Daily news summary
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind on official visit to Prague
India’s president Ram Nath Kovind met his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman on Friday, ahead of discussions with Prime Minister Andrei Babiš and parliamentary speaker Radko Vondráček. He is also due to attend the Czech-Indian Business Forum on Friday.
President Kovind is the first Indian head of state to visit the Czech Republic in more than 20 years. Over the weekend, he will visit Indian students studying at Charles University, as well as professors of Indology, and pay a visit to the Strahov Monastery.
Suspects charged over Kuks castle restoration tender
Czech police have charged four suspects with corruption over a contract to restore the Kuks castle in East Bohemia. The historical Baroque complex was restored between 2013 and 2015 at a cost of more than 322 million crowns (12 million euros). Most of the money came from EU funds.
A police spokesperson said the tender offer was allegedly written to match the winning bid by a consortium comprised of the Hochtief construction company and the Gema Art Group. If found guilty, the suspects face up to eight years in prison.
Michael Caine to play advisor to King Wenceslas in Žižka biopic
British veteran actor Michael Caine is set to co-star in “Medieval”, the upcoming biopic of 15th-century Bohemian warrior Jan Žižka, which is reportedly the most expensive Czech film ever made.
Caine, now 85, will play opposite American actor Ben Foster, who will portray the legendary general in the historical-action drama directed by Petr Jákl, who also wrote the screenplay.
Analysts: Czech central bank likely to raise rates for third consecutive
The financial markets expect the Czech National Bank will raise its repurchase rate again by 25 basis points at its meeting at the end of September, to 1.50%, business daily Hospodářské noviny reports.
J&T Bank chief economist Petr Sklenář noted it would be the first time ever that the Czech central bank had raised interest rates three times in a row.
Czechs beaten by Ukraine in first Nations League game
The Czech Republic were beaten 2:1 by Ukraine in Uherské Hradiště on Thursday night. The hosts went ahead in the fourth minute through Patrik Schick but conceded in time added on at the end of both halves. It was Czech’s first game in the Nations League, a new UEFA competition intended in large part to replace friendly matches. The other member of their group is Slovakia and all teams face one another twice.
Success in the Nations League can help teams reach the European Championships in 2020. The Czechs take on Russia away in a friendly on Monday.
Kupka retrospective begins in Prague
A retrospective of work by the major Czech 20th century painter František Kupka gets underway at Prague’s Waldstein Riding School on Friday. Entitled František Kupka 1871–1957, the National Gallery exhibition covers the artist’s entire career.
The chronological show is divided by theme to allow visitors to follow the painter’s path from symbolism to abstraction, of which Kupka was one of the pioneers.
Saturday should be relatively cool and cloudy, with daytime temperatures of between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius.