Daily news summary


Prague councillors agree to establish Museum of 20th Century Memory

Prague councillors unanimously agreed on Monday to establish a Museum of 20th Century Memory that will focus on the history of non-free regimes in the Czech lands. The city council is to put the proposal to a formal vote on September 19.

A total of 30 civic associations and social organizations bringing together former political prisoners, educators and researchers had expressed support for setting up the new museum.

If approved, the museum’s board will likely include historian and writer Jiří Padevět, Post Bellum director Mikuláš Kroupa and historian Petr Blažek of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.

Czech culture minister: China’s cancellation of concert tours damages relations

Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek (Social Democrats) objected to the recent cancellation of concerts by Czech ensembles in China during a meeting with the country’s ambassador in Prague, the news agency ČTK reports.

Beijing has ‘indefinitely postponed’ or cancelled scheduled tours by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and other groups, likely due to an ongoing feud with Prague Mayor Zdenek Hřib (Pirates), a vocal supporter of Taiwan and Tibet.

Minister Zaorálek reportedly told the Chinese ambassador that the cancellations have damaged bilateral relations.

Since taking office a year ago, Hřib has pushed for the removal of a clause in a Prague-Beijing cooperation agreement requiring the Czech capital to respect the communist country’s “one-China policy”.

Czech foreign policy chief in Sweden to discuss Brexit, Russia-Ukraine, EaP

Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) is due to meet his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström in Stockholm on Monday, as well as the Nordic country’s ministers for defence and European affairs.

On their agenda are bilateral relations, security and Russia-Ukraine issues, Brexit, and the Eastern Partnership project (EaP), launched in Prague in 2009 to boost cooperation among EU countries and six former Soviet republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

During his visit, Minister Petříček is also set to meet representatives of the Czech community in Sweden and inaugurate an exhibition marking the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, featuring a stand-in for the Pink Tank of Czech artist David Černý.

Marshal Konev’s daughter wants to bring her father’s statue home to Russia

The daughter of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev has said she wants to bring her father’s statue, which has been at the centre of a dispute between Prague and Moscow, home to Russia. Natalya Koneva told the Russian media, she would request its transfer immediately.

The fate of the statue has caused a rift between Prague and Moscow after it was repeatedly vandalized with red paint and the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář, said it would be better to remove it altogether, ideally to the grounds of the Russian embassy.

Kolář has welcomed Koneva’s decision, saying this solution might help calm the situation. The local administration is to debate the issue on Thursday.

Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. Although he helped liberate the country from Nazi oppression, he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

ČHMÚ: Czech summer of 2019 hottest on average since 1961

This summer was the hottest in 58 years, with average temperatures of 19.5 degrees Celsius, some 2.5 degrees above the norm for June through August.

The month of June in particular was hotter than usual, by some 5 degrees Celsius, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ).

Over the summer, more than 30 “tropical days”, that is with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, were recorded, at 17 different measuring stations.

Labour Office: Czech unemployment holds at 2.7 percent in August

Unemployment held steady at 2.7 percent in August, according to Labour Office data published on Monday. In Prague, the unemployment rate remained at 2 percent.

Fewer than 205,000 people in the country were seeking work last month, the lowest number for the month of August since 1996.

The overall number of jobseekers is expected to rise slightly in September, mainly due the entry into the labour market of a large number of school-leavers.

Czech ČEZ sets deadline for would-be buyers of Romanian assets

Czech state-controlled utility ČEZ has announced a September 25 deadline for potential buyers of its Romanian assets to register their interest. The move is in line with the company’s strategy to exit foreign markets, including Bulgaria, Turkey and Poland.

In total, ČEZ is considering seven companies in Romania, keeping only companies engaged in modern energy services (ESCo) and trading activity. ČEZ will later issue a call for non-binding tenders from registered potential buyers.

The utility expects to earn tens of billions of crowns from the sales, which it will invest largely into renewable energies.

Basketball: Czechs reach FIBA World Cup quarterfinals for first time

The Czech team have advanced to the FIBA World Cup basketball quarterfinals for the first time despite their 77 – 84 loss to Greece on Monday. The Greek team needed to win by at least 12 points to advance.

For the Czechs to make it to the top 8, they still needed the United States needed to beat Brazil, later on in the day. The US won the Monday afternoon match by a score of 89 – 73.

After this result, the Czechs got second place in the standings in the three-way tie with Brazil and Greece, thanks to point difference.

Chicago Bulls guard Tomáš Satoranský flirted with a triple-double (13 points, eight assists, nine rebounds) in the Czech win.

Apart from the Czechs and Americans, also already through to the quarterfinals in China are the French and Australians. Argentina, Serbia, Spain and Poland have all locked down their seeding.

Czech kayaker Jiří Prskavec wins third World Cup title in Prague

The Czech Republic’s Jiří Prskavec won the overall title at the Canoe Slalom World Cup Final in Prague on Sunday, with a win in the men’s single-seater kayak category (K1). It marked his third World Cup win.

Prskavec’s teammate and fellow European champion Vít Přindiš placed second and Frenchman Boris Neveu finished third. For the season, Prskavec ended with 319 points, ahead of Slovenia’s Peter Kauzer, with 266, and Přindiš with 262.

In the women’s event, the Czech slalom canoeist Tereza Fišerová finished third in the C1, behind Great Britain’s Kimberley Woods and new champion Jessica Fox of Australia.

Weather outlook

Tuesday should be clear to partly cloudy throughout the country. Rain is likely only in the Olomouc region. Average daytime highs should range from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius.