Daily news summary
Economic growth accelerates to 5.1 percent in last quarter of 2017
The Czech Republic’s economic growth accelerated to an annual 5.1 percent in the last quarter of 2017 from 5.0 percent in the previous quarter, according to preliminary figures published by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday.
GDP has gradually accelerated since the start of 2017, when it stood at 3.0 percent. Overall annual economic growth reached 4.5 percent last year, which was three percentage points higher than in 2016.
Bill of around 27 billion crowns seen for Prague airport underground extension
An extension of Prague’s underground to Václav Havel airport from the current station at the Motol Hospital would cost 26.8 billion crowns with preparations and construction taking 11 years.
That is the estimate of an analysis carried out for the city’s public transport company by the company Metroprojekt. The extension of the current A line would add five new stations on the new stretch of line totalling almost 7 kilometres.
Prague City Council is also considering whether to extend its current C line eastwards for around 3 kilometres towards the suburb of Čakovice.
Czech President to call on Pope to extend Archbishop Duka’s mandate
Czech President Miloš Zeman said on Thursday that he would send Pope Francis a request to extend Cardinal Dominik Duka’s mandate as archbishop of Prague. The head of state reacted to an initiative of a hundred Catholic laymen who had petitioned Pope Francis not to extend the archbishop’s tenure.
The signatories of the letter staged a protest in front of the Archbishop Palace in Prague on Wednesday, criticizing the church for alleged nationalist tendencies.
The Czech head of state said Cardinal Duka was a ‘patriot’ and ‘one of the greatest personalities of the Czech Catholic Church’. He called the petition against Mr Duka "a letter of denunciation."
Cardinal Dominik Duka, who has been serving as Prague Archbishop since 2010, will have to officially submit his resignation in April, when he turns 75. I tis then up to the Pope whether he extends his mandate.
Olympics: speed skater Sáblíková takes silver in 5000 metres
The Czech Republic has won its second silver medal in the Winter Olympics and its fourth overall.
Czech speed skater Martina Sablíková finished second in her favourite 5000 metres race, clinching her sixth Winter Olympics medal in total.
The 29-year-old Czech racer didn’t succeed in defending her victories and gold medals from the two previous games, finishing two seconds behind her Dutch rival Esmee Visser.
Olympics: Samková wins bronze medal in snowboard cross event
Czech Snowboard cross competitor Eva Samková has won the bronze medal at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.
Samková, the reigning Olympic champion, said it felt like the gold she won four years earlier. The competition was won by Italian Michela Moioli.
Heavy snow complicates traffic on Czech roads
Heavy snowfall has complicated traffic across much of the Czech Republic. Smaller roads in some parts of South Moravia were scarcely passable on Friday morning and police have reported hundreds of accidents.
Forecasters have warned of ice on roads and streets, mainly in Moravia and Silesia, between Friday night and Sunday morning. Snow is set to melt during the day only to turn to ice when it freezes again after dark.
Saturday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional rain and snow showers. Daytime highs will range between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.