News Functionalist Mánes art gallery to reopen Wednesday

27-05-2014 14:57 | Ian Willoughby

The Prague art gallery Mánes is set to reopen after a two-year renovation on Wednesday with an exhibition of works by caricaturist and illustrator Ivan Steiger. Restaurant and office spaces at Mánes are still awaiting building approval, with its operators saying they would like to open the entire complex to the public in the summer. The Functionalist structure hosted the 80th birthday party of President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in 1930, the year it opened with a show looking back at a century of Czech art.

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Czech Beer Festival gets underway at Prague’s Letná

07-05-2015 09:52 | Ian Willoughby

The eighth annual Czech Beer Festival gets underway in Prague on Thursday. Over 150 Czech-produced draft beers will be served during the 17-day event, which this year takes place on a 4,000 square metre area at the city’s Letná Plain. The festival has a capacity of 4,000, organisers say. 

Czech TV Council rejects complaint of bias from Babiš’s Agrofert

07-05-2015 09:38 | Ian Willoughby

The Council of Czech Television has rejected a complaint alleging impartiality lodged by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš’s company Agrofert. The firm said reports in the investigative programme Reportéři ČT had contained unsubstantiated information aimed at suggesting a conflict of interest on Mr. Babiš’s part. The council ruled that the show’s makers had not contravened the station’s code of conduct. 

ANO: Coalition parties reach agreement on electronic cash registers

06-05-2015 16:30 | Ian Willoughby

The coalition partners have agreed on the introduction of electronic cash registers, the head of ANO’s deputies group Jaroslav Faltýnek said after a meeting of the three parties on Wednesday. He said the Christian Democrats, which had previously had reservations over the internet-connected fiscal devices, had come around to the idea. The system, which has been slammed by the opposition, should be launched at the start of next year. 

Appearance by National Front’s Marine Le Pen at Czech lower house sparks protest

06-05-2015 14:18 | Ian Willoughby

A dozen or so mainly young people protested against the presence of the head of France’s National Front, Marine Le Pen, at the Czech Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday. The protesters held up signs accusing Ms. Le Pen of being a fascist and denouncing the fact she had been allowed to speak in the lower house. The controversial politician was a delegate at a conference organised by Jiří Janeček of the marginal Civic Conservative Party. 

ANO propose end to support for biofuels criticised by opposition

06-05-2015 14:06 | Ian Willoughby

MPs from Finance Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party are preparing a bill that would end tax breaks for biofuels by June 30. The opposition TOP 09 had been demanding such a move by that date, which is when a programme approved by the European Commission supporting biofuels comes to an end. TOP 09’s Miroslav Kalousek said Mr. Babiš’s company Agrofert would use the scheme to tunnel the state budget. The lower house is due to debate the legislation in a fortnight’s time. 

Ceremony to appoint professors postponed after dispute between president and academics

06-05-2015 13:52 | Ian Willoughby

The minister of education, Marcel Chládek, has postponed a ceremony planned for Thursday at which the president was due to name new professors. The move follows President Miloš Zeman’s announcement that he would not appoint three nominees. A large number of academics said they would boycott the event as a protest against Mr. Zeman’s move, which they have strongly condemned. Citing their pasts, the president rejected the nominations of Jiří Fajt, Ivan Ošťádal and Jan Eichler. 

Russian motorbike gang members attend WWII memorial at Prague cemetery

06-05-2015 13:24 | Ian Willoughby

Members of the Russian motorbike gang the Night Wolves have attended a ceremony in the Orthodox section of Prague’s Olšaný cemetery honouring the victims of WWII. Around 15 people wearing the emblems of the gang attended Wednesday’s ceremony. Police intervened to break up clashes between the bikers and opponents at the entrance to the cemetery, where supporters were also gathered. Czech officials said the controversial Night Wolves, who are close to Russian president Vladimir Putin, would need a permit to cross the Czech Republic. 

Three charged with planning terror attack on train

06-05-2015 13:03 | Ian Willoughby

Three people have been remanded in custody on charges of planning a terrorist attack on a train. They were among six arrested in a series of raids carried out last week that reportedly uncovered an explosive device in a flat in Brno. Lidovky.cz said the raids had been targeted against anarchists suspected of having carried out at least five arson attacks, including on police vehicles and a police station. Police officers told the news site that the attacks were the work of the group Síť revolučních buněk (Network of Revolutionary Cells). 

Police detain 12 in raid on Cibulka squat in Prague

06-05-2015 12:33 | Ian Willoughby

Police in riot gear detained 12 people in a raid on the Cibulka squat in Prague on Wednesday morning. Dozens of squatters had ignored police calls to vacate the former farmhouse in the Prague 5 district. The move follows a criminal complaint from the owner of Cibulka, who said he was prevented from entering the building on Tuesday evening. The farmhouse, which is in a state of disrepair, has a history dating back to the 14th century. 

Spanish referee to officiate in key Sparta-Plzeň match

06-05-2015 10:13 | Ian Willoughby

A key soccer league game this weekend is to be overseen by a Spanish referee, the chairman of the Czech FA, Miroslav Pelta, told the daily Sport. Mr. Pelta said for security reasons the name of the referee would only be announced shortly before Sparta Prague’s game against Viktoria Plzeň in the capital on Saturday. Defending champions Sparta are trailing Plzeň by three points but can lift the title if they win their remaining four games. 

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