News Asylum applications from Ukrainians already passed 2013 total

18-08-2014 13:43 | Chris Johnstone

Asylum applications from Ukrainians in the Czech Republic have jumped this year due to the crisis in the country. The Ministry of Interior says applications so far this year total 250, that is already a third higher than for the whole of 2013. It added that applications from Ukrainians are currently running at their highest level for the past six years. The current applicants include some of the injured who were airlifted to the Czech Republic in special humanitarian flights. Ukrainians already represent one of the biggest foreign communities in the Czech Republic with an estimated 112,000 living here according to the statistical office. The United Nations estimates 10,000 Ukrainians have left their homes due to the conflict, most of them relocating to safer parts of the country.

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Tennis: Tomáš Berdych reaches third round at French Open

26-05-2016 15:19 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Republic’s Tomáš Berdych has reached the third round at the French Open in Paris. The seventh seed advanced after beating Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6:1, 2:6, 6:2 a 6:4 on Thursday. Berdych will face Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in the next round. 

Senate rejects bill giving more powers to Supreme Audit Office

26-05-2016 14:53 | Ruth Fraňková

The Senate has rejected a lower house bill which would give the Supreme Audit Office, the country’s spending watchdog, greater powers. Following a four-hour long debate, 42 out of 60 senators present voted against the proposed amendment, under which the office would in future be able to look into the financing of local and regional administrations, state funds, health insurance companies, public schools and companies in which the state is a majority shareholder. Up till until now the Supreme Audit Office could only check on state property management and state budget expenditures. 

Anthropoid to open Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

26-05-2016 14:12 | Ruth Fraňková

The British-US-French coproduction film Anthropoid which tells the story of the 1942 assassination of acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in Czechoslovakia, will open this year’s edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the festival’s spokeswoman Uljana Donátová announced on Thursday. The screening of Anthropoid will be attended by the director Sean Ellis and by the leading actors Jamie Dornan, Charlotte Le Bon, Aňa Geislerová and Toby Jones. The historical drama was shot in the Czech Republic over the last summer. 

Finance Ministry envisages next year’s budget deficit at 48.5 billion

26-05-2016 13:05 | Ruth Fraňková

A Finance Ministry proposal for next year’s budget, which is to be debated by the government on Monday, sets next year’s deficit at 48.5 billion crowns, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday. For 2018 the ministry envisages a deficit of 38.5 billion and for 2019 18.5 billion. The Finance Ministry is willing to increase the deficit in case of higher spending by ministries and other state authorities. Under the agreement between coalition parties, the deficit could reach up to 60 billion crowns next year and 50 billion crowns in 2018. 

Finance minister continues to top popularity ladder

26-05-2016 12:09 | Ruth Fraňková

Finance minister and leader of the ANO party Andrej Babiš remains the most popular politician in the Czech Republic, according to the results of a poll conducted by the STEM agency in May. Mr. Babiš currently enjoys the trust of 60 percent. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka came second with a rating of 53 percent, closely followed by Defence Minister Martin Stropnický and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec. The Czech finance minister and businessman has topped the popularity ladder since January 2014. 

Summer temperatures expected over weekend

26-05-2016 12:09 | Ruth Fraňková

Temperatures will again reach summer levels this weekend, with daytime highs expected to climb up to 29 degrees Celsius, but the warm weather will also bring rain. Meteorologists have issued storm warnings for most parts of the country for the weekend, predicting torrential rain in places. The weather is going to get cooler at the start of next week. 

Court hands out three year sentence in football match fixing case

26-05-2016 08:34 | Chris Johnstone

News server Aktualne.cz has reported on the first prison sentence in the world of Czech football, describing it as a landmark decision. The sentence was handed out by a Strakonice court to former Dukla Prague player Michal Kánik on Wednesday for bribing players and referees to fix results in top Czech and even junior matches so that sure bets could be placed on them. Kánik said after the sentence that he would appeal to the regional court. Kánik was last year also given a conditional sentence for his part in a 1.0 million crown tax fraud when he held a post at the local Strakonice football club. 

Viktoria Plzeň set to name new manager

26-05-2016 08:33 | Chris Johnstone

Czech football league champions Viktoria Plzeň have called a press conference Thursday in which they are expected to unveil Roman Pivarník as the club’s new manager. Czech media reports say Plzeň have agreed terms with Pivarník’s current club, Bohemians 1905, for him the end his contract early. The league champions were forced to seek a new manager after Karel Krejčí stepped down in a surprise move last week. He said he wanted to focus on working as assistant manager of the national squad. Pivarník previously managed Sigma Olomouc and Jihlava. 

Czech president says Beijing, Moscow trips a success, says visits should target countries with presidential regimes

25-05-2016 18:48 | Chris Johnstone

Czech head of state, president Miloš Zeman, defended his decision to visit China and Russia last year for commemorations of the end of WWII. Zeman said the EU had recommended that visits to China by EU heads of state not be made. He said the visits to both countries were aimed at maintaining links and said he regarded them as successful. Zeman called again in relation to Russia for sanctions against the country to be dropped as soon as possible. Zeman, speaking at a conference in Prague entitled “The Czech Republic is not for everyone,” said presidential visits should be made in preference to countries with presidential regimes because that ensured a greater effect. In spite of the conference’s title, Zeman referred only in passing to immigration issues. 

Bus drivers warn of escalating action over minimum wages

25-05-2016 17:29 | Chris Johnstone

Bus drivers have warned they will be starting an escalated series of industrial action over claims for minimum wages including extended strikes. Drivers on public service routes say they warned of action six months ago but negotiations since have not got anywhere. Many of the drivers, now on wages of around 70-80 crowns an hour, say the government should set a 100 crown an hour minimum wage. They say wages are being undermined by public tenders for operating bus routes in which the bus company making the lowest bid and often offering worst conditions to drivers often land the contract. 

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