Daily news summary


Historical Prague centre could be put on list of World Heritage in Danger

The historical centre of Prague, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, could be put on the list of World Heritage in Danger, according to UNESCO experts.

This UNESCO list is designed to inform the international community of conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to encourage corrective action.

A team of UNESCO experts who visited Prague in the spring expressed serious reservations to existing and planned high-rise buildings in Prague, and the new Building Act, which does not take into account the views of conservationists.

Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said in response to the news that it was premature to voice concerns regarding the possibility of Prague’s historic centre being put on the list of World Heritage in Danger. He said negotiations were underway with UNESCO experts and corrective measures would be taken.

Senate commission invites PM for questioning

The Senate commission set up to assess the European Commission audits concerning Prime Minister Andrej Babiš's suspected conflict of interest says its initial findings suggest that this may be the case and has invited the prime minister for questioning.

The commission, headed by Zdeněk Nytra from the Civic Democrats' senators' group, does not have the status of an investigative body, but was set up to monitor developments in the case and guarantee objectivity.

The two EC audits, which are both preliminary, claim that the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest due to continued influence on the agro-chemical business conglomerate Agrofert which he established and later put in trust funds in order to comply with a strict new conflict of interests law.

Prime Minister Babiš has denied any wrongdoing, saying he had fully adhered to Czech law.

August 21st to be day in memory of victims of Soviet-led invasion

The lower house of Parliament has passed a bill declaring August 21st a day in memory of the victims of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The bill was supported by 130 out of 137 deputies present.

The Communist Party MPs present failed to suport the bill, with the exception of Jiří Dolejš who said he was voting according to his conscience and regarded the invasion as „a terrible blow to the country“.

The bill will now go to the Senate for approval.

Leading opposition politicians to be absent from award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle

A number of leading opposition politicians will not be attending the traditional award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle on the occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day on October 28th.

According to the ctk news agency they were either not invited or will refuse the invitation in protest against President Zeman’s behaviour.

The leader of TOP 09 Jiří Pospíšil, who failed to receive an invitation, said Zeman was denigrating the holiday by awarding his friends and failing to invite his critics to what should be a state ceremony on the country’s Independence Day.

The head of the Civic Democrats Petr Fiala and the leader of the Pirate Party Ivan Bartoš likewise failed to get an invitation.

Pirate Party deputy chair under fire for bullying subordinates

The deputy chair of the Pirate Party Jakub Michálek is under fire from party members for allegedly bullying subordinates and creating an atmosphere of fear and stress in the workplace.

The head of the party’s personnel department Jana Koláříková raised the issue on the grounds of numerous complaints and the party leadership is now considering his dismissal from the post of deputy-chair. Michálek is also head of the party’s deputies‘ group in the lower house.

Michálek has denied bullying subordinates, saying that he merely demanded high standards of performance from colleagues.

Slavia beaten 2:1 by Barcelona in Group F Champions League match

Barcelona beat Slavia Prague 2-1 in a Group F Champions League match on home ground on Wednesday.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring after just three minutes, but left-back Jan Boril evened the score five minutes after half-time giving Slavia reason to hope.

Despite Slavia’s spirited performance they missed several fine opportunities and in the 57th minute Slavia winger Peter Olayinka deflected a Luis Suarez close-range shot into his own net, sealing Barcelon’s victory.

Barcelona top Group F with seven points from three games. Slavia are at the bottom with a single point.

Weather forecast

Friday should be partly cloudy to overcast with day temperatures reaching 19 degrees Celsius.