In tennis, Czech player Tomáš Berdych reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon on Wednesday night. Opponent Serb Novak Djokovic retired after losing the first set on a tie-break and trailing in the second set by two games to love. Berdych will now face Swiss Roger Federer for a place in the final. Berdych, the 11th seed, last beat Federer on grass on his way to the Wimbledon finals in 2010. Federer came through his semi-final in straight sets.
The culture minister has decried a move by the lower house of parliament to reject a proposed new law on protection of the country’s cultural heritage saying that it was surprising and ‘a dirty trick and added the final vote was the result of political manoeuvres and lobbying.’ Herman said the proposed new law would have offered better and more efficient care. But he added that Czech cultural heritage could still be protected under the current much amended 30 years old rules. Members of government parties failed to vote in a single block for the new rules.
The Czech lower house of parliament has approved an army mission of up to 290 as part of an international NATO group in the Baltics. The mission in Latvia and Lithuania should last throughout 2018 and into January 2019. 119 out of the 165 members of parliament voted in favour. The mission still has to be approved by the upper house, the Senate. The Czech foreign minister described the mission as a significant Czech contribution to NATO.
International police cooperation agency Interpol has rejected a request for an international arrest warrant to be served on a Czech Member of the European Parliament. Interpol refused the request for MEP Jaromír Štětina following a request from authorities in Azerbaijan. The move followed a visit by the MEP to the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in February during which Štětina denounced moves being made by authorities in Azerbaijan. They said his comments helped fuel tension in the region disputed by Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Czech said the demand for an arrest warrant was aimed at scaring off international experts and commentators against speaking out against the Baku government.
The official unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell to 4.0 percent in June from May’s 4.1, the Czech Labour Office announce. The June rate is the lowest for 19 years with just over 297,000 people registered as seeking work. The number of vacancies rose to 185,500 meaning that there are an average 1.6 job seekers for every vacant place. There is still wide disparities in the jobless rate across the country.
The annual rate of Czech inflation slowed in June to 2.3 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the May figure, the Czech Statistical Office announced on Wednesday. The monthly inflation rate was unchanged. The annual figure stemmed largely from a slowdown in price rises for transport and cheaper clothes and footwear outweighing rising costs for food and drink.
A survey of food samples in five countries, including the Czech Republic, have shown wide differences in the same products sold by manufacturers. Out of 21 products tested in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, only three were the same. In 13 cases there were wide differences in the same product sold in the different countries and in five cases minor differences. In one case the fish content of fish fingers was 63.8 percent in Germany and Austria but just 50.2 percent in the Czech Republic. The active ingredients of washing power sold in Germany and Austria was much higher than other countries. The Czech minister of agriculture has said the problem of different quality foods sold as the same needs to be tackled at a European level.
Culture minister Daniel Herman has said negotiations are going well and are at the next to last stage over the purchase and closure of a pig farm at the site of a camp where Czech Roma died or were sent to their deaths by the Nazis. The minister said talks with the owner at Lety should be concluded over the summer and a final decision be sent to the government in September. The purchase of the farm, whose existence is regarded as an insult to the dead Roma, has been a priority for many Czech governments without much apparent success. The Lety camp was originally created by the Czechs but later transformed by the Nazis into a camp for Roma. Around 90 percent of Czech Roma are believed to have been killed by the Nazis.
Czech MPs have voted in favour of ratifying the Paris Agreement aimed at curbing global warming. Tuesday’s session of the Chamber of Deputies was the fifth at which the agreement had been discussed. The matter will now go before the lower house’s foreign affairs and environment committees and could be ratified in September. The Senate endorsed the Paris Agreement in April. The Czech Republic is the only European Union state not to have ratified it.