Daily news summary

Speaker Ryan condemns Russia in Czech lower house address

US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan delivered an address to the Czech Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday afternoon. During the speech, the senior Republican said that Russia was spreading disinformation and seeking to undermine the alliance between Prague and Washington. He also praised the Czech Republic’s decision to expel Russian diplomats and praised cooperation between the country and the US within the framework of NATO.

Prior to his address Mr. Ryan and the speaker of the Czech lower house, Radek Vondráček, signed a joint declaration that referred to America’s part in the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The US politician has been in Prague on a three-day private visit.

Police carry out raids at two ministries and police HQ

Police raided Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior buildings in Prague on Tuesday, Euro.cz reported. The news site said that the operation was linked to contracts for computer programmes. The raids were carried out in conjunction with the Military Police and the national organised crime squad and were overseen by the Supreme State Attorney.

A representative of the Supreme State Attorney’s office told Euro.cz that the operation had included raids on sites relating to the Ministry of Defence, the General Staff of the Czech Army and the Police Presidium. No charges have yet been made, the news site reported.

CEFC global sell-off not to concern Czech assets, says spokesman

The Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy’s plan to sell off its global property portfolio does not relate to assets in the Czech Republic, a spokesperson for the company’s European branch told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday. Bloomberg had earlier reported that CEFC was set to offload the entirety of its property portfolio around the world.

CEFC has investments of CZK 38 billion in the Czech Republic and employs over 4,000 people in the country. As well as owning numerous Prague properties it controls Slavia Prague football club and brewers Pivovary Lobkowicz.

CEFC’s founder, who has served as an advisor to Czech President Miloš Zeman, was recently arrested.

Artist to hire normal families to live in centre of tourist town Český Krumlov

The conceptual artist Kateřina Šedá has unveiled plans for a new project aimed at countering the predominance of tourists in the South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov. Šedá is seeking to hire a number of families to live in the historical centre for three months in the summer and “visibly pursue normal life in the streets of the town”, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday.

Entitled UNES-CO, the project is part of the Czech Republic’s entry in Venice’s Architecture Biennale.

Heavy tourism means that few locals now live or spend much time in the centre of Český Krumlov.

Remodelling of upper part of Wenceslas Sq. set for 2020 or 2021

The remodelling of the upper part of Prague’s Wenceslas Square could begin in 2020 or 2021, councillor Jan Wolf told the Czech News Agency. The cost of carrying out the project is estimated at up to CZK 1.7 billion, Mr. Wolf said.

The renovation will follow a plan created back in 2005 by Cigler-Marani Architects. Work has already begun on improving the lower half of Prague’s main thoroughfare.

Plíšková reaches last eight in Miami while Kvitová bows out

Karolína Plíšková has reached the fourth round at tennis’s Miami Open. The Czech women’s number one and world number six overcame Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, who withdrew from their third round match in the second set. Plíšková will face Victoria Arazenka of Belarus for a place in the semi-finals in Miami.

Her compatriot Petra Kvitová will not reach that stage of the tournament after a fourth round exit to Jelena Ostapenko on Monday.

Weather forecast

Rain and temperatures of up to 8 degrees Celsius are expected in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. The wet weather is expected to continue through the week but daytime highs should climb to around 12 degrees Celsius by Sunday.