Daily news summary

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Czech Health Ministry to appeal Belgium verdict on Diag Human case

The Czech Health Ministry will appeal the Belgium verdict in the Diag Human case at the country’s High Court, a spokesperson for the ministry said on Friday.

The verdict, according to which the Czech Republic should pay Diag Human 14.5 billion crowns for not protecting the company’s investments in the Czech Republic, was delivered at the end of December.

Diag Human sued the Czech Republic in several countries for thwarted business in blood plasma trade, but the verdicts in the USA, the Netherlands, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and the United Kingdom, all favored the Czech Republic.

Czechs being warned against travelling to Iraq

The Czech Foreign Ministry has warned Czechs against travelling to Iraq, citing the volatile situation in the country. Citizens who decide to take the risk are advised to register with the ministry’s travel data base DROZD which will facilitate assistance in the event of problems.

The Czech Republic expressed deep concern over Tuesday's attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad by an angry crowd of demonstrators.

The Czech Foreign Ministry called on the Iraqi authorities to launch a thorough investigation into the matter, pointing out that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations the Iraqi government is bound to “take appropriate steps to protect the premises of foreign missions against any intrusion or damage”.

Cabinet to debate bill on regulating invasive species

The Czech cabinet is to debate a bill which would regulate the number of invasive species in the Czech Republic, introducing a means of controlling plants and animals that are a threat to native wildlife and cause considerable ecological damage. Similar legislation is in effect in other EU member states.

The number of non-indigenous flora and fauna species in Europe is around 12,000 and around 15 percent of those are considered invasive. The damage done is estimated at around 12 billion euros annually.

The number of non-indigenous or foreign species in the Czech Republic is estimated at around 2,000 and ten to fifteen percent of them are considered invasive.

Judge Rychetský to head Constitutional Court for full term

The president of the Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský, has refuted earlier claims that he might leave his post before his term in office expires.

Judge Rychetský told the business daily Hospodarske Noviny that by some miracle his state of health had improved and he had the mental and physical strength required to handle his demanding duties in office for the remainder of his term which ends in 2023.

Judge Rychetský, 76, is serving his second ten-year term in office as president of the Czech Constitutional Court.

Orban to attend reopening of Prague’s State Opera as other leaders decline invitation

The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, will be among the guests at the ceremonial reopening of the State Opera in Prague on Sunday, Lidovky.cz reported, citing a government official. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini and Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki all declined invitations to the event, the news site said.

Renovations at the State Opera, which is very near the top of Wenceslas Square, began in March 2017. The CZK 1.3 billion cost was considerably higher than the original budget.

Poll: Majority of Czechs feel country’s modern history being distorted

Some 55 percent of Czechs believe that the modern history of their country is being distorted, suggests an opinion poll conducted for Czech Radio by the Median agency. This view was shared by 66 percent of respondents aged 60 or over.

The handling of a statue of Soviet commander Ivan Konev and the appropriateness of building a monument to the WWII “Vlasov army” have proven divisive topics in the Czech Republic in recent months.

With regard to the latter dispute, the new opinion poll indicates that almost two-thirds of Czechs are not in favour of removing monuments linked to WWII.

Weather forecast

Saturday should be partly cloudy to overcast with a high wind and day temperatures between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.