News Bulgaria moves to revoke Czech power distributors’ licences
The authorities in Bulgaria on Wednesday started a process to revoke operating licences of three foreign power distributors including the Czech firms ČEZ and Energo Pro. The move by the Bulgarian energy regulator comes after the companies, along with Austria’s EVN, failed to settle an alleged debt of over 226 million US dollars to the state power produced NEK, a debt contested by the firms. The regulator gave the foreign-owned distributors two weeks to submit comments on the decision before it addresses the issue again on April 7, the news agency ČTK reported quoting Bulgaria’s news site sofiaglobe.com.
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Last month was the hottest July seen in the Czech Republic for nine years. Temperatures in July were 3 degrees Celsius higher than the long-term average, the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute said on its website. Rainfall was at just 40 percent of the average level for the month, making July the fourth month in a row in the Czech Republic with below-average precipitation.
The Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech has beaten in his former English Premier League club Chelsea in his first competitive game for his new side Arsenal. The 33-year-old helped the Gunners to a 1:0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield, a season curtain-raiser that pits the FA Cup winners against the holders of the league title. Čech achieved great success in 11 years at Chelsea, including winning the Premier League four times, the FA Cup four times and the Champions League in 2012.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, says nobody invited refugees to the Czech Republic and if they don’t like it here they should leave. In an interview with the tabloid website Blesk.cz, Mr. Zeman said the Czech Republic could best help such people in their home state. In a reference to recent criticism he received from the Czech prime minister, Bohulav Sobotka, he said his comments might appear like an appeal to people’s worst instincts; however, his position is the same as Hungary building a fence to keep out Serbs or the USA doing likewise on its border with Mexico, he said. The Czech president praised the police’s recent increased efforts to uncover illegal migrants and said he had been told by the chief of staff, Josef Bečvář,that the army was capable of sending around 1,500 troops to guard the country’s borders.
Capacity at an asylum facility in Bělá pod Bezdězem, East Bohemia has been increased to 700, a police spokesperson said on Sunday. Around 100 illegal migrants detained by the police in recent days are to be transferred there today, increasing the current population to around 450. During a visit on Friday Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and Police President Tomáš Tuhý said officers from surrounding regions would be used to boost security at Bělá pod Bezdězem. Rioting occurred there at the end of last week and some families with children were moved to another facility for safety reasons. A new asylum facility with a capacity of 1,200 should be built in the Czech Republic by the end of the year.
The Railway Infrastructure Administration is considering linking Prague’s Main Train Station and the nearby Masarykovo nádraží station by means of an underground corridor fitted with moving walkways of the type found in airports. The project, which would cost around CZK 400 million, would ease connections between the city’s two busiest railway stations. It is part of a plan to build a new rail connection to Prague Airport and the town of Kladno, a spokesperson for the Railway Infrastructure Administration said.
Five and a half thousand people attended this year’s Summer Film School in the south Moravian town of Uherské Hradiště, which came to an end on Saturday. Numbers were down on last year, which organisers attributed to the fact that the event was celebrating 40 years of existence in 2014. The annual festival offered screenings of over 200 films – including retrospectives dedicated to Orson Welles, Polish cinema and the Berlin School – as well as accompanying events such as exhibitions, concerts and lectures.
Unions want to challenge amount paid for those in state health insurance scheme at Constitutional Court
Medical trade unions want to challenge the amount paid in health insurance for those in the state insurance scheme at the Constitutional Court, Czech Television reported. The unions want the government to increase the amount it pays in insurance premiums for pensioners, children, the jobless and mothers on maternity leave, which they say is too little in comparison with the amount paid by those in employment. The head of the Czech Doctors’ Trade Union, Martin Engel, said he would discuss backing for the plan with the chairman of the Senate, Milan Štěch; the support of at least 17 senators would be needed to force the Constitutional Court to consider the matter.
Around 4,000 people are attending a free techno music festival on the site of a former refugee camp in Červený Újezd in North Bohemia. The organisers had informed the local authority that they were planning a private event for 400 people. The local mayor said the techno festival had led to traffic and noise problems, adding that participants were camping and sleeping where they liked and not respecting private property. The event, which has reportedly drawn people from around Europe, is due to end on Monday.
One of Europe’s oldest theatre festivals, Jiráskův Hronov (Jirásek’s Hronov), got underway in the Northeast Bohemian town on Saturday. The event, which began in 1931 and has taken place every year since, is named after the locally born Alois Jirásek, who is regarded as among the greatest of Czech novelists. The programme of the week-long festival includes a broad range of theatrical productions, including experimental, student and puppet shows.
Temperatures in the Czech Republic will be above average in August, according to a regular four-week forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Saturday. The coming week will be the warmest of the month, with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius, the forecasters said. There will also be relatively little rain in the next seven days, which will further exacerbate the worst drought felt in the country in over a decade.