Daily news summary


Czech leaders offer to assist in efforts to repair Notre-Dame

Czech leaders have offered to assist in efforts to restore Notre-Dame after the famous French cathedral was severely damaged by fire on Monday evening. President Miloš Zeman said Prague Castle restorers could take part in renovation work on Paris’s world famous landmark. In a letter to President Emmanuel Macron, he said the Czech nation were thinking of the French at this difficult time.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also said the Czech Republic was ready to help France repair Notre-Dame, including financially. He said Prague would wait on a French government decision on how to proceed with the renovation and the organisation of a collection.

EC to prepare conclusive report on Babiš investigation by mid-May

The European Commission will prepare a conclusive report on its investigation into allegations of conflict of interest on the part of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš by May 15, the EU’s Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger said after a closed meeting of the Budget and Human Resources Committee on Monday.

The Czech government will then have two months to respond to the report before it is made public, Commissioner Oettinger said.

EU auditors have been examining documents at the Czech State Agricultural Intervention Fund and a number of ministries in connection with allegations of conflict of interest on the part of the Czech prime minister and the company Agrofert, which he placed in trust funds two years ago.

Critics say that Mr. Babiš is still able to influence Agrofert despite it being in trust funds. They also say that as prime minister he has influence over negotiations on the EU budget and the use of European funds in the Czech Republic.

Media owner and TV host Soukup announces plan to run for president

Media owner and television presenter Jaromír Soukup says he will stand in the next presidential elections in the Czech Republic. He made the announcement on his Barrandov channel on Monday.

At the start of the year Mr. Soukup revealed plans to start a political party, initially saying he intended to run in May’s elections to the European Parliament. However, he later said he would not stand himself.

The 50-year-old hosts a number of TV shows, including one in which he provides a forum for the current president, Miloš Zeman, every week.

Minister: Path to future is combination of nuclear power and renewable resources

The minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, says the use of coal will gradually be phased out. Speaking at a conference on solar energy on Tuesday, he said the path to the future was a combination of nuclear power and renewable resources.

Mr. Brabec said that while there could be some debate over what percentage of power would be generated from renewable resources by 2030, there was no doubting that the composition of our energy supply was changing and would change further.

The deputy minister of industry and trade for energy, René Neděla, said that a combination of nuclear and renewable was the only way the Czech Republic could meet EU targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Restored version of Herz’s The Cremator set for 54th Karlovy Vary

Juraj Herz’s 1969 film The Cremator will be screened in a digitally restored version at the 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, organisers said on Tuesday. The festival has presented a number of restored classic Czech films in recent years.

Karlovy Vary, which begins at the end of June, will mark the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolutoin with a series of seven films shot between 1989 and 1995. It will also feature a retrospective of works by the great Egyptian director Youssef Chahine. Czech actress Jiřina Bohdalová will appear in this year’s festival trailer.

Třinec overcome Plzeň to reach Extraliga playoffs final

Třinec have reached the final series in the playoffs of the ice hockey Extraliga after beating Plzeň 5:1 on Monday evening to win their semi-final series 4:3 on games. Two of Třinec’s goals came from forward Vladimír Dravecký, who was actually deployed in defence.

Třinec will now face Liberec, who overcame Kometa Brno – winners of the last two Extraliga titles – in the other semi-final.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be bright in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 14 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are then set to climb to around 19 degrees Celsius over the Easter weekend.