The Czech Foreign Ministry is facing serious financing shortfall for this year which in the worst case scenario could result in the closure of 45 embassies or general consulates abroad and loss of 270 staff, the Novinky news server has reported. It cited a foreign ministry paper describing the financial problems which had come into its possession. The financial shortfall this year is expected to be around 400 million crowns and is set to rise to 900 million crowns next year. Causes are the weakness of the Czech crown and extra expenses from opening up representations in foreign countries in recent years. In some cases representations opened recently might have to close, the server said.
The first deputy minister at the Ministry of Finance Lukáš Wagenknecht has been dismissed from his post, the server Neovlivni.cz has reported. Wagenknecht was reportedly offered another position but refused it and was finally dismissed from the top post late on Thursday, the server said. Czech Television said Wagenknecht had not answered attempts to contact him. If true, it would be the second change at the top of the ministry run by ANO party leader Andrej Babiš. The first deputy minister has recently been at the centre of a high profile conflict with the ANO appointed Minister for Regional Affairs, Karla Šlechtová ,over a tender for a system to coordinate the use of European funds. Wagenknecht said the tender involved serious flaws.
Prague’s municipal court is expected at the start of July to start proceedings in the trail of a gang which organised the theft of items from a Marilyn Monroe exhibition being staged in Prague, the Czech News Agency reported Saturday. Rare photographs documents, including for example a letter inviting her to the birthday party of president John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and other display items from the exhibition about the screen goddess were taken in May 2013 when items were being shipped from Florence, Italy, to Prague. Organisers pondered whether to go ahead with the Prague event following the theft but it was eventually held with more than 50,000 visitors attending. Some of the stolen items were recovered by police as they closed in on the alleged thieves a few months later.
The United Islands of Prague music festival began in the Czech capital on Friday. This year’s programme offers around 150 performances ranging from electro, pop, and jazz, to rock at open air and club locations throughout the city. Entry to all events is free. Most of the principal stages are located on the left bank of the capital or on islands on the Vltava. The main stage is located this year at Kinský Gardens. Organisers expect around 60,000 at the various events, the same total as in 2014.
In football the Czech Under 21 team take on Serbia on Saturday night with hopes that the likely return of Tomáš Kalas and Václav Kadlec can help turn around their fortunes. The Czechs need at least a draw to have a chance of proceeding to the semi-finals following the 1:2 loss against Denmark in the opening game. The stopper and striker were banned from Wednesday’s opening match due to red cards picked up earlier.
Czech canoeist Stanilsav Ježek won the men’s world cup slalom event being staged in Prague on Saturday. The 38-year-old was the fastest qualifier already in the semi-finals. In the final, he completed the course with no faults 57 seconds ahead of Slovenian European Champion Benjamin Savsek with Briton David Florence in third place. Ježek had to a large extent home advantage since he trains at the Troja slalom course.
Karolína Plíšková has the chance to win her first singles title on grass at the Birmingham Open. She won through to the finals beating French opponent Kristina Mladenovic 6:2, 7:6. Mladenovic had three set balls on the second set tie break but Plíšková survived and won the tiebreak with her first matchball 8:6. She will face the winner of the all German tie between Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki in the other semi-final.
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