Daily news summary
‘Million Moments’ plans Prague protest over govt coronavirus response
The civic movement ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ is organizing a protest march in Prague on June 9 in part over aspects of the Czech government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group claims the government spread chaos during the declared state emergency, which it used to exceed its mandated powers and restrict civil rights.
‘Million Moments’ has been running a campaign to oust Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) since 2018 centred on his alleged conflict of interest regarding the distribution of EU and state funds.
Its largest demonstration took place in Prague last June, in which over a quarter million people took part. It was the largest protest meeting in the country since the Velvet Revolution of 1989.
Minister Petříček to present plan to help Czech firms export, secure contracts abroad
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) is due to submit a plan to the government on Monday on how to help Czech companies maintain sales abroad during the coronavirus crisis.
More than 80 percent of Czech GDP derives from exports and more than half of jobs are linked to foreign sales. Petříček said the ministry wants to submit a long-term reconstruction package to support Czech exporters.
Czech officials should also focus more on monitoring public procurement opportunities abroad in which foreign companies can participate. In parts of Africa, for example, Czech firms can present entire transport or healthcare projects, he said.
Coronavirus: Brno kindergartener tests positive, classmates quarantined
An asymptomatic child in a Brno-Bystrc district kindergarten tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday, and the entire class will now go into quarantine for 14 days.
District Mayor Tomáš Kratochvíl told ČTK the child showed no symptoms, but the parents had performed a test and reported the results to the maternity school.
Kindergarteners and many elementary school children have been allowed to return to class at their parents’ discretion and dependent on the respective schools’ ability to serve smaller groups.
Czechs charge Belarusian who fought in Ukraine with terrorism
The Prague High Prosecutor’s Office has indicted a Belarusian with permanent Czech residency on terrorism charges for joining armed separatists in eastern Ukraine. If convicted, he faces 12 to 20 years in prison.
The Belarusian man had repeatedly participated in the conflict in Ukraine over the years 2014 to 2016, prosecutors say. Similar indictments have been filed against a Czech citizen who joined Russian-backed separatists there at the turn of 2015 and 2016.
Prague Castle grounds waive entrance fees through June 1
Prague Castle will charge no admission fees to the historic buildings and ongoing exhibitions from Friday through Monday in a bid to revive tourism, especially among Czechs.
Over the next four days visitors can stroll through the Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane, normally among the most-frequented cultural monument sites in the country. However, maximum capacity will be restricted to 1 person per 10 square meters.
Prague Castle began reopening on Monday after months of forced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Before the crisis, thousands of people, mainly foreign tourists, visited the grounds every day.
Tennis: Kvitová wins all-Czech tournament
World No.12 Petra Kvitová won the women’s draw at an all-Czech tournament in Prague on Thursday, after beating Karolína Muchová 6-3, 6-3.
Michal Vrbenský triumphed in the men’s singles, defeating Zdeněk Kolář 6-4, 6-7 and 10-8.
The Tennis President’s Cup, played without fans and handshakes with rivals, was one of the first after professional tennis was suspended in March due to coronavirus outbreak.
Czechs allowed to travel freely to Croatia
As of Friday, May 29, Czech citizens are allowed to travel to freely to Croatia. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced on Thursday that the country was completely opening its borders to 10 EU countries, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Nationals from the ten countries will be able to enter Croatia under the same conditions as before the outbreak of COVID-19. Nevertheless, they will have to comply with recommendations issued by the country’s Institute of Public Health.
Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Croatia recorded a total of 2,244 cases and 101 deaths.
Saturday should be cool and cloudy, with daytime highs of up to 15 degrees Celsius. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday.