Norwegian theatre director and music manager Per Boye Hansen will join the
Czech State Opera, part of the National Theatre in Prague, as artistic
director this August.
Mr Hansen told journalists on Tuesday he aims to strengthen the international position of the opera and increase the number of new productions.
Prague is well placed to become a major city for opera on the level of Vienna, Berlin, Paris and London, he said.
The State Opera is currently undergoing a major reconstruction at is due to reopen in January 2020.
The Czech foreign trade surplus dropped by 30.8 billion crowns year on year
in 2018 to of 132.7 billion crowns, the national statistical office (ČSU)
announced on Wednesday.
Compared to 2017, exports of domestic companies increased by 3.5 percent and imports rose 4.6 percent.
Germany was the country’s largest trading partner, accounting for about a third of Czech exports and a quarter of imports.
Some Prague restaurants that have received beef shipments from a Polish
abattoir accused of slaughtering sick cows have been promoting it as being
‘Argentinean’, Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman told Czech MPs on
Mr Toman said he had personally witnessed the mislabelling in what he described as a high-end Asian restaurant, adding, “And I do not mean a Chinese restaurant”.
A ministry spokesman said the restaurant in question is now being inspected by the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority and the State Veterinary Administration.
Around 300 kilogrammes of suspect Polish beef is known to have been imported into the Czech Republic. Minister of the Interior Jan Hamáček said police are carrying out checks on Polish trucks entering the country in coordination with veterinary officials.
The Czech Republic ranks 12th among EU countries with a 2-percent share in
the EU's total industrial output, the national statistical office
(ČSU) announced on Wednesday.
Czech industrial output grew 3 percent year-on-year in 2018, the fifth consecutive year of growth. Although above the EU average, the full-year growth rate slowed from 6.5 percent in 2017.
Leading 2018 growth was the production of computer, electronic and optical equipment, and metals. In previous years, the automobile industry was the biggest contributor.
Private rail company RegioJet has lost its lawsuit against Czech Railways
(České dráhy) seeking the return of approximately 7 billion crowns and
default interest due to allegedly prohibited public support given to its
In April 2015, RegioJet filed legal action over “assets required to maintain rails and their operability” that Czech Railways transferred to the Czech Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC).
RegioJet, the largest private rail operator in central Europe, is expected to appeal the decision.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has been fined CZK 200,000 on a misdemeanor
charge by the local authority in the town of Černošice after it ruled
that he was in conflict of interest because he continued to control media
outlets via the Agrofert conglomerate, Právo reported on Wednesday.
Mr. Babiš’s lawyers have filed an appeal against the decision by the authorities in Černošice near Prague, where he lives. A complaint had been taken to them by the Czech branch of Transparency International. The prime minister is suspected of still controlling the huge Agrofert group despite having formally transferred ownership to trust funds. He denies this. The European Commission is currently investigating Agrofert’s receipt of EU subsidies.
The Czech Republic plans to build a centre for orphanages in Syria, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš told Czech Television after a meeting with
representatives of the Syrian branch of the Red Crescent. The facility will
at first have a capacity of 50 but will later be expanded, he said. A
special foundation will be set up to run the orphanage and will seek to
acquire funding from donors.
Last year Christian Democrat MEP advocated for 50 Syrian orphans being brought from Greece to the Czech Republic, a proposal Mr. Babiš described as nonsensical. He has been a consistent opponent of accepting refugees on Czech territory.
Two MEPs who ran as ANO candidates but later broke away from the party are
setting up a new grouping named Hlas (Voice), iRozhlas.cz reported on
Tuesday. Pavel Telička and Petr Ježek plan to run on its ticket in
May’s European Parliament elections, the news site said.
Mr. Telička says that Hlas will also be launched as a liberal, pro-European party in the Czech Republic. The MEP says they are confident of meeting the deadline of 19 March for filing candidate lists for the European Parliament elections.
The zoo in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem has had to put down an Indian
elephant, a spokesperson said. The female was euthanised on Monday after
long-standing problems with its foot left it unable to stand.
The elephant, which was named Kala, was brought from Vietnam to Czechoslovakia in the mid-1980s and was aged 34.