A two-day conference on digitalization got underway on Thursday in the
Czernin Palace, the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on
topics related to modern technologies and their impact on society and
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said the Czech Republic must rise to the level of other EU countries in the areas of research, innovation and digital education. He also said the country must provide optimal conditions for researchers and scientists to prevent their outflow.
At the end of last year, his government adopted a program called Digital Czechia, promoting digitization of state administration.
Czech hotels and other accommodation facilities saw a record number of
tourists in 2018. According to the data released by the Czech Statistical
Office on Thursday, the overall number of tourists accommodated in Czech
hotels, bed and breakfasts and camps reached 21.3 million, which is an
increase of 6.4 percent on the previous year.
The number of overnight stays in the Czech Republic increased as well, reaching over 55 million. Over 10.6 million foreign tourists visited the country last year. The biggest number came from Germany, followed by visitors from Slovakia, Poland and China.
Investigative reporters Ondřej Kundra and Jaroslav Kmenta have each been
awarded the prestigious Ferdinand Peroutka Prize for their work in
uncovering corruption among politicians and businesses.
The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize, launched in 1995, is named after one of the most prominent Czech journalists of the 20th century. It honours those who show great integrity in work.
Both the recipients work for weekly magazines: Kundra, for Respekt, and Kmenta for Reportér.
President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday invited the self-proclaimed interim
president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, to visit the Czech Republic, and
congratulated the National Assembly leader on assuming the provisional
The gesture, announced by the president’s spokesman, came two days after the Czech government recognized Mr Guaidó as the legitimate leader of the South American country until free and transparent elections are called.
President Zeman noting that this year is the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and collapse of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia, said in the invitation, “I hope that your transition to democracy will succeed”.
Mr Guaidó took the presidential oath on January 23 after the National Assembly failed to recognize the second term of incumbent Nicolás Madura, who won re-election last year in a vote that international observers said was clearly rigged.
Václav Vorlíček, known for classic films such as “Who Wants to Kill
Jessie” and the fairy tale “Three Nuts for Cinderella”, died of
cancer on Tuesday at the age of 88.
Last year, Mr Vorlíček was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (Kviff), officially known as the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema.
Mr Vorlíček studied filmmaking at Prague’s FAMU in the 1950s and began directing feature films in the early 1960s.
His beloved filmography includes several comedies made in collaboration with screenwriter Miloš Macourek.
A platform of NGOs focused on fighting corruption and increasing
transparency in government has filed a criminal complaint against the Czech
president’s chancellor for allegedly interfering with the independence of
A legal analysis compiled by the platform Rekonstrukce státu (State Reconstruction) alleges that Chancellor Vratislav Mynář tried to influence judges in key courts to take decisions on cases relating to the Office of the President or in which President Miloš Zeman had a vested interest.
Rekonstrukce státu says in the analysis that Mr Mynář may have committed the crime of interfering with judicial independence when he met with Constitutional Judge Vojtech Šimíček and sent a letter to another judge, Josef Bax, when he was led the Supreme Administrative Court.
President Zeman may also have committing the same crime, the NGO platform says. Mr. Zeman and his right hand man have been accused in recent weeks by a group of Senators, among others, of seeking to influence court decisions.
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.