Daily news summary
PM says Czech Republic may expel some Russian diplomats over nerve gas poisoning
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said the Czech Republic may expel a number of Russian diplomats over the nerve gas attack on a former double agent and his daughter in Britain.
Mr. Babiš made the statement at the close of an EU summit in Brussels in the early hours of Friday, saying he would discuss this course of action with Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky and other cabinet ministers.
Mr. Babiš earlier stressed the need for EU unity in responding to the incident. He said later that this had not been fully achieved but that several countries will consider expelling diplomats.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Czech prime minister held a short one-on-one meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Top Republican Paul Ryan to meet with Czech PM Babiš on Monday
Acting Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to meet with US House speaker Paul Ryan in Prague on Monday. The news was confirmed by government spokeswoman Barbora Peterová on Friday.
The top Republican will arrive in the Czech Republic for a private visit and will stay in the country for a few days, the Czech News Agency reported.
Mr Ryan is scheduled to appear at a student debate at Charles University in Prague and attend a conference in the Senate. He will also visit a special meeting of the lower house of parliament on Tuesday.
Police confiscate rare stamp after auction house finds it on stolen list
Police have confiscated a rare 1990 Czechoslovak postal stamp which was put on the market after it emerged that it had been stolen during a stamp exhibition in Tokyo twenty-five years ago. The stamp’s value is estimated at around three and a half million crowns.
Czech collector Ludvik Pytlíček, who is selling his collection, says he swapped the stamp with another collector and was unaware that it was registered as stolen. The original owner of the stamp was a collector from the Netherlands. The matter is being investigated.
Czech foreign debt in 2017 climbs to 4.372 trillion crowns
Czech foreign debt climbed during 2017 to stand at 4.372 trillion crowns by the end of the year. That’s 875 billion crowns more than at the end of 2016, according to figures from the Czech National Bank. The total foreign debt represents 86.71 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Around 72 percent of the Czech foreign debt is owned by private entities with the Czech government, state agencies, and majority owned state companies responsible for the rest. Around 44 percent of the overall debt is held by banks.
Renowned science-fiction translator Jan Kantůrek dies at 69
Jan Kantůrek, a renowned Czech translator of fantasy, science fiction, comics and westerns from English, has died at the age of 69. The news was confirmed on Thursday by the publisher Comics Centre.
Kantůrek’s best known translations include the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, which sold about 800, 000 copies in the Czech Republic. He also translated books about Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard and others.
Football: Rosický to play in farewell testimonial in June
Former national football team captain Tomáš Rosický, who played for the clubs Sparta Prague, Borussia Dortmund, and Arsenal, will officially end his professional career at Prague’s Sparta stadium on June 9 of this year.
The star midfielder will play in a testimonial match at Sparta’s stadium in Prague, featuring fellow players from the national squad and international stars.
Organisers have not released a list of the players yet.
Saturday is expected to be mostly sunny with daytime highs ranging between sic and ten degrees Celsius.