The operation of the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency in
Prague brings around 200 million crowns a year to the country’s GDP, the
agency’s head Carlos des Dorides said at a press conference in the Czech
capital on Thursday.
Since the moving of the Galileo Supervisory Authority headquarters from Brussels to Prague in 2012, it has brought over one million crowns worth of benefits to the Czech Republic. According to Carlos des Dorides, the overall revenue of GSA should increase to two billion crowns by 2022.
The agency is set to open its doors to the public on Friday as part of Czech Space Week 2018.
An exhibition of the work by world-renowned Czech photographer Jaromír
Funke gets underway in the Museum of Art in Olomouc on Thursday. Called
Jaromír Funke: Photographer of the Avant-Garde, the exhibition presents
his most famous images from the 1920’s and 30’s but also some of his
lesser-known and previously unpublished work.
The Czech photographer is regarded as one of the most important representatives of international Avant-Garde photography and his works are part of many renowned collections, including the Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday debated two proposals on
legalising same-sex marriages – one for and the other against – but a
possible vote is not likely until January.
Backing an amendment to the Civil Code granting homosexuals the same marital rights as heterosexuals, including the possibility to adopt children, were 46 MPs.
They included members of the governing ANO and Social Democrat parties, as well as the opposition Party of Mayors and the Pirates.
The Christian Democrats spearheaded a measure to preserve the status quo, that is to allow same-sex couples only to have registered partnerships. At last count, 37 MPs had committed to backing it.
Close to 3,000 gay and lesbian couples are now living in registered partnerships in the Czech Republic thanks to a law approved in 2006 after years of stormy debate in the lower house and vehement opposition from the Christian Democrats.
Registered partners do not have the same property and other rights as married couples. According to the group Jsme fér (We Are Fair), two-thirds of Czechs favour legalising same-sex marriage.
Most Czechs (57 percent) believe Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tried to keep
his children from testifying in a corruption case against him over EU
subsidies to the Stork’s Next complex, according to a poll by the Median
The poll was taken after the publication of an interview on Monday with Babiš’s son, who said he had been “kidnapped” and taken to Crimea because his father wanted him to “disappear” while the investigation into EU subsidy fraud was underway.
Mr Babiš says his son, who now lives in Switzerland, is mentally ill and that the allegations are nonsense. The prime minister also says his daughter is bipolar and so her testimony would be unreliable.
According to the Median agency poll, 50 percent of respondents believe that it is important that his children’s testimony is heard, as their signatures are on key documents and they also face charges in the Stork’s Nest case.
Czech director Helena Třeštíková is the main guest of honour at
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the largest
documentary film festival in the world, which got underway on Wednesday.
The IDFA, which runs until November 25, is featuring a retrospective of Třeštíková’s work along with 10 feature films that influenced her career, including works by the late Věra Chytilová and Miloš Forman, icons of the Czechoslovak New Wave.
Among the other Czech works screening at the festival is director Jan Gebert’s documentary about Slovak paramilitary groups called “When the War Comes”, which won the Silver Eye prize for best feature length documentary at Jihlava this year.
Jaroslav Kubera, a Civic Democratic (ODS) politician who has been Senator
from Teplice since 2000, was elected chairman of the upper house of
Parliament on Wednesday in the final round of a secret ballot.
He received 46 votes out of 80 while second-place finisher Václav Hampl (for the Christian Democrats) received 24 votes.
Kubera, 70, was a member of the Communist Party at the turn of 1967 / 1968. He studied mathematics at university but did not graduate.
He joined the centre-right ODS in 1992 and served as mayor of Teplice before being elected to the Senate, where he rose to the position of deputy chairman.
While an avid proponent of the free market and critical of the European Union, pointing to an alleged “democratic deficit”, Kubera does not support the Czech Republic leaving the union.
MPs have approved an amendment to the Exchange Act that will allow
customers up to three hours to cancel a currency exchange transaction at
bureaux de change and get their money back.
The aim is to protect tourists from unfair bait-and-switch practices, such as promising “zero commission” but offering favourable exchange rates that in fact only apply to large transactions.
Bureaux de change set their rates independently of the official exchange rates announced by the Czech National Bank. Under current law, they are obliged to publish on their exchange rate list only the least favourable exchange rate it offers.
The amendment also tightens rules for advertising a more advantageous offer of exchange rates, registering exchange obligations, and defining the boundary between currency exchange and payment services.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček is set to wrap up a two-day
visit to Israel and Palestine on Wednesday laying the ground for an
official visit by Czech President Miloš Zeman in two weeks.
While in Israel, Petříček is due to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and attend the Czech-Israeli Forum, and visit the new Czech House cultural centre in Jerusalem ahead of its inauguration on 27 November.
He started his trip with a visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial to victims of the Holocaust and those who fought against the Nazis.
In Ramallah, Petříček is to meet his Palestinian counterpart Riyadh Al-Maliki to discuss bilateral relations and the prospect of a new peace process in the Middle East.
The Czech economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent year-on-year in the third
quarter of 2018, according to data published by the Czech Statistical
Office (ČSÚ) on Wednesday.
In quarterly terms, GDP increased by 0.4 percentage points in July through September.
In 2017, the Czech economy grew 4.4 percent in annual terms, up from 2.6 percent growth in 2016. Analysts predict more sluggish growth in 2018, of below 3 percent.
Unemployment dropped to a 21-year low of 2.8 percent in October and some analysts say the economy was at full capacity last year.