The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, held talks with his Israeli
counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The Office of the
Czech Government said that the pair had discussed cooperation in the fields
of innovation and research, cyber security, effective water management and
The two leaders also discussed a planned intergovernmental meeting that will see Mr. Netanyahu and members of his cabinet visit Prague.
The meeting was scheduled after the cancellation of a Visegrad Four summit in Jerusalem when Poland withdrew due to a diplomatic row with Israel.
US company Apple launched its Apple Pay service in the Czech Republic on
Tuesday. The contact free system, which is linked to payment cards, allows
people to use their Apple mobiles and watches to make payments.
Google Pay, a similar product, was already available in this country for users of phones and watches using the Android operating system.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, says he may
quit the cabinet if he is not elected a deputy leader of the Social
Democrats. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, he said if he failed to win
the post at a congress in March it would be a signal that his policies lack
sufficient backing within the party.
Mr. Petříček, who is 37, says he intends to advocate for modern left-wing policies at the Social Democrats congress.
The pro-European politician has faced consistent criticism from President Miloš Zeman. He is also unpopular with the Communist Party, who support the ANO-Social Democrats minority coalition on key votes.
Ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr made his first appearance in over a year
for the club Kladno on Monday evening. The locally born star, who is now
47, played for nearly 18 minutes as the Czech second division side overcame
Jágr is a 13-time NHL All-Star and is the most productive player ever to have appeared in the league.
The V&A Museum in London is showing the work of Czech photographer and
political refugee Ivan Kyncl.
Known for his experimental approach to photography, Kyncl photographed politically sensitive plays performed in the secret ‘living room theatre’ of blacklisted actress Vlasta Chramostová.
He also documented the activities of the Charter 77 anti-communist opposition.
Following his move to the UK, Kyncl went on to capture some of the greatest plays, operas and musicals of the 20th century.
The exhibition opens on February 19 and will run until June.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Monday outlined his government’s
innovation strategy for coming decade. Speaking at a conference at
Liechtenstein Palace in Prague, the prime minister said the main goal was
for the country to move towards final products and creating greater added
value, which would benefit employees, companies and the state. He said his
ambition was to see the Czech Republic in the first European league of
The opposition has criticized the prime minister for failing to support this trend in the past. In 2018 the Czech Republic dropped out of the list of 25 most innovative countries.
The region of Hradec Králové is seeking to get Vamberk bobbin lace a
place on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The Czech Republic
is expected to make a nomination before the end of the month.
The town of Vamberk has been known for its exquisite lace production since the 17th century and the first school of bobbin lace opened there in 1899.
Among the Czech items already on the list are The Ride of the Kings, a colourful festival celebrated in just four Moravian villages in the spring, the Czech craft of indigo dyeing with block printing (modrotisk) or the art of Czech puppetry.
The British liquidator of New World Resources (NWR) is threatening to sue
the Czech state in connection to it taking over the coal miner OKD,
formerly a part of the energy company, the business daily Hospodářské
A regional Czech court in October 2017 approved the reorganisation of OKD as proposed by its management and approved by creditors. Two months later, the European Commission approved the takeover by state-owned company Prisko, which paid CZK 80 million for OKD’s mining assets. Appeals by NWR and others against the OKD reorganisation plan were rejected by a Czech court in June 2018.
A partner at NWR’s liquidator, Jenner & Block, has now said in a letter to Prisko, taken to be a pre-litigation challenge, that OKD’s mining business was in effect illegally nationalised, resulting in damages of hundreds of million of euro against NWR, according to Hospodářské noviny, which has seen a copy of the letter.
OKD creditors have filed claims of over CZK 20 billion in court, but the administrator has rejected the lion’s share of the claims. OKD continues to mine coal and employs around 9,500 people.
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