Daily news summary
Zurich University cancels lecture by Czech Prime Minister
The University of Zurich has cancelled a lecture by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš at the opening of an exhibition about Czechoslovak immigration to Switzerland.
The event was cancelled after the university received an open letter from Czechoslovak immigrants, who complained that Mr Babiš was listed as an agent of the Czechoslovak communist-era secret police.
The exhibition, called Second Life: Stories of people who found a new home in Switzerland after 1968, opens at the University of Zurich on December 3.
Estonian PM in Prague for major digitalisation conference
Estonian prime minister Jüri Ratas arrives in Prague on Thursday to meet with his Czech counterpart, Andrej Babiš ahead of a conference on digitalisation, so-called eGovernment, and the single EU digital market.
The two leaders will also discuss the possible strengthening of cooperation between the Visegrad Group and the Baltic States and relations between the EU and Russia.
Estonia has been an early and effective adopter of digitalisation, earning it the nickname of “e-Stonia”, and Mr Ratas will share his country’s experiences at the conference on Friday.
According to a study by the consultancy McKinsey presented in Prague on Wednesday, Czech economic growth, now at 3.4 percent, could increase by a full percentage point if it pushes ahead with digitalisation.
McKinsey says high employment and consumer demand have been the main drivers of Czech GDP growth, but in the future automation and the adaption of new technologies will erase jobs.
New apostolic nuncio to arrive in Czech Republic on Thursday
The new apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic, Charles Daniel Balvo, is set to arrive in the Czech Republic on Thursday. The American, who has already served at the Prague nunciature, was appointed to the post by Pope Francis in September of this year. He will replace Giuseppe Leanza, who has served as apostolic nuncio to the Czech Republic for the past seven years.
Mr Balvo will be the fifth papal nuncio to the Czech Republic since 1990. Among his first tasks will be to choose candidates to replace Cardinal Dominik Duka in the post of Prague Archbishop, when his term in office expires.
Prague districts lose battle to block new Václav Havel airport runway
The Supreme Administrative Court has dismissed a cassation complaint by Prague City Districts and other groups against the capital’s Municipal Court judgment to allow the building of a third runway at Prague’s main international airport.
The applicants had sought to annul an amendment to the City Development Principles Act, which defines the scope of the planned runway at the international airport in the Prague 6 district of Ruzyně, named after the late Czech president Václav Havel.
The case was filed by the districts of Dolní Chabry, Ďáblice, Lysolaje, Nebušice, Satalice and Suchdol. They argue that the third runway would greatly increase noise in residential areas.
Babiš: ČEZ should build new reactor in Dukovany
The planned new reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in south Moravia should be built by a subsidiary of the ČEZ energy company, prime minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš said on Thursday. The power giant ČEZ, which is 70 percent state-owned, operates both the Dukovany and Temelín power plants.
The head of government also said his cabinet was convinced that the new reactor would pay off. ČEZ conditioned the construction of the new reactor by an electricity price guarantee from the government, but the demand has so far not been met.
Meteorologists issue black ice warning
The Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute has issued a black ice alert for most parts of the Czech Republic, particularly the region of Moravia, Silesia, as well as south-west and central Bohemia. It will remain in place until Friday morning.
Friday is expected to be mostly overcast with daytime temperatures ranging between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius.