Daily news summary
President Zeman begins three-day visit to Hungary
Czech President Miloš Zeman left for a three-day official visit to Hungary on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday he will be received with military honours by his Hungarian counterpart President Janos Ader and meet for talks with Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kovar.
The Czech head of state, who is accompanied by a sizeable delegation of Czech business leaders, will also inspect the Paks nuclear power plant, for which Russia’s Rosatom is to build two new units.
President Zeman has advocated "the Hungarian path" in the completion of nuclear blocks in the Czech Republic.
Czech Post makes loss for first time ever
The country’s postal service, Czech Post, lost money in 2018 for the first time in its history. Whereas the state enterprise turned a profit of CZK 91 million in 2017, last year it went CZK 275 million into the red. However, total losses excluding the amount it received from the state for providing its services reached over CZK 1 billion.
Czech Post falls under the Ministry of the Interior and Minister Jan Hamáček said the state has been underpaying for such services for some years. His view is shared by the postal service’s CEO, Roman Knap. He also said that restructuralisation would lead to the organisation again making a profit in 2022.
Czech Republic lacking around 100,000 blood donors
The Czech Republic is lacking around 100,000 blood donors, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. While existing donors are getting older, fewer new ones are coming forward every year, the news site said. Experts say commercial blood donation has also been contributing to the problem.
Transfusion centres say that the biggest shortage of blood occurs in the summer months, when the number of accidents increases at the same time as many donors are away.
International Contemporary Art Fair opens in Prague
The 18th International Contemporary Art Fair Art Prague opens in the Czech capital on Tuesday. The collection showcases works by 230 Czech and foreign artists from all fields of contemporary art: painting, drawing, graphic art, sculpture, art glass creations and video projections.
The art fair was organized with the help of 38 galleries and studios who lent selected items. The six-day event includes lectures, debates and meetings with the artists.
Traditionally, one exhibiting artist under the age of 35 will receive the Art Prague Young Award.
Lake Malawi to represent Czech Republic in first Eurovision semi-final
The group Lake Malawi will represent the Czech Republic in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening, performing the song Friend of a Friend. If they do well, singer-songwriter Albert Černý’s band will qualify for Saturday’s final.
Last year Mikolas Josef achieved the best ever result for a Czech entrant in Eurovision when he came sixth in the final.
Czechs lose 3:0 to Russia for first defeat at hockey worlds
The Czech Republic lost 3:0 to Russia at the World Ice Hockey Championships in Slovakia on Monday evening. Coach Miloš Říha’s team had scored 12 goals in their first two games in the tournament, in which they beat Sweden and Norway, but were unable to continue that run in their third match in Group B against the still undefeated Russians. The Czechs’ next game is against Latvia on Thursday evening.
It should be overcast with some rain in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 8 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to reach up to 23 degrees Celsius at the weekend, when sunny spells are due.