Daily news summary

Problem with crude oil via Druzba persist

The Czech Republic is currently not receiving any crude oil via the Druzba pipeline, Pavel Švagr, head of the Administration of State Material Reserves, said on Friday.

Švagr said the Litvinov refinery had oil reserves that would last for seven days. If deliveries of crude oil are not resumed by then, the country will have to tap its material reserves, he told the ctk news agency.

Deliveries to several countries were suspended on Thursday due to a contamination of the oil with high levels of organic chloride.

The Russian energy ministry said Transneft was trying to fix the problem as soon as possible and the according to the latest reports Russia has said deliveries could be renewed on Monday April 29th.

Czech rectors ask people to vote for pro-EU parties

The Czech Conference of Rectors has appealed for people to vote in the European elections and to cast their ballot in favour of pro-EU parties.

The rectors of the country’s leading universities say that the outcome of the European elections may significantly influence the development of the Czech Republic.

They point out how beneficial the country’s membership in the EU has been for the young generation in terms of funding for universities and the Erasmus student exchange program thanks to which 61,000 Czech students got the opportunity to study abroad.

Transparency files criminal complaint against president’s chancellor

The Czech branch of the International watchdog Transparency International has filed a criminal complaint against President Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář.

The complaint is in connection with suspected fraud involving national and EU subsidies to the tune of 32 million crowns which Mynář received for a guesthouse he built in South Moravia.

According to Czech Television’s investigative reporters the subsidies were used at variance with the originally presented project.

The subsidies were allotted to an association founded by Mynář and a business company of his.

Vratislav Mynář has denied the allegations, saying they are part of a slander campaign against him.

Czech president attending Belt and Road Forum in Beijing

President Miloš Zeman, who is on a four-day working visit to China, is to attend the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Friday.

The forum is attended by dozens of foreign leaders including Russian President Putin who is due to address the forum immediately after the Chinese president. President Zeman is due to present his address on Saturday.

On Friday the Czech head of state will be meeting with Czech and Chinese entrepreneurs and attend the signing of agreements on bilateral cooperation in the spheres of energy, aviation and hockey.

Charity concert for Notre Dame raises 400,000 crowns

The charity concert for Notre Dame which was held at Prague’s Rudolfinum on Tuesday is reported to have raised close to 400,000 crowns. The money will be sent to the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris.

Six leading Czech orchestras including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Prague Symphony Orchestra performed Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, under the baton of Tomáš Netopil.

It was heard by a thousand guests and broadcast live to millions on Czech Television.

Válková nominated for government’s human rights commissioner

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has proposed former justice minister and ANO MP Helena Válková for the post of government commissioner for human rights.

If the government approves her nomination at its session on Monday she would start in office on May 1st.

Helena Válková would replace Martina Štěpánková who has served in the post since it was reinstated last June.

Weather forecast

A cold front moving across the Czech Republic from the north-west should bring overcast skies and rain with day temperatures between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius.