News ANO has come first among Czech parties vying for seats in European Parliament

25-05-2014 23:44 updated | Jan Velinger

The ANO movement, headed by businessman turned politician Andrej Babiš, has come first among Czech parties running in the European Parliamentary election. In the Czech Republic, a record 38 parties and movements fielded 849 candidates for 21 seats in the 751-strong assembly. Several polls had indicated in days prior to the vote that ANO was the front-runner but one survey put centre-right opposition party TOP 09 in front.

The results were nevertheless close: ANO finished with 16.12 percent of the vote, which translates into four mandates and TOP 09 gained 15.95 percent, likewise four mandates.

The ruling coalition leaders, the Social Democrats, finished third with 14.17 percent. Another four parties passed the five percent threshold to make into the European Parliament: the Communists (10.98%), the Christian Democrats (9.95%), the Civic Democrats (7.67%) and the Free Citizens’ Party (5.24%).

Some of the successful candidates on the ballot who won seats include Pavel Telička (ANO), Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09), Jan Keller (Social Democrats), Kateřina Konečná (Communist Party), and Michaela Šojdrová (Christian Democrats).

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Qatari prince suing Czech Republic for time spent in jail

31-08-2016 09:40 | Daniela Lazarová

Hamid bin Abdal Sani, a member of the Qatari ruling family who was prosecuted for having paid sex with underage girls in Prague, has sued the Czech Republic for non-material damage and lost income, the news site reported. The police arrested Sani in September 2004 and he spent eleven months in custody for which he is demanding 250,000 crowns in compensation. He was later sentenced to 2.5 years in absentia, after being extradited to Qatar on the promise that he would be prosecuted there. Local prosecution dropped the case shortly after. In 2015 a Prague court lowered Sani’s sentence to 11 months and 8 days, the exact amount of time the prince spent in a Czech jail before his extradition. 

Czech sports legend gymnast Věra Čáslavská dies at 74

31-08-2016 09:22 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech gymnast Věra Čáslavská, whose seven gold medals made her the country's most decorated Olympic athlete, has died at the age of 74 after a long battle with cancer. Čáslavská's medals included golds in gymnastics in the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games. She was a vocal critic of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and was banned from competing in the Olympics after signing the pro-reform manifesto "Two Thousand Words". 

Shop owner must pay fine for posting picture of thief on Facebook

30-08-2016 17:45 | Daniela Lazarová

A Prague Municipal Court has ruled that a shop owner must pay a 5,000 crown fine for posting the picture of a man who stole one of his electric bikes on Facebook. The picture was shared by hundreds of users thanks to which the police apprehended the thief in record time. However the shop owner was served a fine by the Institute for Protection of Private Data on the grounds that only the police had the right to see the footage from his security camera. Although the Prague Municipal Court originally ruled against the fine, the case went to the Supreme Administrative Court which requested another hearing. 

Czech Embassy in London reports heightened interest in Czech citizenship after Brexit vote

30-08-2016 17:28 | Daniela Lazarová

Two months after the Brexit vote the Czech Embassy in London reports a heightened interest from British nationals with Czech roots in acquiring Czech citizenship. According to the news site the embassy is getting dozens of calls a day with requests for information regarding travel to the Czech Republic after Brexit and the possibility of having dual citizenship. Over 100 requests for Czech citizenship have been filed in the past two months alone. says embassies of other EU member states in Britain are getting similar requests. 

Rosický announces return to Sparta Prague

30-08-2016 14:58 | Daniela Lazarová

Former Czech national football captain and Arsenal midfield star Tomáš Rosický has announced his return to Sparta Prague. Rosický’s contract with Arsenal terminated at the end of last season, fuelling speculation about his next move. Rosický last played in the Czech league for Sparta before quitting the club fifteen years ago for a high-profile transfer to Borussia Dortmund. 

Prague Zoo to acquire Golden Snub-nosed monkey

30-08-2016 14:45 | Daniela Lazarová

Prague Zoo has signed an agreement with Beijing Zoo on the loan of a Golden Snub-nosed monkey. The breed, indigenous to Central and Southwest China, cannot presently be found outside of Asia. Prague Zoo will thus be the first European zoo to acquire a specimen. The agreement also pertains to the loan of Giant Pandas for which Prague Zoo is currently building a special pavilion. 

Large fire breaks out at Chvaletice coal-fired power station

30-08-2016 14:44 updated | Ian Willoughby

A large fire broke out at one of the Czech Republic’s biggest coal-fired power stations in Chvaletice, East Bohemia in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The blaze occurred in part of the power station that feeds coal into its boilers. Firefighters from 13 stations fought the blaze. The power station was disconnected from the network and will remain out of operation for several weeks at least. The damage has been estimated at 50 million crowns. 

Czech intelligence services investigating imam formerly active in Prague

30-08-2016 14:41 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech intelligence services are investigating an imam formerly active in Prague who apparently tried to radicalize the Czech Muslim community, the news site idnes reported. Imam Samer Shehadeh reportedly tried to dissuade members of the Muslim community from attending a Christian mass in a show of solidarity with people of a different faith by warning them that it would amount to a betrayal of Islam. Recordings of him preaching also indicate that he was more radical than the community assumed. According to Romana Červenková of the Czech Muslim community Shehadeh was a self-proclaimed imam without official accreditation and the community quickly distanced itself from him. Shehadeh then reportedly spent a brief time preaching in Bratislava from where he was forced out as well. 

Czech Republic hosting Ample Strike 2016 military exercise

30-08-2016 12:40 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic is currently hosting the Ample Strike 2016 military exercise involving 1,500 soldiers from 17 NATO member and partner countries. The three week air-land integration exercise will take place in six operating areas across the Czech Republic as well as involving air bases in Germany, Hungary and Britain. Its aim is to harmonize cooperation between air controllers, aircraft crews and ground forces commanders. For the first time this year the exercise will also involve active reserve troops. 

Nine injured in train collision

30-08-2016 10:57 | Daniela Lazarová

Two passenger trains collided near the town of Chvalkov in southern Bohemia on Tuesday morning injuring nine people, including three children. According to a police spokeswoman none of the injuries were serious and all patients were treated in Pelhřimov Hospital. The cause of the accident, involving local trains on short routes, is being investigated, preliminary findings suggest human error was to blame. Neither of the trains was derailed during the accident. The preliminary damage estimate is around 800,000 crowns. 


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