Daily news summary

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Czech politicians welcome result of Dutch elections

Czech politicians have welcomed the result of the Dutch elections as “good news for Europe”. The Netherlands has taken a step in the right direction on behalf of all of Europe, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek tweeted shortly after the results came in. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek described the outcome as “a triumph of common sense” saying it was good to know that opponents of the EU are weaker than expected. He noted that like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands has a pro-export economy that would be severely damaged if the country decided to leave the EU.

PM: Minister Babiš must explain his finances

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that he expects his finance minister, Andrej Babiš, to sufficiently explain some of his financial dealings that opponents say were aimed to avoid taxes. The prime minister warned Babis not to belittle calls for an explanation by the lower house of Parliament. “I feel it is essential for a minister who is spearheading the government’s anti-corruption drive to be able to sufficiently dispel concerns that he himself may have used unethical or even illegal practices in order to avoid paying tax” Mr. Sobotka said in a press release on Thursday. Lower house deputies said on Thursday that if Mr. Babiš did not provide a satisfactory explanation they expected the prime minister to take action. The finance minister, who accused his critics of mud-slinging, has now agreed to provide a full excplanation by the end of April.

Second wave of subsidies for green heating project

Czechs willing to replace their old stoves with pellet stoves for burning biomass will be able to draw state subsidies within a second wave of a government project in aid of environmental heating. State support for the purchase of a pellet stove will reach 127,500 crowns, covering up to 80 percent of the cost. According to Environment Minister Richard Brabec, 3.4 billion crowns have been earmarked for the project and the money should help purchase 35,000 environmentally-friendly stoves.

Ai Weiwei presents his exhibition at Prague’s National Gallery

The world-famous Chinese conceptual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei opened an exhibition created exclusively for the Czech National gallery in Prague on Thursday. The artist’s biggest sculpture ever reflects his concern about the refugee crisis. Called "Law of the Journey", the 70-metre-long (230-foot-long) inflatable boat with 258 oversize refugee figures will be shown in Prague’s Veletržní Palác until the end of the year.

Metallica to bring their WorldWired tour to the Czech Republic

Metallica will bring their WorldWired tour to the Czech Republic next year in April, the agency Live Nation announced on Thursday. The US heavy metal group will perform at Prague’s O2 Arena in support of their 10th album "Hardwired...To Self-Destruct". The group last performed in Prague in 2014.

Weather forecast

Friday should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with some rain in the north-western parts of the country and day temperatures between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius.