Daily news summary

President Zeman snubs China over lack of promised investments

President Miloš Zeman will not go to China in April for the 17 + 1 summit, attended by representatives from Central and Eastern Europe. He said one of the reasons for his decision was the lack of Chinese investments in the Czech Republic contrary to promises made.

Zeman told Blesk.cz. he would ask Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček to represent the country at the talks in China, which he considered adequate to the level of cooperation.

It is the first snub from the Czech head of state, who has spearheaded efforts to bring about a restart in Czech-Chinese relations.

In the same interview, the president confirmed his participation in the planned V-Day celebrations in Moscow.

His participation was uncertain after the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the introduction of a Czech memorial day commemorating the victims of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Mr. Zeman said he intended to bring up the issue in person during the visit.

President welcomes Válková’s decision to refuse nomination for ombudswoman

President Miloš Zeman, who nominated the government‘s commissioner for human rights, Helena Válková, to the post of ombudswoman, has welcomed her decision to refuse the nomination in the wake of allegations that she had defended laws against dissidents during the Communist regime.He indicated he might nominate Social Democrat MP Kateřina Valachová in her place.

According to the news site info.cz Válková also collaborated in her professional work with the former state prosecutor Josef Urválek, who was responsible for securing the death sentences of Milada Horáková, Rudolf Slánský and others in 1950s Communist show trials.

The news has put Válková under pressure to refuse the nomination for the post of ombudswoman and resign as the government‘s commissioner for human rights. Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček said on Sunday he would welcome her resignation.Válková has made no indication she is considering such a move.

She told journalists that the claims made by the news site info.cz were untruthful and insulting and that she planned to sue the site for slander. She said she could only be criticized for having joined the communist party.

PM: Growth of pensions will continue regardless of economic situation

The growth of pensions will continue regardless of the economic situation of the country and in 2021 the average monthly pension should reach 15,000 crowns, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in a debate on commercial TV Prima on Sunday.

He also rejected claims that the Czech pension is in danger of collapsing in view of the retirement of people from particularly high birth rate years in the near future.

According to Mr. Babiš, this decline will be replaced by higher social contributions from rising wages.

The cabinet is to debate a proposed pension reform on Tuesday.

Empress Maria Theresa to have statue in Prague

The 18th century Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa, who was also the only queen of Bohemia, will have a statue in Prague 6. The local town hall held an open tender and commissioned the statue in 2014 for the price of four million crowns. It is to be unveiled later this year and will stand in a newly-established park bearing her name.

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (May 13,1717 – November 29,1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, died in October 1740. As queen of Bohemia she promulgated institutional, financial and educational reforms.

Karolína Plíšková wins second consecutive Brisbane title

Karolína Plíšková won her second consecutive Brisbane International title when she beat Madison Keys in a three-set final at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Sunday.

The Czech world number two won 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours, seven minutes on Pat Rafter Arena.

Plíšková's third Brisbane title in four years and her 16th on the WTA tour stamps her as one of the favourites for the upcoming Australian Open.

Ledecká wins sixth place in World Cup combined event in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee

Ester Ledecká won sixth place in a World Cup combined event in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee on Sunday and ranked among the top ten in another skiing discipline. She came fifth in the super-G, and sixth in the slalom. The winner was Italian Federica Brignone.

Ledecká won the gold medal in super-G in alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in a historic upset.

Weather forecast

Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers and day temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.