News Communists push for lifting of Iran nuclear plant embargo

14-06-2014 13:44 | Jan Richter

The Czech Republic’s Communist Party has put forward a motion to cancel legislation that prohibits Czech firms from supplying technology to the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, the news agency ČTK reported on Saturday. The party argues the law is obsolete as the power plant is complete, and no supplies of Czech equipment can take place. It is the Communist Party’s third attempt to have the law scrapped. The legislation was adopted in 2000 in a reaction to plans by a Czech firm to export air conditioning system to the plant; the plan came under criticism from US and UK governments.

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Czech Statistics Office: Czech agriculture show record profit for 2014

06-03-2015 11:53 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech farmers made a record profit in 2014, according to the figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Friday. Agricultural earnings increased by nearly 40 percent, to 22.9 billion crowns, which represents the best results since 1989, when monitoring started. The record figure is the result of an extraordinarily good harvest and higher subsidies. The value of agricultural production increased by more than eight billion crowns compared with 2013 to 136.6 billion. Revenues from cultivation of crops reached 79.5 billion and livestock production rebounded after several years of decline to total 51.6 billion. 

Military head Petr Pavel visits Czech soldiers in Mali

06-03-2015 11:52 | Ruth Fraňková

The chief of staff of the Czech army Petr Pavel on Thursday visited Czech soldiers serving in the EU training mission in war damaged Mali. General Pavel, who is set to take a senior NATO post next summer, met with the mission head Alfons García-Vaquero, who thanked him for the excellent work of the Czech soldiers. The Czech Army on Thursday started rotating its soldiers taking part in the mission. The Czech unit in the African state is responsible for guarding the mission’s headquarters, escorting convoys, and the training of new soldiers. The state in Central Africa was the subject of civil strife when Islamic rebels took over a large part of the county. 

Jeseníky Mountain rescue service calls avalanche alert

06-03-2015 09:26 | Daniela Lazarová

The mountain rescue service in Jeseníky Mountains has called a third degree avalanche alert on a five point scale. Relatively mild temperatures, strong winds and heavy snowfall over the past few days are reported to have created a highly unstable layer of snow on many slopes. Skiers have been warned not to take risks or stray from marked trails. 

Czechs win gold at 2015 International Biathlon Union World Championships

06-03-2015 09:19 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic claimed the first gold medal of the 2015 International Biathlon Union World Championships with a victory in the mixed relay in Kontiolahti, Finland on Thursday. Despite facing tough conditions, with soft deep snow and temperatures above freezing, the winning team of Veronika Vítková, Gabriela Soukalová, Michal Šlesingr and Ondřej Moravec finished in a time of 1:20:27.2. The silver medal went to the French team while Norway took the bronze. 

Majority of Czechs in favor of electronic voting

05-03-2015 19:11 | Daniela Lazarová

Fifty-seven percent of Czechs say they would welcome the introduction of electronic voting, according to the results of a survey conducted by the STEM agency. Politicians are increasingly open to the idea and the Christian Democrats of the ruling coalition have said they would like to see the option introduced as of 2017. Electronic voting was the subject of a seminar in the lower house on Thursday at which MPs could discuss various aspects of this practice. Estonia was the first and so far only European country to introduce electronic voting eight years ago. 

PM backs education minister in matter of financing

05-03-2015 18:36 | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has thrown his weight behind Education Minister Marcel Chládek who is radically opposed to a proposed cut in financing for the education sector in 2016. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has proposed slashing the education and research budget by more than a billion crowns next year which the education minister says would have devastating consequences. Following a meeting with Minister Chládek and university rectors on Thursday Prime Minister Sobotka said that he too disagreed with the proposed cuts saying that economizing in the education sector would not increase the country’s competitiveness in the years to come. This year the education sector is operating on 22 billion crowns. 

Former police chief sentenced to 20 months in jail for abuse of office

05-03-2015 18:04 | Daniela Lazarová

The Brno Municipal Court has sentenced former Brno police chief Jaroslav Přikryl to twenty months in prison for abuse of office and unauthorized handling of data. According to the state attorney, Přikryl repeatedly got his friends and acquaintances out of having to pay fines for traffic offences and he unlawfully manipulated the police database. The former police chief has appealed the verdict. 

Prague mayor calls for parliamentary commission to investigate problematic construction of Blanka tunnel

05-03-2015 16:29 | Daniela Lazarová

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has asked legislators to form a parliamentary commission which would conduct a thorough investigation into the problematic construction of Prague’s Blanka tunnel. Following another unsuccessful meeting with contractors at which she said everyone tried to lay the blame of everyone else, the mayor said her patience was at an end and she wanted to know who was responsible for the numerous failings surrounding the tunnel’s construction. The mayor said it appeared to be a criminal conspiracy to get as much money from the city’s coffers as possible.

It recently emerged that the tunnel would not be open until next year at the soonest, as hundreds of kilometers of water-damaged cables have to be replaced. The tunnel which has cost Prague 37 billion crowns was originally meant to open in 2011. 

Czech Republic has one of the biggest discrepancies in pay between men and women in the EU

05-03-2015 15:14 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic has one of the biggest discrepancies in pay between men and women within the European Union, according to data provided by Eurostat. While the European average is 16.4 percent, the average discrepancy in salaries for men and women in the Czech Republic is 21.1 percent. Estonia has the highest discrepancy – at 29.9 percent – followed by Austria with 23 percent. The smallest discrepancy in wages is in Slovenia where the difference is a mere 3.2 percent. 

Czech Republic calls on Russia to release Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko

05-03-2015 14:15 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic has called for the immediate release of Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko who was persuaded to end her 82-day hunger strike in a Russian jail on Thursday. In a statement on its web page the Czech Foreign Ministry says that the decision of a Russian court to prevent Ms. Savchenko from attending the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is regrettable and violates her parliamentary immunity. The ministry calls for Ms.Savchenko to be released on humanitarian grounds together with other Ukrainian political prisoners. The ministry notes that this would be in keeping with the recently agreed "Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements" and the commitment to release all hostages and detained persons related to the conflict in Ukraine. 

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