The Czech minister of agriculture, Marian Jurečka, said Friday that a state of emergency should be declared in the Zlín region by the regional governor. The comments followed a meeting between the minister and experts regarding the ongoing risks stemming from African swine fever. The declaration should, according to the minister, allowed the threat to be tackled better. One of the measures that could be taken is enclosing an around 20 kilometre square area with an electric fence aimed at keeping wild boar in place.
Police have shelved their investigation into whether a crimal act was performed when former finance minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš was secretly recorded, Czech Television has reported. It cited the state prosecutor for Prague 5, Martin Černý. Proceedings were initiated by Babiš but the prosecutor said that recording someone without their permission could not be regarded as a criminal act. A former reporter for the Babiš owned newspaper, Dnes, was implicated in the recording during which the former minister rubbished some of his Social Democrat colleagues and discussed the time of printing news that could damage them.
The Czech Republic could become the dustbin of Europe with regard to sub-quality foodstuffs brought into the country without the help of the European Union, the Czech Secretary of State for European Affairs, Aleš Chmelař, commented on Friday. Chmelař added that only the EU could take a position on whether cross border discrimination existed or not. The issue of lower quality foodstuffs being sold in Central Europe was taken up by the V4 grouping of countries last week at a meeting in Budapest. Chmelař said that Visegrad leaders would address the issue again in September and hoped to see progress being made.
Czechs spent a total of 196.4 billion crowns on betting in 2016, a 29 percent rise in the total spend compared with the previous year. Winnings paid out by betting companies came to 157.1 billion. That left around 40 billion crowns for the betting companies, around 10 billion crowns more than the previous year. Over the year there was an increase by around a third in the volume of bets made over the Internet.
A team Prague’s Czech Technical University have beaten 54 teams from around the world to win a Microsoft sponsored competition aimed at encouraging teamwork and technology. The winning Czech entry focused on a mobile phone application which allows children with diabetes to easily check their blood insulin levels so that they avoid the risk of seizures. The winning team in the Imagine Cup wins 250,000 US dollars.
Ministry of Interior officials will start checks in the coming weeks whether town councils are breaking the law by maintaining bans on citizens sitting in public spaces other than benches. The move, reported by Czech Television, follows a Constitutional Court ruling that two towns, Litvínov and Varnsdorf, exceeded their powers when they implemented such bans as part of their public order armoury. Other towns, such as Most and Biliná, still have similar rules in place.
First half net profits for one of the Czech Republic’s biggest telecoms companies, O2,rose by 3.0 percent to 2.6 billion crowns, the company announced on Friday. Total earnings climbed by 4.0 percent to 18.49 billion crowns. The results were described by one analyst as slightly better than expected. The overwhelming majority of the earnings, around four fifths, come from the Czech Republic. O2 is majority owned by Czech company PPF.
In football, Sparta Prague got off to a catastrophic start to their European season with a 2:0 defeat away against Serbian team Crvena Zvezda Belgrade in the third pre-qualifying round of the Europa League. A largely reshaped Sparta team featuring only three Czechs and many foreign acquisitions displayed confusion in defence and up front and conceded the first goal after 12 minutes. Sparta, under Italian manager Stramaccioni, need three goals in the home replay with no reply to go through next week. Mladá Boleslav beat Albanian team Skenderbeu 2:1 at home in the same competition.