Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for July 19, 2021

EC President Ursula von der Leyen visits Prague today, another graffiti attack on the Charles Bridge, and Krejčíková wins the Prague Open.

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Published on 19.07.2021 09:59 (updated on 19.07.2021)

EC president von der Leyen to meet with Czech PM in Prague today

The European Commission today is set to officially approve the Czech national recovery plan, which would give the country CZK 180 billion from the European Union's emergency fund to revive its economy after the coronavirus crisis. EC President Ursula von der Leyen von der Leyen will be in Prague Monday to discuss Czech investment strategy with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. The Czech Republic will probably receive the first money in September after it has been approved by the finance ministers of the EU member states. On Monday morning, Babiš will welcome the chairwoman of the commission together with Vice-President Věra Jourová, in the State Opera. She will also the National Museum.

Vandals tag Charles Bridge with graffiti through the weekend

An unknown vandal has defaced a section of Prague's medieval Charles Bridge, spraying 30-cm-long graffiti near the St. John the Baptist statue, a Prague police spokeswoman has told ČTK, confirming information broadcast by Czech Television (CT). This is the second case of graffiti vandalism targeting Prague's landmark this month. A police patrol uncovered fresh graffiti on the bridge Sunday morning. Charles Bridge faced a more extensive vandal attack last Friday, July 9, with blue English-language inscriptions defacing the right-side and parts of a statue and a light post on the bridge. A police video captured the perpetrator in action, and the minor turned himself in the next day. A restorer has removed the graffiti from the bridge. ČTK

Czech beach volleyball player tests positive for Covid in Tokyo

Czech beach volleyball player Ondřej Perušič, 26, tested positive for the coronavirus in Tokyo, which means he may not be able to compete at the summer Olympics there, the Czech Olympic Committee (COV) told journalists Sunday. After one of the members of the supporting team tested positive, this is the second case of infection among the Czech Olympic team, the COV said. Perušič was discovered to be positive during the daily testing administered in the Olympic village on Sunday. Along with his fellow player David Schweiner, Perusic was due to enter the Olympic tournament on July 26. Now due to his isolation, this will likely prove impossible. The COV said it is trying to have their matches postponed. ČTK

Czech Krejčíková wins Prague Open women's tennis tournament

Czech Barbora Krejčíková handily won the Prague Open WTA tennis tournament Sunday, beating her compatriot Tereza Martincová 6-2, 6-0 and gaining her third title this year, after Strasbourg and Roland Garros. The French Open champ beat the no. 8-seeded Tereza Martincová 6-2, 6-0, hitting 26 winners on her way to victory in 65 minutes. Krejčíková didn't lose a set at the hard-court tournament that she used as a warm-up for the Tokyo Olympics. She won her three titles, including Strasbourg and Roland Garros, in her past four tournaments, winning 20 of her last 21 games. Her only defeat came in the fourth round of Wimbledon to eventual winner Ash Barty.

Czech Republic in talks with two potential battery plant investors

The Czech Republic is in talks with two potential investors, including Volkswagen, for an electric battery cell factory and is ready to offer billions of crowns in an incentive package, Minister of Industry Karel Havlíček said on Friday. Home to VW's Czech carmaker Škoda Auto, the Czech Republic is one of the locations in consideration by the German auto group for one of six battery cell plants its aims to build in Europe by 2030. Havlíček said the government was also holding talks with another interested party but declined to name it. "We are talking to two large partners, the communication is quite intensive," Havlíček told Reuters. In central Europe, where the car sector is a major driver for the region's economies, Volkswagen has said the Czech Republic, Poland or Slovakia could be a site for battery cell production.

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