The International Roma festival Khamoro, which would normally have started
this Sunday, had to be called off due to the threat of the COVID-19
coronavirus. However, organisers say that individual events will be taking
place from June to December 2020.
The first of these is a visual exhibition by the artist Emília Rigová in the ArtivistLab gallery in Prague. The exhibit presents a project on which Rigová began to work during her stint in New York two years ago. It is partly focused on raising the profile of Romani culture or searching for its aspects in non-Roma majority culture.
Prague has hosted the Khamoro festival since 1999. It has regularly attracted around 10,000 visitors in recent years and includes Romani musicians, singers and dancers.
There were 34 new registered cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Czech
Republic on Saturday, the lowest rise in nine days. No casualties were
reported. In total there have been 9,233 infections in the country over the
past three months, since the first infection case was registered in the
country. However, the amount of tests carried out, some 2,796, was the
lowest since March 23.
A large segment of new infections was registered around the Darkov Mine complex, which has been declared one of the hotspots of the epidemic in the country.
The body of a four-month-old baby boy was discovered after a two-day-long
police search in the Central Bohemian village of Hořín. The search began
on Friday after the mother called police saying she had lost the baby and
the carriage in the village park. Police used a helicopter and drones in
their search. The exact location of the discovery has not yet been released
to the public.
An autopsy found that no outside actor had been responsible for the baby’s death. Police spokeswoman Lucie Nováková said further information will be released on Monday.
The Prague Zoo opened its new Darwin Crater pavilion on Saturday which features more than 20 animal species from the Australian fauna. However, the pavilion proved so popular that the Zoo was forced to close it just hours later as the allowed quota of 8,500 visitors, put in place as a coronavirus precaution, was already filled up. Prague Zoo director, said that the zoo had expected a large number of visitors and that the limitation measures are an unfortunate reality. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said that the city is currently negotiating a close to the capacity limitation.
The Czech Republic’s contribution to the NATO budget could increase by
CZK 43.9 billion starting from 2021. The payment rise will be discussed by
the government on Monday, Jakub Fajnor from the Defence Ministry Press
Department told the Czech News Agency.
The increased contribution is based around last year’s London Summit meeting between NATO member states, where the allies agreed to raise the portion of money paid by European members while decreasing payments made by the United States.
The Czech Republic currently contributes just under 1 percent of the total NATO budget. If the expected rise were put in place, this contribution would rise to 1.0558 percent from 2021. Most of the extra money would come from the Ministry of Defence, while a further CZK 5 million would be contributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In the first four months of 2020, doctors have already issued more medical
cannabis prescriptions than in the whole of 2019, some 15.5 kilograms in
total, according to news site Seznam Zpravy which cited the newly released
State Agency for Medical Cannabis statistics.
The increase is largely down to increased willingness of health insurance companies to pay for such prescriptions, Radovan Hřib, the head of the pain management center at the University Hospital at St. Anne’s in Brno told Seznam.
The profits of one of the largest Czech conglomerates Agrofert, which
operates mainly in the agricultural and chemical business sectors, tripled
last year by CZK 4.54 billion according to its spokesman Karel Hanzelka.
The increase is down to profits in the chemical industry, Hanzelka said. Total profits before taxation last year were CZK 5.94 billion.
The conglomerate employs 33,000 workers in total, of which 22,000 thousand are employed in the Czech Republic. It is mainly known among the larger public as the company founded by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
Businesses in the Czech Republic will be forced to lay off workers and
unemployment will grow, due to an insufficient amount of relief measures
being passed through Parliament, the Czech Chamber of Industry informed on
According to the chamber, it was an error that the lower-house did not pass further relief measures suggested by opposition members of the Chamber of Deputies. It says that there are now holes in the safety net, which will keep some businesses unable to ask for financial support and thus fail.
The chamber demanded that aid would also be but in place for large companies and that a possible decline in wages be adjusted.
Labour Minister Jana Maláčová said that the ceiling of help to companies employing up to 50 workers had been a necessary compromise.
The Ministry for Regional Development has sent the European Commission an
official reply to the EC audit which found Prime Minister Andrej Babis to
be in a conflict of interest by still influencing his former company
Agrofert via trust funds. The ministry expects this will result in further
negotiations with the commission. Asked about what the exact contents of
the reply are, the ministry refused to comment.
Mr Babis placed his shares in Agrofert into trust funds in 2017, to confer in a law aimed at preventing a conflict of interest taking place. He has denied any such conflict of interest being in place.
If confirmed, the audit could result in the Czech Republic losing associated EU funding.