The newly appointed culture minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has cancelled the
selection procedure for the director of the National Gallery in Prague,
whom his predecessor in office Antonín Staněk sacked in in mid-April
citing poor management.
Minister Zaorálek told reporters the conditions cited in the open competition for the post had been prepared in haste and were inadequate. He said the selection process did not place emphasis on the gallery’s future direction nor did it open the position to contestants from abroad.
Minister Zaorálek said he likewise planned to review another of his predecessor’s last minute decisions, namely that the Hadí lázně spa in Teplice be struck off the list of Czech cultural monuments.
The Painted Bird, Vaclav Marhoul’s adaptation of the 1965 novel by
Polish-born writer Jerzy Kosiński, a controversial novel set in WWII about
a boy subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse by ignorant and
superstitious peasants, will have its journalists’ premiere at the
International Film Festival in Venice on Monday night.
The film is competing for a Golden Lion Award, the first Czech movie to do so in a quarter of a century.
Its first public screening is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3.
Schools around the country reopened for the new school year on Monday,
welcoming over 100,000 first graders.
Traditionally, President Miloš Zeman and a number of ministers attended the ceremony to wish the first-graders well. President Zeman attended the first day of school at a primary school in Třinec, in the Frydek-Mistek region, which has 700 pupils and welcomed 50 first-graders.
In a short address to the children, President Zeman spoke about the importance of curiosity in learning, saying that curiosity would lead them forward since it was behind the world’s greatest inventions and discoveries.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Finance Minister Alena Schillerová attended the welcoming of first -graders in a school in Rudná, near Prague, while Education Minister Robert Plaga led his own daughter to first- grade at an elementary school in Brno.
Opposition politicians have said they respect the decision of the state
attorney who halted an investigation into the so-called Stork’s Nest
Affair involving the Czech prime minister, but are waiting for more
information and a thorough justification of that decision.
TOP 09 leader and former justice minister, Jiří Pospíšil, stressed the importance of an open and thorough justification of the decision for future public trust in the judiciary.
The head of the Christian Democrats, Marek Výborný, noted that while the state attorney’s decision may be acceptable from a legal perspective, it was not so from an ethical one.
And the leader of the Civic Democrats Petr Fiala said that in view of the circumstances and the change-of-guard at the justice ministry just hours after the police proposed the prime minister’s prosecution there would always be doubts in people’s minds regarding the prime minister’s proclaimed innocence.
State attorney Jaroslav Šaroch who has halted an investigation into Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš and members of his family over suspected EU subsidy
fraud after dealing with the case for four years should explain the
circumstances that led him to make that decision, the Union of State
Attorneys said on its Facebook page soon after the news broke on Monday.
The union said that since the state attorney had back-tracked on his original legal opinion on the case, he should provide a thorough justification for his decision.
Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman, who has a right to invalidate the decision, has not yet commented on the development.
State prosecutor Jaroslav Šaroch has halted an investigation into Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš and members of his family over the alleged abuse of
European Union subsidies in connection with the Stork’s Nest hotel and
conference centre near Prague, the newspaper Deník N reported on Monday,
citing two people close to the case.
The daily said that Mr. Šaroch, who was due to conclude the matter by the end of August, had informed his superiors of the decision on Friday. It must still be approved by the leadership of the Prague municipal state attorney’s office.
Mr. Šaroch’s superiors must now go through the entire case file, which contains over 20,000 pages, Deník N said.
Mr. Babiš has been facing charges of abusing CZK 50 million in EU grants since October 2017 but has always denied any wrongdoing. His wife, daughter, brother-in-law and two other associates have also been under investigation.
The PM said on Sunday that he believed the investigation would be dropped. He said he would remain in government even if the prosecutor had acted on police advice and filed criminal charges against him.
Karolína Plíšková has been knocked out in the fourth round of the US
Open in New York. The Czech third seed, who was wearing a bandage on her
left thigh, lost 7-6 3-6 5-7 to the UK’s Johanna Konta in a dramatic
match lasting almost two and a half hours.
Plíšková’s exit at Flushing Meadows means she will not become world number after the final Grand Slam tournament of the season. She would have been the top-ranked player if she had reached the semi-finals.
The Czech basketball team lost their opening game at the sport’s World
Cup in Shanghai 67:88 to title holders and five time champions the United
States. The Czechs held their own for much of the encounter but fell short
of achieving a sensation, despite the fact the Americans were without many
It is the first time a Czech squad is participating in the competition in 37 years.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he believes that the state attorney will
halt his investigation on suspicion of abuse of EU subsidies in connection
with Stork’s Nest, a hotel and conference centre near Prague.
He made the comment on Sunday, a day before the prosecutor is expected to announce whether criminal charges will be brought against the PM and members of his family, as the police have recommended.
Mr. Babiš said on the Prima TV station that if he is charged, he will remain in government. He denies any wrongdoing.
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