The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, may attend events in Plzeň in May
marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Czech city at the end
of World War II, the Czech News Agency said. The American foreign policy
chief has received an invitation from the Czech side and confirmation is
now being awaited, it reported.
The Czech News Agency said Mr. Pompeo had discussed a possible visit to the Czech Republic with the country’s ministry of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, at the ongoing Munich Security Conference.
Events marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Plzeň will culminate on May 6, when US forces led by General George S. Patton entered the city in 1945.
The minister of transport, Karel Havlíček, says a planned online sales
system for motorway vignettes should now cost around CZK 128 million, far
lower than the CZK 401 million price agreed in a previous tender process.
Mr. Havlíček told the Deník N news site that the savings would mainly
come in the sphere of security. His predecessor in the post, Vladimír
Kremlík, was dismissed following the initial tender process.
Mr. Havlíček, who is also minister of industry and trade, said the new system may also draw on the results of a hackathon last month in which volunteer programmers created an alternative system.
Czech regional authorities are to receive powers to regulate the use of
water, including through hose-pipe bans, Právo reported on Saturday. Under
a government bill, regional commissions will be able in crisis situations
to declare water shortages and impose usage restrictions independently, the
daily said. The legislation is set to go before the lower house in a second
The minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, said experience of recent droughts had shown that the uncontrolled use of water by industry, agriculture and households would have to change in future. The country has been hit by drought over successive summers.
Czech Lucie Charvátová caused a sensation when she took bronze in the
sprint at the Biathlon World Championships in Italy’s Anterselva. The
27-year-old only had the 19th best time on the 7.5 kilometre cross country
skiing track but did very well in the shooting part of the event.
Following the best result of her career to date Charvátová said she had frequently faced criticism and considered quitting the biathlon. Among those she thanked was Egil Gjelland, the Norwegian coach of the Czech team.
Work looks set to begin next week on a replacement for a Marian column
removed from Prague’s Old Town Square over a century ago, the Czech News
Agency reported. The sculptor who has designed the new column, Petr Váňa,
said archaeological research would start on Monday and installation should
take place between late April and mid September.
The original 17th century Marian column was regarded by some as a symbol of Austrian rule and was torn down by protestors in 1918, shortly after Czechoslovakia was founded. There has been heated debate over whether to replace it.
A protest against Airbnb is being held this weekend in a Prague apartment
rented via the accommodation services provider. A group called Stop Airbnb
have invited members of the general public to take part in a weekend-long
series of events aimed at highlighting the damage being caused to
communities in central Prague as it is extremely given over to tourism.
Among those attending the launch of the “happening” was the mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib. He said the city was working on legislation to make it easier to force renters to adhere to regulations regarding the provision of such services. Over 13,000 apartments in the Czech capital are being offered via Airbnb-style services.
Doctors in the Czech Republic have for the first time fitted a patient with
an artificial extracorporeal lung, Novinky.cz reported. The procedure has
only been carried out 20 times in the world, the news site said. It saved
the life of a 35-year-old patient with severe pulmonary hypertension, who
will subsequently undergo a lung transplant.
Medics at Prague’s General Teaching Hospital said that when the patient arrived in December she had been dying due to massive loss of blood from her lungs and heart failure.
There has been a marked increase in hate speech in the Czech Republic, the
Interior Ministry says in its report on extremism for the second half of
The report highlights a number of controversies that have stirred hate speech in the country, such as the planned removal of the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from Prague 6.
The report says some neo-Nazi activists have resumed their activities, while anarchists and communists are going through a period of stagnation and have been less active.
In 2019 the police registered 170 extremist crimes, nine less than in the previous year.