Prague has obtained approval to buy the Church of Sts. Simon and Jude in
Old Town from the Vatican. The municipality currently leases the church,
which serves as a concert hall for the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
The city will pay 99 million crowns for the consecrated Baroque church, which dates back to the year 1354, Prague councilor Jan Chabr (TOP 09) said.
Environment Minister Richard Brabec told reporters on Wednesday that the
ongoing drought has been “catastrophic” for the agricultural sector,
with 80 percent of groundwater resources unusually low this spring.
In April, a so-called agricultural drought, marked by low soil moisture, stunted plant growth, reduced yields and endangered cattle, reigned over most of the Czech Republic.
The water level of the Vltava River in Prague, for example, is 22 percent its monthly average, and that of the Elbe River near Ústí nad Labem is at 28 percent normal.
This part of Europe is now facing its worst period of drought in 500 years, according to data from the scientific team InterSucho. The Ministry of the Environment is negotiating with the Ministry of Finance to provide another 3.5 billion crowns to combat the drought.
Archaeologists have discovered a secret corridor in the Milevsko monastery
in southern Bohemia with an extended room at the end. It was hidden behind
a massive medieval wall, and may have saved valuables from plunder by
Hussites in the early 15th century.
Researchers expect to excavate the site within a few weeks, archaeologist and team leader Jiří Šindelář told ČTK news agency. The survey project includes creating a detailed 3D mapping of the monastery complex.
Hussites set the monastery on fire in 1420, and aristocratic families later took over the complex. After the battle of White Mountain in 1620, the monastery returned to the Premonstratensian order.
The Czech state should support not just travel agencies affected by the
coronavirus pandemic but also their clients, Ombudsman Stanislav Křeček
Křeček said that while the government has taken measures to bolster businesses in the travel and tourism sector, clients are still required to pay for services they will likely not be able to use this year or pay cancellation fees.
The Ombudsman has written to minister for regional development Klára Dostálová calling on the government to take action in this regard, his spokesperson said in a press release on Tuesday.
The Archbishop of Olomouc, Jan Graubner, is now officially the new
president of the Czech Bishops' Conference. The bishops elected him to
this position at their plenary session on Tuesday in Olomouc.
Graubner succeeds Cardinal and Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka, who led the Bohemian and Moravian bishops, who served in the position for ten years.
He had served as chairman of the Czech Bishops’ Conference from 2000 to 2010, and was vice-chairman for the next decade.
In 2008, then President Václav Klaus awarded Graubner the Order of Tomáš Garrigu Masaryk II for his contribution to the development of democracy, humanity and human rights.
The Prague Castle complex, seat to the Czech presidency, is scheduled to
reopen to the public on May 25, as part of a relaxing of anti-coronavirus
measures. Other historic state castles, chateaux and buildings are due to
open in the same schedule.
Presidential spokesman Jiří Ovčáček told ČTK however that the castle park in Lány should open two weeks sooner, on May 11, along with other gardens and parks. The government had originally planned to open all such facilities on June 8.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said the government is planning to approve
an amendment to the law on public health which would give the Health
Ministry increased powers in times of crisis.
The prime minister said that the law was tailored to enable the government to maintain certain restrictions taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus even after the state of emergency in the country ends.
The proposed amendment to the law will be presented to the lower house next week, to be debated in a state of legislative emergency.
The lower house on Tuesday extended the state of emergency in the country until May 17.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has responded curtly to a Russian protest note
complaining about an article in the weekly Respekt saying the allegations
made against Russia in it were “outrageous and inadmissible”.
In a statement published on its web page the Czech Foreign Ministry says the Czech Republic is a country that respects press freedom and rejects any attempts at interference from foreign states.
In reference to an ongoing diplomatic row between the two countries, over the removal of the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from its site in Prague, the ministry says the Czech Republic has not in any way violated the 1993 treaty between the two countries and reminds Moscow that the treaty commits the signatories not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.
The weekly Respekt reported last week that according to unnamed security sources a Russian agent had allegedly travelled to Prague a few weeks ago with a suitcase containing the highly potent toxin called ricin, possibly to be used against Czech politicians who have angered the Kremlin.
The lower house of Parliament has voted to extend the state of emergency in
the country until May 17.
The government asked the chamber of deputies for an extension after the Prague Municipal Court cancelled the government restrictions on the free movement of people as well as retail sales and services in the country on the grounds that they were not implemented under the Crisis Act.
The ruling parties argued that if the state of emergency was not extended it would mean that the whole package of preventive measures that have enabled the country to bring the epidemic under control would end, seriously increasing the risk of a fresh outbreak.
The government’s original proposal for an extension until May 25 did not win approval.