Daily news summary
Government cancels its decision to hold state funeral for Karel Gott
Czech singer Karel Gott, who has died at the age of 80, will be buried with state honours, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The government revoked its earlier decision to organize a state funeral at Prague’s St. Vitus cathedral. It also called off its plan to declare a day of national mourning.
The date and place of the funeral is to be announced later on Thursday.
Karel Gott passed away on Tuesday at the age of 80 after suffering from acute leukaemia. He sold tens of millions of albums in a career spanning almost six decades.
Mayor proposes naming Prague street after late Karel Gott
The mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, says a street or other public area in the city could be named after the popular Czech singer Karel Gott, who died this week. Mr. Hřib, who represents the Pirate Party, said he would put the idea to the rest of the coalition that runs the Czech capital. The authorities in Prague 5, where Karel Gott lived, have also discussed honouring him in this manner.
The singer was born in Plzeň but spent most of his life in Prague. He passed away on Tuesday at the age of 80 after suffering from leukaemia. He sold tens of millions of albums in a career spanning almost six decades.
V4 heads of state support Western Balkans EU accession
Leaders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary have expressed their support for the integration of the West Balkan countries into the European Union.
The heads of state, who attended a two-day V4 meeting at the Czech president’s residence in Lány near Prague, have also called for maintaining the same amount of funds allocated for cohesion policy in the EU’s long term budget.
The heads of state of Serbia and Slovenia joined the meeting on Thursday to discuss the prospect of EU enlargement.
The gathering took place within the Czech Republic’s current presidency of the Visegrad Four.
Czech population grows to over 10.6 million
The population of the Czech Republic grew by nearly 40,000 in 2018 to 10,649,800 people, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday. It is the biggest increase since the end of WWII.
As in recent years, the numbers were driven by immigration, mainly from Ukraine and Slovakia.
The biggest population rise was recorded in the over-65 age group, which increased by 46,400 to over two million, while the working-age population continues to decline.
The number of marriages in 2018 increased to 54,470, a ten-year-high, while the number of divorces dropped to 24,313, which the lowest figure since 2000.
Slavia suffer home defeat to Dortmund in Champions League
Slavia Prague were beaten 2:0 by Borussia Dortmund in football’s Champions League in the Czech capital on Wednesday night. Both of the Bundesliga side’s goals were scored by defender Achraf Hakimi, who found the net on 35 minutes and again in the dying moments of the match.
Wednesday’s result leaves Slavia second from bottom of their group on one point, ahead of Inter Milan on goal difference. The Czech league champions – who drew at Inter in their opening game – will play host to Spanish giants Barcelona on October 23.
First snow in Krkonoše Mountains
The current spell of cold and wet weather brought the season’s first snow to the Krkonoše Mountains in the north of the country.
Fresh snow fell overnight in areas over 1,200 metres above sea level and meteorologists expect more snow to fall during the day. The temperature at the country’s highest mountain, Sněžka, is currently below zero.
Friday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with occasional showers and daytime highs ranging between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.