News Arbitration court orders completion of Prague’s Blanka tunnel complex

19-04-2014 08:29 | Jan Richter

A court of arbitration, part of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, has ordered the building firm Metrostav to complete Prague’s Blanka tunnel complex within five months. The court also said the city of Prague had to pay 4.04 billion crowns to the firm. The decision came months after work on the controversial tunnel was halted last December over disputes between the company and Prague City Hall. A Metrostav spokesman said the firm would resume work as soon as it received the payment while Prague Mayor Tomáš Hudeček said the city would pay the required sum. However, the construction company has in the meantime demanded the city pay another billion crowns; the court of arbitration will deal with the latest petition in June. The Blanka tunnel, designed to channel traffic from the city centre, has been criticized as an overpriced and non-transparent project. Its total costs are expected to reach some 36 billion crowns.

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Adamec listed in Mitrokhin Archive as KGB informer

30-04-2016 17:39 updated | Ian Willoughby

Czechoslovak Communist leader Ladislav Adamec was a KGB informer, according to the Mitrokhin Archive, a collection of notes by a KGB officer who defected to the UK that is now held at Cambridge University. Under the code name Atos, Adamec, who was prime minister when the Velvet Revolution started in November 1989, figures in a list of KGB informers among the upper echelons of the Communist Party in the then Czechoslovakia, the Czech daily Právo reported on Saturday. 

Second seed Šafářová wins Prague Open

30-04-2016 16:18 updated | Ian Willoughby

Lucie Šafářová has won tennis’s Prague Open. The Czech second seed overcame Samantha Stosur of Australia 3-6 6-1 6-4 in Saturday’s final in the city’s Stromovka park. It is the seventh WTA title of Šafářová’s career and her first since Doha in February last year. The one-time world number five had previously not won a single match this season after suffering from a serious illness last year. 

Prague home to oldest apartment buildings in country

30-04-2016 13:28 | Ian Willoughby

The average age of apartment buildings in the Czech Republic since their construction or most recent renovation is 52 years, according to figures from the Czech Statistics Office cited by the Czech News Agency on Saturday. Prague has the oldest apartment buildings, with an average age of 61 years. Almost 90 percent of the capital’s residents live in flats, with almost half of the total of 600,000 located in prefabricated “panel” buildings. 

Minister aims to work with unions on resolving issue of excessive doctors’ overtime

30-04-2016 12:38 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech minister of health, Svatopluk Němeček, says he wants to work with doctors unions in finding a solution to the problem of medics doing excessive overtime. Mr. Němeček said on Saturday that he would next week ask Martin Engel, the chairman of the Czech Doctor’s Trade Union, to specify what action his body wants from the Ministry of Health. The union recently said that if the legal limit of 416 hours of overtime a year was adhered to there would not be enough doctors to serve patients in the country’s hospitals. 

No date set for return of Iraqi Christians from Germany to CR

30-04-2016 12:29 | Ian Willoughby

A group of Iraqi Christian refugees who left the Czech Republic for Germany have appealed their forced return to the Czech Republic, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees told the Czech News Agency. The date of their deportation has not yet been set, the agency said. The group of 25 were brought to the Czech Republic by the NGO Generation 21 in early April along with around 125 other Iraqi Christians. However, they left soon afterwards for Germany, where they were detained shortly after crossing the border. 

Planned line to halve rail journey time from Prague to Dresden

30-04-2016 10:21 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic and the German state of Saxony have agreed on the joint construction of a new high-speed rail connection between Prague and Dresden. The line, which involves the construction of a tunnel under the Krušné Hory mountain range, should be in operation by 2030. It is expected to cut the current journey time between the two cities from two hours to just one. 

Seven seriously injured after bus hits hot water pipes

30-04-2016 10:16 | Ian Willoughby

Seven people were seriously injured when a bus crashed near Kadaň in northwest Bohemia on Friday evening. Eighteen other passengers were also hurt in the incident which occurred when the bus hit large exposed municipal hot water pipes by the side of the road. Three of the injured were taken to hospital by helicopter, though their lives are not in danger, according to a police spokesperson. Around 5,000 people in the area were left without hot water and heating when the collision interrupted supplies. 

Minister dismisses policeman who rammed parked cars

30-04-2016 10:05 | Ian Willoughby

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has dismissed Karel Kadlec from the police force after he rammed 51 parked cars with his SUV while in a state of inebriation in Prague earlier this month. The 46-year-old is being investigated by the police’s internal affairs unit and could face three years in prison if found guilty of endangerment under the influence. Mr. Kadlec apologised for the damage caused and offered to pay compensation. 

Government will not help OKD mining company

29-04-2016 17:43 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech government will not aid the ailing coal mining company OKD, but will focus on helping miners who are to be laid off, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Friday following talks with trade unions and employers. Friday was the deadline for a possible deal with the government which would allow the OKD mines to remain in operation. Bankruptcy procedures are now likely to start within days. The company has close to 10,000 stem employees and thousands of other jobs in the region are dependent on it. 

Interior minister moves to dispel public concern regarding claims of new migrant route across Czech Republic

29-04-2016 16:32 | Daniela Lazarová

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has moved to dispel public concern with regard to claims in the German media that the Czech Republic was being used by illegal migrants as an alternate route to Germany. The minister said that in the course of the past two months German police had detained four cars with illegal migrants who had allegedly crossed the Czech-German border and the Czech police detained two cars with migrants seeking to make an illegal crossing. The number of migrants who enter the Czech Republic is minimal and there is nothing at all to indicate a new migrant route forming, the minister said. 


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