Czech daily news in brief: top headlines for June 11, 2021

Krejčíková advances to French Open finals, Czech Senate calls for boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics, and Kundera wins the Kafka Prize. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.06.2021 09:58:00 (updated on 11.06.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Senate calls on government to exact subsidy money from Agrofert

The Czech Senate has called on the cabinet to immediately began exacting subsidy money from Agrofert due to the European Commission's finding that Czech PM Andrej Babiš' connection with the chemical and agricultural holding is a conflict of interest. The Senate's appeal was initiated by its commission for the supervision of public money distribution. At the same time, the Senate stated that the EC audit's conclusions confirmed a conflict of interest on the part of Babis along with flaws in the assessment of some subsidy-seeking projects. The Senate said the cabinet should from now on refrain from any attempts to seek the EU's reimbursement of the costs of all projects that are substantially suspected of being afflicted by a conflict of interest. The EP resolution, which is not legally binding, supported the EC audit's conclusion confirming that Babis faces a conflict of interest because he influences the distribution of EU subsidies in the Czech Republic and simultaneously controls and benefits from Agrofert through the trust funds in which he placed it in 2017. Babis has repeatedly dismissed any conflict of interest on his part. ČTK 

Czech Senate calls for boycott of 2022 Winter Olympics in China

The Senate asked Czech political representatives to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China over human rights abuses in a resolution it passed at the instigation of its foreign and human rights committee Thursday. Participation in the Olympics might legitimatize the continued violation of human rights in this country, the resolution said. With their absence, Czech politicians should make it clear that they disagree with the policy of the Chinese regime towards Tibetans and Uyghurs as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong. The resolution warned of the experience from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games when, violating its commitment to staging them as free and open, the Chinese regime limited the free movement of both athletes and journalists. The Embassy of China denounced the Senate's position. ČTK 

Czech tennis player to compete for grand slam title at French Open

In a tightly-contested French Open semifinal match that went to the full three sets, Barbora Krejčíková defeated Greek player Maria Sakkari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 to advance to the grand slam title in singles for the first time in her career. She'll face Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat Slovenia's Tamara Zidanšek 7:5 and 6:3. Long hailed as a doubles specialist, Krejčíková is the third Czech player to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros in the past decade. Petra Kvitová reached that stage in 2012 and last year, Karolína Plíšková in 2017, while Lucie Šafářová lost in the 2015 final and Markéta Vondroušová finished runner-up in 2019.

Milan Kundera awarded Franz Kafka Prize

The Franz Kafka Society bestowed the 20th Franz Kafka Prize on Czech writer Milan Kundera who lives in France. Kundera's Czech translator Anna Kareninová received the award on his behalf Thursday. At the ceremony at the Embassy of France, Kareninová received the French Order of Arts and Literature from Ambassador Alexis Dutertre. The decoration expresses recognition of her role in promoting French-speaking literature in the Czech Republic and prominent French writers. Born in Brno in 1929, Milan Kundera is the most Czech of French writers and the most French of Czech writers, Dutertre said. Kundera has been writing in French since the 1990s. The laureates of the Franz Kafka Prize include Philip Roth, Elfriede Jelinek, Harold Pinter, Haruki Murakami, Yves Bonnefoy, Peter Handke, and Margaret Atwood. The Franz Kafka Society has been giving its prize since 2001. ČTK 

From mid-June new express trains will link Pilsen, Cheb, and K. Vary

České dráhy (ČD) will start operating new express trains between Pilsen, Mariánské Lázně, Cheb and Karlovy Vary from June 13. The line was ordered by the Pilsen and Karlovy Vary regions. They will travel for most of the day at a two-hour interval and complete the offer of long-distance connections. Urgent connections will initially be provided by RegioShark motor units, which will replace the new RegioPanter sets by the end of the current timetable at the latest, by December, ČDK spokesman Robert Pagan told ČTK today. In addition, new connections to the Prague - Domažlice - Munich expressways will be established in Pilsen. ČTK 

In May, consumer prices rose by 2.9% year on year, growth slowed

Consumer prices rose by 2.9 percent year on year in May. Their growth rate slowed down by 0.2 percentage points compared to April. Month-on-month, prices rose by 0.2 percent. The rise in prices was mainly due to higher fuel prices, while a number of foods continued to fall in price year on year. This was stated today by the Czech Statistical Office. According to statistics, petrol has been the most expensive since October 2019, and diesel since last February. Analysts, on the other hand, expected year-on-year inflation to accelerate to 3.2 percent. ČTK 

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