An unusual ceremony by modern standards will take place in Prague on Sunday evening when the president of Mongolia, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, will receive an official welcome at the city’s Main Train Station, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported. After arriving in a separate carriage on a EuroCity train from Berlin, the head of state will be welcomed by President Miloš Zeman’s head of protocol and other officials before a meeting with his Czech counterpart on Monday.
Czech officials report an increase in poaching last year. While in the whole of 2013, 86 cases were investigated, in the first 11 months of 2014 the figure was 90, a spokesperson for the police presidium told the Czech News Agency. However, a representative of the Bohemian-Moravian Hunters’ Union, Martin Horálek, said that problem was in fact far more widespread. Mr. Horálek said in most cases poachers killed animals for meat, which they sold directly to restaurants.
The popular Ostrava-based folk singer Jarek Nohavica began a tour of venues in Prague on Saturday night with a sold-out show at the city’s La Fabrice. The musician is playing a series of 12 dates in the capital and plans to perform different sets and welcome different guests each night. The final concert is at Forum Karlín on January 28.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, says the budget of the country’s BIS intelligence service will be increased by tens of millions in the coming years. Mr. Sobotka made the comment on Czech Television on Sunday, following speculation that the BIS might get a cash boost of around a billion crowns in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France. The cabinet is on Monday due to discuss draft legislation that would increase the intelligence service’s powers, including giving it access to information on the clients of banks and on owners of telephone numbers.
“Virtual turbulence” involving the exchange rate will not influence the economic policies of the Czech government, says the prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka. Mr. Sobotka was reacting to the fact that the country’s currency the crown has weakened to 28.50 to the euro. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, he attributed that development to what he termed “wild speculation”. The prime minister said his government’s policy would help the Czech National Bank to achieve its inflation target of 2 percent.
Scores of mainly young people lit candles at the tomb of Jan Palach in Prague’s Olšany cemetery on Sunday, which was the eve of the anniversary of his death from self-immolation in 1969. The event was co-organised by people who previously held a demonstration against the Czech president, Miloš Zeman. One of them, Martin Přikryl, told the Czech News Agency that Palach had died for ideals that were more current today than they had been some years ago, highlighting what he described as passivity towards the Czech government’s positions on international issues.