Daily news summary
Russian ambassador summoned to explain Czech NGO ban
The Russian ambassador to Prague was summoned to the Czech Foreign Ministry on Thursday to explain Moscow’s decision to put the Czech NGO People in Need on a list of undesirable organizations, effectively banning its operations in the country.
The ambassador was received by Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Povejšil who stressed that People in Need is an internationally recognized humanitarian organization active in the fields of humanitarian aid, development and education and voiced serious concern with regard to the decision.
Czech-Russian relations have been strained by a number of incidents in recent months, including the renting out of flats intended for Russian diplomats and the decision of Prague 6 to remove from its premises a statue of the controversial Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev.
British philosopher Roger Scruton to receive Senate’s Silver Medal award
British philosopher and political scientist Roger Scruton is to receive a Silver Medal from the Speaker of the Czech Senate Jaroslav Kubera in recognition of his work in helping Czech dissidents during the communist era.
Together with other academics from the West Scruton lectured at underground home seminars for dissidents and intellectuals who were banned from studying at universities by the communist regime.
Earlier this week the British Embassy unveiled a plaque at a house in Prague’s Keramická street where the first seminar of the “Underground University” took place.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to visit Ukraine next week
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček will be visiting Ukraine at the beginning of next week, the Czech News Agency informed on Friday. They will be accompanied by a delegation of businesspeople.
Mr Babiš will hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiy Honcharuk and with president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.
The main goal of the two-day official visit is to support Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty and to back the process of the country’s approximation to the European Union.
Slovak national charged with terrorism sentenced for public safety threat
The Prague Municipal Court on Friday delivered a 6.5-year prison sentence to a Slovak national charged with planning a terrorist attack and propagating Islamic State.
The judge concluded that the man was a threat to public safety and ordered that he be expelled from the Czech Republic indefinitely.
Dominik Kobulnický was arrested two years ago after the police raided his Prague flat and discovered chemicals and other materials needed for the production of home-made explosives.
Poll: increasing number of Czechs satisfied with quality of life after 1989
Over 70 percent of Czechs are happy with their quality of life after the Velvet Revolution, suggests a survey carried out by the polling agency STEM. That figure is nine percent higher than in 2009.
According to the survey, people appreciate the possibilities that opened up after the fall of the Communist regime, such as quality education and better services and shopping choices, as well as the right to vote in free elections and express their own opinion freely.
On the other hand, more than three fifths of respondents criticised the moral state of Czech society, financial disparities, and bad interpersonal relationships. Most people addressed in the survey also welcome the foundation of an independent Czech state and the Czech Republic’s entry to the EU and NATO.
Football: Czechs beat Kosovo to secure spot in Euro 2020
The Czech national football squad secured a spot in the 2020 European Championship by coming from behind to beat Kosovo 2-1 on Thursday in Pilsen.
Kosovo was leading 1:0 in the 50th minute, but the Czech team fought back, with Alex Král levelling the score and providing the assist for Ondřej Čelůstka’s winning goal eight minutes later. The Czechs, who will take on Bulgaria on Sunday, have 15 points and will finish second in their group behind England.
Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with daytime highs ranging between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.