Daily news summary
Two Dutch citizens taken into custody over waiter attack, another three expelled
A court in Prague has sentenced three Dutch citizens, who took part in the brutal attack on a waiter at an outdoor restaurant in the centre of Prague on Saturday, with eight month suspended sentences for disorderly conduct. They have also been expelled from the Czech Republic for five years and have to leave the country within the next five days.
Another two Dutch citizens, who are accused of causing grievous bodily harm, have been taken into custody. The attack in the centre of Prague was sparked after the waiter told the Dutch tourists they were not allowed to bring in alcohol to consume on the premises. The injured man was taken to hospital in a serious condition and has undergone a surgery.
Cardinal Duka turns 75 and formally resigns
The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka, who turned 75 on Thursday, has tendered his resignation to the Pope, the Prague Archbishopric has announced.
It is now up to the pontiff to decide whether he will extend the Prague Archbishop’s mandate.
Supporters including President Miloš Zeman say the church leader should be allowed to continue in the post, while some Czech Catholics are in favour of him being replaced.
Libeň Bridge briefly blocked in protest at demolition plans
Around 200 people blocked Prague’s Libeň Bridge on Wednesday evening in protest at plans from the city authorities to demolish and replace the structure. The demonstrators also said a new bridge should not be commissioned, as the city envisages, without an architecture competition.
The demonstration lasted several minutes. Some people protested from beneath the bridge in kayaks.
Libeň Bridge dates from 1928 and features elements of Cubist architecture.
One person dies after chemical leak in Děčín plant
One person died following a leak of phenol from a tanker in Děčín in north Bohemia on Thursday morning, which occurred at a local chemical plant producing detergents and various raw materials.
Altogether 16 people required medical treatment, after inhaling the fumes or suffering chemical burns. An investigation has been launched into the release of the dangerous chemical substance.
Newborn girl first Czech to undergo thymus transplant
A newborn Czech girl has undergone a thymus transplant in a hospital in London, Prague Motol Hospital informed in a press release on Thursday. She is the first Czech to ever undergo such surgery, which is aimed at renewing her immunity system.
The girl was born without a thymus gland, which develops white blood cells to help fight infection, and therefore her body never developed an immune system. The patient remains under the supervision of both Czech and British doctors.
Czech Republic budget seen in surplus through to 2021
The Czech Republic’s public finances should stay in the black through to 2021, albeit at a reduced level compared with 2017, according to a report to be put to the government on Monday. The updated convergence report sees the overall budget surplus sliding to 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2018 from 1.6 percent last year. The surplus should continue until 2021 when it will have narrowed to 0.9 percent of GDP.
The EU target is for member countries annual deficits not to exceed 3.0 percent of GDP. The overall Czech debt to GDP ratio is set to slide over the period from an expected 32.9 percent this year to 29.9 percent in 2021.
Friday is expected to be mostly sunny with daytime highs ranging between 15 to 19 degrees Celsius.