Daily news summary
Minister: State budget saw first surplus in over two decades last year
The Czech Republic’s state budget for 2016 ended with a surplus of CZK 61.8 billion. That was the best result since the foundation of the country in 1993 and it was the first time revenues had exceeded expenditures since 1995. The minister of finance, Andrej Babiš, presented the figures for the country’s economic performance last year at a news conference in Prague on Tuesday afternoon. Some analysts say the positive results are in part due to a trimming of investments by some CZK 70 billion, while others argue that the state’s taxation rates are too high.
Severe weather conditions expected in Czech Republic in coming days
The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute has warned that up to 50 centimetres of snow may fall in mountainous areas of the country by Thursday. The snowfall will be heavy and constant, forecasters said on Tuesday, adding that strong winds of up to 70 km an hour over the next couple of days could create snow drifts. In addition, thawing snow in low-lying parts of the country could give rise to icy patches. The situation should ease on Thursday in Bohemia before conditions also improve in Moravia and Silesia.
“Lost” Havel text on early days of Charter 77 to be published on anniversary
A text written by Václav Havel on the first days of Charter 77 that he himself believed lost is to be published in connection with Friday’s 40th anniversary of the launch of the protest document. The 100-page text was found recently in the papers of Zdeněk Urbánek, a friend who like Mr. Havel was a leading dissident in communist Czechoslovakia. The first chapter is being published by the Václav Havel Library in a run of 500 numbered copies. The publication will be launched at a gathering on Friday outside Mr. Urbánek’s former home in Prague 6, where much of Charter 77 was written. A conference and other events are also taking place in connection with the anniversary.
Man charged over train bomb claim
The police have charged a Czech man who made a hoax call claiming there was a bomb on a train running between Prague and the German city of Munich. The man, who has not been held on remand, could face up to five years in jail if found guilty of spreading false alarm. Over 250 people had to be evacuated from the train in the central Bohemian town of Beroun on Monday. The service was delayed by several hours while an important rail corridor was also shut down for some time.
Prague City Hall may have found site for Slav Epic
Prague City Hall says it may have found a suitable exhibition space for Alfons Mucha’s Slav Epic, a cycle of 20 outsize canvases depicting the history and mythology of the Slav peoples. According to the ctk news agency Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has approved a site in Těsnov, in Prague 8, where an exhibition center would be erected for the paintings. The decision still has to be approved by the Prague City Council. Alfons Mucha regarded the Slav epic as his lifetime achievement and dedicated the series of paintings to the city of Prague in 1928 on condition that a suitable place in the capital was found to exhibit them. For many years Prague was unable to fulfil this condition and the paintings resided at the castle of Moravský Krumlov.
We can expect snow around the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures due to reach a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius. Later in the week it should get considerably colder, with temperatures falling to as low as -8 degrees during the day.