Daily news summary
CNB: Financial sector resistant to shocks but mortgages represent risk
The Czech financial sector remains highly resistant to shocks, the Czech National Bank says in its 2015/2016 Report on Financial Stability published on Tuesday. Stress tests on Czech banks confirmed their ability to handle even a deep recession and increased losses on loans. However, the central bank says there is genuine risk surrounding mortgages, with the danger of a property price and loans spiral continuing. Meanwhile, the CNB has raised the compulsory credit reserve for all banks, savings banks and securities traders from 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent, a decision that will take effect in mid-2018.
Sobotka expresses disquiet over Russia protest arrests
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, says he has been disquieted by the arrests made during demonstrations in Russia on Monday. Mr. Sobotka said people had the right to express their views without being detained and called on the Moscow government to respect freedom of expression and assembly. Russian police arrested over 1,000 people at anti-corruption rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg, while the opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at his home before they got underway.
New website offers fresh access to information on StB activities
A new website launched on Tuesday by the Security Services Archive (www.mvu.ebadatelna.cz) allows the public access to information on the daily workings of the Communist-run Ministry of the Interior and an overview of key personnel in the StB secret police and their activities. Visitors will also be able to view records kept on a number of well-known figures at the website, which covers the period from 1969 until February 1990, when the StB was abolished. The archive is the Czech Republic’s main repository for communist-era secret police files.
Major apartment complex project for Žižkov freight station to start in 2019
Developers Central Group plan to start building between 2,100 and 2,600 new apartments by the Žižkov freight railway station in Prague in 2019. The CZK 9 billion project will also include a large park and kindergarten, the company said at a presentation on Tuesday. The entire grounds will cover an area roughly three times the size of Wenceslas Square.
Woman’s body dragged along for hundreds of metres by Prague tram
The dead body of woman was dragged for several hundred metres by a Prague tram on Monday night, Novinky.cz reported. Police are working on the assumption that the woman, who was around 30, was dragged across the city’s Legion Bridge to the National Theatre after she either tried to ride on the coupling between the tram’s carriages or got caught as she tried to climb across it at the previous stop. The police said it was not possible for the driver to know there was somebody between the carriages.
National Gallery to get permanent Ai Weiwei piece next year
The Czech National Gallery is to get a permanent piece by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei from next year, the institution’s director, Jiří Fajt, said on Tuesday. The courtyard of the gallery’s Kinský Palace building on Prague’s Old Town Square will be home to the artist’s Bicycle Chandelier, a large piece made from Chinese bicycles that has previously seen at other venues in Europe. The National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace at present houses Ai Weiwei’s enormous site specific work Law of the Journey, a recreation of a refugee boat that draws attention to the migrant crisis, and last year showed his Zodiac Heads.
It should be cloudy with some bright spells in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 23 degrees Celsius. The rest of the week is expected to see slightly lower daytime highs and some rain.