Daily news summary
Industry and Trade Minister: state could buy up to 100% of shares in Smartwings
The Czech state could buy up to 100% of the shares in the air carrier Smartwings, the majority owner of Czech Airlines, Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček said in an interview for Czech Television on Saturday.
Mr Havlíček said the company had a strategic importance for the state airport as well as other airports in the country and employed thousands of people.
According to the minister, the Czech government is due to discuss the possibility of helping the company deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The final decision is expected to be made by the end of June.
Smartwings became the majority shareholder of Czech Airlines at the end of February 2018. Last year, it carried over eight million passengers.
Czechs, Germans, Austrians and Poles meet at closed borders
Czechs, Germans, Austrians and Poles have met at the borders dividing the Czech Republic and its neighbouring countries. The meetings took place at 2 p.m. on Saturday at twelve different spots at the countries’ borders, that have been closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The event, organised by the initiative Soboty pro sousedství or Saturdays for Neighbourhood, calls for easing border restrictions for tourism and cross-border workers. One of the meetings will take place between the extinct village of Václav in the Domažlice region in West Bohemia and the Bavarian village of Bügellohe.
President Zeman to resume work from Prague Castle
President Miloš Zeman will start working from Prague Castle as of next Tuesday. The entire site is due to reopen to the general public on May 25.
The Prague Castle complex of buildings was closed on March 12 as part of the restriction measures linked to the coronavirus epidemic. Since then, the Czech head of state has been staying at the country residence in Lány, and was only meeting with a limited number of people.
Prague Castle is one of the most visited sites in the Czech Republic, attracting around two million tourists every year.
Daily increase in coronavirus cases under 100 for 15 days
The number of newly registered coronavirus cases has remained under 100 over the past 15 days, with 55 new cases reported on Friday, according to Czech Health Ministry statistics.
The number of registered cases has reached 8,406. 295 people have died and 5,381 have recovered from the disease. At the moment, 183 people are hospitalized with COVID 19, 39 of them are in serious condition.
Former political prisoner Jan Decker dies at 92
Jan Decker, former political prisoner and the last chairman of the Association of Auxiliary Technical Battalions, died on Thursday at the age of 92. The information was confirmed by historian Eduard Stehlík on Friday.
During the Second World War, Mr Decker was sent to forced labour and in May 1945 he participated in the Prague Uprising against the Nazis.
He was sentenced to six months in prison for participating in the resistance against the communist regime after 1948 and served in the notorious Auxiliary Technical Battalions, used by the communists to punish politically unreliable people.
After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, he was rehabilitated and received the title of Doctor of Law.
Average temperatures expect in coming weeks
Temperatures in the Czech Republic are set to gradually warm up in the coming weeks, according to a long-term weather forecast from the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
The coming week should see day-time temperatures of around 19 degrees Celsius. Towards the end of the four-week period, temperatures should reach above 20 degrees Celsius.
Rainfall levels in the next four months are expected to be slightly below average.
Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy, with daytime highs ranging between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius.