Daily news summary
Last prime minister of Czechoslovakia Jan Stráský dies aged 78
Jan Stráský who served as the last prime minister of Czechoslovakia from June 1992 until the dissolution of the state in January 1993 died at the age of 78 on Thursday morning, the Czech News Agency reports. Before assuming the mantle of prime minister, Mr. Stráský was Minister of Transport and later Health in the Czech government. For the Civic Democrats and later the Freedom Union party, he was a member of the Czech National Council and the Chamber of Deputies. After leaving politics he was in charge of the Šumava National Park.
Former president and prime minister Václav Klaus, who led the Civic Democratic party of which Mr. Stráský was a member, said that the latter was a long-time friend of his and someone with whom he would be willing to “journey all the way to the North Pole”. Petr Fiala, who is the current head of the Civic Democrats tweeted that Mr. Stráský played an important part in the country’s move towards democracy and capitalism.
Czech deputies approve mutual protection of Czech and Slovak airspace
Czech lower house of Parliament on Thursday approved a proposal for mutual cooperation in protecting the Czech and Slovak airspace.
The so-called common Czech-Slovak sky project was signed in February 2017 by the Slovak and Czech defence ministers and subsequently ratified by the national parliaments and presidents of both states.
The agreement assumed mutual assistance in the face of a terrorist threat or in the event that one of the countries was unable to ensure the protection of its airspace.
Czech president and foreign minister to mark the fall of Berlin Wall
Czech President Miloš Zeman and Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček will travel to Berlin on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. On the eve of the festivities, President Zeman will meet with the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and former European Commissioner Günter Verheugen.
On Saturday, the Czech head of state, along with his Visegrad Four counterparts, will be received by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel. Together they will attend the main commemorative event at the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček will represent the Czech Republic at the festivities at the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday evening.
European Commission lowers Czech GDP growth outlook to 2.5 percent
The European Commission on Thursday revised its outlook for Czech economic growth for this year. In the newly released macro-economic forecast it sees the country’s gross domestic product growth falling to 2.5 percent.
The report expects growth next year to reach 2.2 percent. Earlier this year it predicted a figure of 2.5 percent for 2020.
Renovated Lennon Wall to be unveiled in Prague
The Lennon Wall, one of Prague’s most popular tourist landmarks and a symbol of Czech opposition to the communist regime, will be unveiled on Thursday afternoon after a month-long renovation.
Since the assassination of John Lennon in 1980, young Czechs would use the wall to write their grievances against the regime. In recent years, however, the place has been repeatedly vandalised.
The Sovereign Order of Malta, which owns the property, decided to turn the place into an open-air gallery with artworks from more than 30 Czech and foreign artists.
Karolína Plíšková parts ways with trainer Conchita Martínez
Karolína Plíšková, the current world number two in womens’ tennis, has chosen to part ways with former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martínez, who has been a member of her coaching team since last year's US Open, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday, citing Plíšková’s manager Michal Hrdlička as a source. Mr. Hrdlička said that the Czech tennis number one will choose her new coach before preparations for the next season begin.
Ms. Plíšková, who has had several coaches throughout her career, wished her former trainer all the best into the future, but said that she wants to try to “move another step forward”.
Friday will be mostly overcast with daytime temperatures ranging between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius.