had been informal. The ANO leader told reporters he does intend to include Mr. Poche when he officially informs the president about his cabinet nominees on Monday.
The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, said that if Mr. Babiš failed to nominate Mr. Poche it would represent a breach of the outline coalition agreement between his party and ANO and would make further negotiations pointless.
Mr. Zeman said he would very probably appoint the new government on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Mr. Babiš has said that the prospective two-party minority coalition – which would be supported on key votes by the Communists – could undergo a vote of confidence in the lower house on July 11.
The board of governors of the Czech National Bank could increase the basic
interest rate by 0.25 percent to 1.0 percent at a meeting scheduled for
Wednesday, the Czech News Agency reported, citing the views of analysts.
The experts say that the main reason for such a move would be the fact the Czech crown is weaker toward the euro than the central bank estimated. In addition, wage growth and inflation are higher than the bank expected.
The analysts believe that if the CNB doesn’t raise interest rates this month it will likely do so at the start of August.
Prague’s Metronome music festival reached a climax on Saturday night. The
UK electronic music veterans The Chemical Brothers played a career-spanning
set to a huge and appreciative audience on the main stage following an
innovative and entertaining show from former Talking Heads leader David
Byrne on a smaller podium.
The two-day event held at the city’s Výstaviště exhibition grounds had earlier featured Massive Attack, John Cale and Tom Odell, among others.
Opinion has been divided by the new strip of the Czech national ice hockey
team, which sees the traditional state symbol replaced by a large
illustration of a lion wearing a crown.
The vast majority of respondents in a poll by the iDnes.cz news site said they did not like the national team’s new look, while the Czech player of the season David Pastrňák said he didn’t understand it and goaltender Ondřej Pavelec described it as a disgrace.
In contrast Martin Nečas, who was part of the Czech squad at this year’s world championships, said the jerseys were far nicer than the old ones. Now retired ice hockey great Patrik Eliáš said the lion was a national symbol and it was a great idea to use it as the symbol of the Czech team.
The Social Democrats’ Miroslav Poche says if he does not become foreign
minister he could serve in another role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Czech Television reported on Saturday. The MEP is his party’s choice for
that portfolio in a minority coalition taking shape with ANO. However, his
appointment is opposed by President Miloš Zeman and ANO Andrej Babiš.
Mr. Poche described a possible scenario under which Social Democrats chairman Jan Hamáček would temporarily take on foreign affairs as a second portfolio and he himself would serve in a different role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “plan B”.
However, both he and Mr. Hamáček are still insisting that Mr. Poche head the ministry, he said.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, has responded to French comments
regarding the Visegrad Four and an informal EU meeting on migration planned
for Sunday. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the fact
that the V4 countries – which include the Czech Republic – were
boycotting the mini-summit on Sunday would make it harder to find a
Europe-wide deal on migration at a major summit of the EU 28 at the end of
Mr. Babiš described Mr. Griveaux’s words as “unfortunate”. He said the V4 were not boycotting anything but were just not attending Sunday’s mini-summit, which he said had been called in a most irregular manner.
On Thursday morning the Czech PM said he was going to Sunday's meeting. However, after V4 and Austria talks later that day he said none of the Visegrad states would be represented there.