President Miloš Zeman appointed 35 new judges to office at a ceremony at
Prague Castle on Thursday. In his address to the nominees, the president
urged them to resist political pressure and rely on their own judgement.
The new judges, 15 of them women, will fill various posts at the regional courts all around the country.
Most of the new judges have previously worked as lawyers. Among the nominees is Sylva Šiškeová, who will be heading to the Supreme Administrative Court in Brno.
Around 950,000 cubic metres of wood belonging to the state-owned forestry
firm Lesy ČR have been damaged as a result of the windstorm Sabine that
swept through the Czech Republic on Monday and Tuesday. The damage has been
estimated at 250 to 300 million crowns.
The Czech Republic saw winds of up to 180 kilometres per hour in places, however they were not strong enough to be classified as a hurricane force.
The biggest calamity in state-owned forests so far was caused by hurricane Kyrill in 2007, which devastated more than six million cubic metres of timber.
An exhibition of French Impressionists at the National Gallery’s Kinsky
Palace in Prague was the most visited exhibition of fine art in the Czech
Republic last year, attracting over 100,000 visitors over 91 days.
The retrospective exhibition of Alberto Giacometti in National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace was visited by over 48,000 people, while the ongoing exhibition of the Czech-born illustrator Petr Sís at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art attracted over 51,000 visitors by the end of 2019.
The Czech Republic is to send 4.5 tonnes of medical equipment worth over
three million crowns to China to help tackle the coronavirus epidemic
currently afflicting the country, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček
announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The humanitarian aid, including facemasks, respirators, latex gloves, disinfectants and protective medical uniforms, will be sent to China on Monday on a plane from Vienna, paid for by the European Union.
The Czech Republic will also provide financial aid amounting to six million crowns, which will be distributed through the World Health Organisation.
City councillors on Thursday approved a draft partnership agreement between
Prague and Vienna. The cooperation with the Austrian capital will concern
mainly the areas of transport, culture, IT and security. The partnership is
being agreed on for a period of five years.
At the end of last year, Prague City Hall signed a so-called Free Cities Pact with Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw aimed at strengthening cooperation between the Visagrad Four Capitals.
In January, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib also signed a partnership agreement with the mayor of Taiwan’s capital Taipei on economic, trade and cultural cooperation, while the sister city agreement with Beijing was dissolved.
Poet, novelist, essayist, former diplomat and translator from French,
Václav Jamek, will be presented the Karel Čapek Award by the Czech PEN
Mr. Jamek, who is 70, has received numerous awards for his works in both
the Czech Republic and France, including the Tom Stoppard Prize as well as
the Josef Jungmann Award for translation. In 1999 he was named Officer of
France’s Order of Arts and Letters. He writes both in Czech and French.
The Karel Čapek Award was established by the PEN Club’s Czech branch in 1994 and is presented to outstanding writers every two years. Among its previous holders are the former president and writer Václav Havel, Arnošt Lustig and Ivan Klíma.
The award will be presented at the Mayor’s seat in Prague on Thursday evening.
The European Commission has predicted a slowdown in the Czech economy. The Commission’s winter forecast sees GDP growth falling to 2.1 percent this year, compared to 2.6 percent last year. Next year it is expected to accelerate to 2.2 percent. According to the European Commission, last year’s growth was driven mainly by domestic demand, with household consumption fuelled by growing salaries. Industrial production significantly dropped in the second half of 2019, which had a negative effect on company investments.
Czech MPs have elected Stanislav Křeček as the country’s next
ombudsman. A former Social Democratic Party MP and deputy ombudsman, Mr.
Křeček, who is 81, will replace Anna Šabatová when her six-year term
ends next week. The new public advocate was elected by 91 of 175 deputies
in a secret ballot in the 200-seat lower house.
Mr. Křeček says he will defend the rights of the majority population and has said for instance that Romanies should take care of their own rights. Opposition parties have criticised his election, with the leader of TOP 09, Markéta Pekarová-Adamová saying he would debase the office of ombudsman.
Supporters of Mr. Křeček, who was nominated by President Miloš Zeman, say he is familiar with the institution, having previously worked there, and will help return it to its original mission.
Prague saw the largest amount of new housing construction projects per
person in 2019, with 4.39 flats being built for every 1000 residents, newly
released data released by the Czech Statistics Office shows.
Meanwhile the region with the lowest construction level was Ustí nad Labem, where just 1.11 new flats began construction last year. However, that same region had the highest number of new family houses, which made up 96 percent of all new construction. Overall, the amount of new flats begun last year was the highest since 2008.
Reconstructions and annexes were not taken into account during the statistic.