The Czech national football team lost 2:3 to Northern Ireland in Monday’s
international friendly played in Prague. Coach Jaroslav Šilhavý chose a
very different squad to that which beat England 2:1 last week and the
team’s defence had significant trouble holding the Irish back in the
first half of the game.
Northern Ireland was already leading 3-0 when the players entered the dressing room. The Czechs went on to score two goals in the second half. Substitute Vladimír Darida netted the Czechs’ first goal of the game in the 67th minute, while midfielder Alex Král scored the second just one minute later. An extra-time strike would have made it 3-3, but the Czech goal was disallowed due to a foul committed by the attacking team.
The team will play two more European Championship qualifiers in November, against Kosovo and Bulgaria.
The government agreed to a record low CZK 1.24 billion budget for the
country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2022 on
Monday, without the votes of minority coalition partner the Social
Democrats. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that the country can
manage the council with much fewer officials and resources than other
member states. However, multiple Social Democrat ministers called the
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) said that the effectiveness of the Czech presidency was being put at stake, highlighting that the approved amount is some CZK 500 million behind the budgets of similar sized countries.
When the Czech Republic last held the presidency in 2009, the government approved a budget of CZK 3.75 billion. The current prime minister pledged to at least halve this number earlier in 2019.
The Czech Republic has halted arms exports to Turkey in response to
Ankara's incursion into northern Syria, Interior Minister Jan
Hamáček (Social Democrats) announced via Twitter on Monday evening,
following a government meeting. Trade Minister Karel Havlíček, whose
ministry had published the country's arms export figures earlier that
day, said that armaments exports to Turkey only make up around CZK 140
The news comes after meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where member states pledged to suspend weapons exports to Turkey, but did not go as far as to implement a formal EU-wide arms embargo. During which Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) told journalists that he will propose to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that the Czech Republic take part in an arms embargo on Turkey.
Around 60 Kurds living in the Czech Republic gathered in front of the US
Embassy in Prague on Monday to protest against the Turkish offensive in
Northern Syria. They also asked Czech state representatives to do
everything in their power to stop the Turkish attack.
The president of the Kurdish Civic Association in the Czech Republic, who was also the organizer of the demonstration, Rashid Khalil, told the Czech News Agency that the place was chosen in reaction to the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria. Khalil likened the behaviour of the world powers to the Munich Agreement of 1938.
The EU has so far promised to provide CZK 100 billion in funding through
its Integrated Regional Operational Program between the years 2021 to 2027,
a decrease of around one-fifth compared to the previous term, the minister
of regional development, Klára Dostálová of ANO, told journalists on
Monday. Meanwhile, the rate of national co-financing will increase from the
current 15 percent to 30 percent. However, Ms. Dostálová said that
negotiations are still ongoing.
In terms of overall funding the Czech Republic is expected to receive CZK 520 billion crowns, which is a 100 CZK billion increase to the current funding budget. The European Commission is asking for three-quarters of the funding to be put into the union wide Intelligent Europe and Green Europe programmes, the minister said.
Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček summoned the Turkish
ambassador for a meeting on Monday to reiterate the European Union’s
priority of finding a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria
and called on Turkey to halt its ongoing military operations in the region.
An official statement posted on the ministry’s website on Monday morning expressed particular concern over the violent death of the Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf on Saturday and those of many other civilians. The Czech Republic respects Turkey’s right to defend its border, but strongly opposes the massive military intervention, the statement goes on to say.
The Czech doubles team of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková
has qualified for tennis’s WTA Finals in Shenzhen. It is the second time
in a row that the pair have qualified for the prestigious, season-ending
tournament. They secured their place after winning the Linz Doubles on
Sunday, adding another title after their August victory in Toronto.
They will join compatriot Barbora Strýcová, who will be lining up alongside Taiwanese partner Hsieh Su-wei at the WTA Finals, which begin in two weeks’ time.
Leading representatives of the Czech cultural scene gathered at the
National Theatre in Prague on Monday to attend an official farewell
ceremony for actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová, who died
this month at the age of 92. The event, which featured a number of speakers
including her former colleagues from the National Theatre, culminated with
a symbolic funeral procession exiting the building.
Mrs. Chramostová was an accomplished actress before her refusal to accept the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 led to her losing the opportunity to perform in film, television and radio. During the normalisation era she was active in the country’s dissent and signed the Charter 77 protest document. For her activities in the service of human rights and democracy, Ms. Chramostová was awarded the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk by President Václav Havel in 1998.
The international rating agency Moody's Investors Service has
downgraded its outlook for the Czech banking sector from positive to
stable. The change is mainly due to the slowdown in the country’s
economic growth, the Czech News Agency reports. Moody’s said on Monday
that after years of rapid loan growth, it expects a slight deterioration in
the quality of its loan portfolio in the Czech Republic.
The New York-based bond credit rating business continues to see the country’s credit rating as one of the best in Central and Eastern Europe, but it expects Czech GDP growth to decelerate from last year’s 2.9 percent to 2.7 percent this year, with a further 0.2 percent decrease in 2020.