News Černohorský elected leader of Pirate Party

02-08-2014 15:46 | Ian Willoughby

Lukáš Černohorský has been elected chairman of the Czech Pirate Party at a congress in Prague. Mr. Černohorský has to date been the head of the political party in the Moravian Silesian Region. He replaces Ivan Bartoš, who stood down in June after the Pirate Party did poorly in elections to the European Parliament the previous month. The grouping, which champions the free sharing of information and internet privacy, has no seats in either chamber of the Czech Parliament.

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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. 

Czech unemployment rate hits new low

29-04-2016 15:16 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in March, according to the Czech Statistics Office, which has a different means of calculating unemployment than the Labour Office which registered a 6.1 percent unemployment rate in March. The figure published by the Czech Statistics Office puts unemployment at a 20-year-low and would make the Czech Republic the country with the lowest unemployment rate in the EU. 

Convoy of American WWII jeeps drives through Prague city centre

29-04-2016 15:15 | Daniela Lazarová

A convoy of American WWII jeeps passed through the Prague city centre on Friday within the end-of-the-war remembrance events taking place in the country. The veterans’ convoy stopped at the US Embassy in Prague where it was greeted by Ambassador Andrew Shapiro, who thanked the organizers of the event for keeping alive the memory of US soldiers who had laid down their lives to bring Europe freedom and security. The convoy will also appear at the end-of-war celebrations in Plzen which was liberated by US units commanded by General George S. Patton. 

Leader of nationalist party charged with hate crime

29-04-2016 15:14 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Adam Bartoš, the leader of the far-right National Democracy party has been charged with inciting ethnic hatred in connection with statements he made at a Prague rally against Islam. Bartoš slammed the Czech government for its “soft” policy on the migrant issue, saying the politicians in office were traitors who deserved the ultimate punishment. The head of the National Democracy party spent the night in detention while the police searched his home and office confiscating documents and computers. 

Czech foreign minister denies claim more migrants being smuggled through Czech Republic

29-04-2016 13:44 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek on Friday denied claims that following the closure of the Balkans route there has been a rise in the number of refugees being smuggled through the Czech Republic. According to the German daily Passauer Neue Presse people smugglers are now using the Czech Republic as an alternate route. Since Monday German police are reported to have detained 14 groups of refugees on the Czech-Bavarian border. The Czech foreign minister said no such tendency had been registered and stressed that the Czech Republic was perfectly capable of securing its border against illegal migrants. 

Czech Republic to appoint ambassador to Cuba

29-04-2016 12:52 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic should appoint an ambassador to Cuba within a matter of months, due to a thaw in diplomatic relations, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said at a press briefing in Prague on Friday. The foreign minister said the ground had been prepared and both sides were interested in taking diplomatic relations to a new level. The Czech Republic has been one of the loudest critics of human rights violations in Cuba which left a mark on bilateral relations. Zaorálek said the last twelve months had seen a marked improvement in communication. Both countries want to boost trade and broaden cooperation in the areas of culture and education. 

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