Daily news summary

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Zaorálek: Czech Republic should be able to present its interests without 'breaking' the EU

Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has said the Czech Republic should be able to present its interests in the EU in a manner that would not hurt the EU and stressed the country needed to take a straight-forward approach but also to look for compromise solutions in order to contribute positively to central Europe and the European Union as a whole.

The foreign minister made the statement at a meeting of diplomats in Prague on Monday; the prime minister spoke earlier. In his address, the foreign minister drew differences between 2016 and this year, namely Brexit and populist sentiments to leave the EU. He rated as positive Austrian and Dutch election results but made clear the departure by Great Britain would have a major impact - all the more reason for remaining members to address issues such as further integration.

Prime minister highlights dialogue with Germany as key tool to good relations

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has described ongoing strategic dialogue between the Czech Republic and Germany as a key tool for good relations in central Europe, only then mentioning cooperation between countries in the Visegrad 4 (which include Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary). Mr Sobotka made the statement at a meeting of Czech diplomats, in which he outlined key areas in Czech foreign policy and Czech interests.

The prime minister proposed that countries in the EU who have not yet adopted the euro, could gain observer status during meetings between Eurozone finance ministers. Besides maintaining strong ties with Germany, the prime minister also made clear he wanted to intensify cooperation with France.

Teachers’ unions, universities outline pay and budget demands

The teachers’ unions have said they do not want to threaten strike action as long as negotiations continue. Instead, representatives will repeat their demands at a demonstration planned at Prague’s Bethlehem Chapel on the first day of the academic year, September 1.

Union and university representatives outlined the situation at a press conference Monday; the unions are seeking a pay rise of 15 percent for teachers and 10 percent for non-teaching staff. University representatives are seeking a 4.5 billion crown increase in the annual budget compared to last year.

Ample Strike 2017 military exercises get underway

Ample Strike 2017, annual military exercises hosted by the Czech Republic, got underway on Monday in designated areas across the country. This year, more than 1,300 soldiers from 18 different armies are taking part.

The exercises include participation by pilots of some 40 planes and helicopters. The primary aim of the air-land integration exercise is to harmonize cooperation between air controllers, aircraft crews and commanders of ground forces.

Weinberger villa declared heritage site

A villa designed by prominent Viennese architect Armand Weiser, commissioned by Jewish factory owner Fritz Weinberger in the South Moravian town of Znojmo in the late 1920s, has been recognised by the Czech Culture Ministry as a cultural heritage site. Armand Weiser was a key proponent of modern Austrian architecture.

The Weinberger family founded what became a prosperous leather manufacturing company in the 1880s and ran the firm until the German occupation ahead of WWII, when part of Czechoslovakia was replaced by the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

Football: Roma and Sampdoria reach deal on Czech striker Schick

Italian football club Roma and Sampdoria have reached a deal over Czech striker Patrik Schick, the Czech News Agency reported Monday citing the Italian news agency ANSA. The 21-year-old player, who was long sought by Juventus before a minor heart issue during the summer, since resolved, will first be loaned for six million euros with an obligation to buy by the end of the season for an additional 30 million euros plus bonuses.

Schick will be Roma’s most expensive acquisition in the club’s history, ČTK reported, and the second-most expensive Czech player in the history of the game after Pavel Nedvěd, who was bought by Juventus from Lazio for roughly 41 million euros in 2001 (approximately 50 million adjusted).

Weather

Tuesday is expected to be sunny with daytime temperatures reaching highs of around 25 degrees Celsius.