Prime Ministers of the central European countries comprising the Visegrad
Four are in Prague on Friday to discuss Sunday’s extraordinary European
Council on Sunday, in Brussels.
Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) said he and his counterparts from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary are particularly concerned as to who the next heads of the European Council, EU Commission, and central bank will be.
Earlier this week, Babiš said it was important that none of the so-called “spitzenkandidats” – leaders of the parties in the European Parliament that did best in elections in May – received majority support.
He argues Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor should not comment on political matters but rather focus on implementing European Council conclusions.
Sunday’s extraordinary meeting in Brussels comes just two days before the constituent meeting of the newly elected European Parliament.
Trains in Prague were operating on a limited schedule on Friday morning
following a breakdown of the signalling system.
The Railway Infrastructure Administration said someone had tried to steal cables connected to the system, damaging them in the process.
Trains to and from the Smíchov station were most effected. Some were not operating at all while others faced long delays.
Czech households' debts to banks and credit unions rose by 10.6
billion crowns to almost 1.684 billion in May, data published by the
central bank on Friday show.
In annual terms, debts rose by 106.6 billion crowns. Housing loans account for about three quarters of household debt.
Debts of non-financial corporations rose by more than 3.1 billion to 1.117 billion crowns in May, up 53.6 billion in annual terms.
The Czech economy grew 2.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter,
revised data published by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday show.
External demand and household consumption were the main GDP growth factors in the first quarter.
The Czech economy is likely to decelerate from 3 percent last year towards 2.5 percent in 2019 amid weaker foreign demand, analysts say.
Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has reached the semi-final of a
Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Eastbourne for the third time in her
career. The 2017 champion and former World No. 1 needed just 54 minutes to
dismiss Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia 6-2, 6-0.
Plíšková will face Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands for a spot in the final.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is due to meet with the leader of the Social
Democrats, Jan Hamáček, on Friday to discuss the situation concerning the
embattled culture minister Antonín Staněk.
Mr. Staněk announced his resignation at the end of May following pressure
from the Czech cultural scene and his own party and is to be replaced by a
fellow party member Michal Šmarda. However, President Miloš Zeman has so
far refused to accept his resignation.
The head of the Social Democrats said on Thursday that the situation at the Culture Ministry has almost reached the level of a Constitutional crisis. He also said the party wants the whole thing to be settled by the end of June.
Prague Castle remains to be the most popular tourist destination in the
Czech Republic, according to figures put together by Czech Tourism agency.
Last year, it attracted over 2.4 million tourists, a nearly three-percent
The Petřín funicular with over two million visitors placed second, while Prague Zoo was the third most visited site with over 1.4 million visitors.
Among the other top 10 most visited landmarks are Prague's Old Jewish quarter and the Petřín tower, as well as the former industrial complex of Dolní Vítkovice in the North Moravian city of Ostrava.
The Chief Justice of the Czech Constitutional Court and Charter 77
signatory Pavel Rychetský on Thursday received the highest award of
Comenius University in Bratislava, the Grand Gold Medal, for his
contribution towards the development of democracy, legal science and the
rule of law.
The ceremony took place on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the university. Among those who attended the event was the newly elected Slovak president, Zuzana Čaputová and Slovak Prime Minister Petr Pellegrini.
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