Overview of Czech news: Wednesday, April 6, 2022

15:10 Slovak Prime Minister to visit Kyiv with European Commission President

After facing domestic criticism for not taking part in the visit of the Czech, Slovenian and Polish Prime Ministers to Kyiv last month, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger will leave for Kyiv tonight with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. They will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the current situation amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

14:59 Fiala emerges from Covid isolation

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala is today attending a government meeting in person for the first time since testing positive for Covid last week. Fiala also attended a session in the lower house of the Czech parliament. After testing positive for Covid, Fiala self-isolated for a week, tweeting on Monday that the intensity of his illness had come as an unpleasant surprise and that his return to work after coming out of isolation would be gradual. He canceled a planned visit to Germany.

13:46 CEEC foreign ministers to meet near Prague

Foreign ministers from the informal Central 5 (C5) regional alliance, comprising the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Slovenia, will meet next Tuesday at Štiřín Castle near Prague to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The Czech Foreign Ministry announced the meeting today. Other issues on the agenda will be the upcoming Czech EU Presidency and the Covid pandemic. The meeting comes after the re-election of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party in Hungary; Orbán’s ambivalent stance on Ukraine drew strong criticism from regional allies.

11:24 ODS and TOP 09 senators want Zeman’s resignation

Civic Democrat (ODS) and TOP 09 senators have agreed that the Czech Senate should ask President Miloš Zeman to resign following the controversial pardon he granted to the head of the Presidential Forest of Lány, Miloš Balák. The STAN group of senators would also support such a resolution, their leader said. The senators are also considering constitutional court action against Zeman following the pardon he granted to Balák, who was convicted of bribery in a CZK 200 million public tender.

Rich list The wealth of Czech billionaires has increased significantly

According to Forbes’ European rich list for 2022, the number of Czech dollar billionaires remained the same at nine, while their combined wealth increased from $41.4 billion in 2021 to $49 billion in 2022. the richest in the country is now Renáta Kellnerová. , the widow of investment magnate Petr Kellner, who died in a helicopter crash last year.

One of the country’s most successful billionaires over the past year has been former prime minister and current opposition leader Andrej Babiš, whose wealth is said to have increased by $900 million, to about 3, $5 billion. Overall, however, European billionaires have lost wealth over the past year due to falling stock markets and, more recently, economic turmoil caused by war in Ukraine.

Politics Babiš undergoes eyelid surgery

Former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš underwent planned eyelid surgery to remove excess skin on his upper and lower eyelids. The ANO chief, 67, said the operation had been planned for a long time and now he had to wear dark glasses and compresses. He hopes to return to attend sessions in the lower house of the Czech parliament later this week.

The operation has no connection with Babiš’s recent hospitalization for a blockage in the intestine which led to a brief loss of consciousness. Doctors have put Babiš on a strict diet since the episode, with more tests to come to find out more about the cause of his health issues.

Transport Prague metro receives 5G mobile signal

Mobile operators have announced that the Prague metro is now not only covered by mobile signal, but the development of the entire network has been accelerated so that almost the entire metro is now covered by a 5G signal. The last stations to implement the faster technology were Dejvická and Nemocnice Motol on Metro Line A.

Work to install telephone signals in the metro began in 2015. Now, with one exception in Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad, where the Prague public transport company is building lifts and undertaking major repairs, the entire telephone signal network is complete. The telephone signal will not reach Jiřího z Poděbrad until the renovations are completed.

Business Russian ties threaten development of village near Prague

A pair of Russian billionaires behind a project to develop a luxury village called Oaks Prague on the outskirts of the Czech capital have halted plans to buy additional land from the village of Popovičky. The developers claimed that they would meet their existing obligations, including the introduction of water supply for the site. But the local authorities fear that the project will fall through due to the war in Ukraine.

Several thousand square kilometers of land were to be purchased by a pair of Russian oligarchs, Alexandr Abramov and Alexandr Frolov, co-owners of the multinational steel company Evraz. But they called off the purchase in March as the Czech Republic and other Western countries froze the assets of Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs.

Theater Wonderful circus production to bid farewell after 45 years

Prague’s Laterna magika is planning the closing night of its world-famous production “The Wonderful Circus” on September 28. The final performance will be the production’s 6,503rd appearance in the 45 years since its premiere. Laterna magika director Radim Vizváry called the production a “pioneer of multi-genre theatre”.

Laterna magika combines acting, dance and cinema, and “The Wonderful Circus” uses technical equipment specific to the New Stage of the National Theater in Prague, which will be renovated next year. Laterna magika therefore plans to stage the premiere of next season outdoors, with an adaptation of Jean-Claude Carrière’s “La Conférence des Oiseaux”.

Berta D. Wells