News Czech and Slovak banks sign agreement on supporting joint business ventures

29-07-2014 10:49 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic’s Export Bank and Slovakia’s Eximbank are to sign an agreement on cooperation in supporting joint Czech and Slovak business ventures abroad. The agreement, which is to be signed in the Slovak capital Bratislava on Tuesday, aims to bolster the two countries’ positions particularly on markets in the Far East where the now defunct label Made in Czechoslovakia still has a high brand awareness. The head of the Czech Export Bank Karel Bureš told the daily Mladá fronta Dnes that the agreement did not envisage the revival of the Made in Czechoslovakia label, an idea that was recently rejected by the Slovak president, but merely intended to support the two countries’ joint presence in business ventures and thereby increase their competitiveness.

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Temelín to undergo biggest safety review in history

26-11-2015 16:56 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Republic’s Temelín nuclear power plant is set to undergo the biggest safety review since it went into operation in the year 2000, the spokesman for the nuclear plant to the Czech News Agency on Thursday. An international team of 31 nuclear safety experts will be assessing the plant according to the new rules set up by the World Association of Nuclear Operators. The in-depth review will take place from November 27 to December 11. The 2,000 megawatt plant is the biggest source of electricity in the country and covers a fifth of overall consumption. 

Turkish man searched by Interpol taken into custody

26-11-2015 15:25 | Ruth Fraňková

The Turkish national, convicted of a crime with possible links to terrorism, who was detained in Hradec Králové on Tuesday, has been taken into preliminary custody. The 30-year-old Nazmi Sahin, searched by Interpol, is believed to have been convicted in Turkey for being linked to the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK. His lawyer has dismissed the speculations about terrorism, and said she would file a complaint at the High Court. 

Czech Republic and Slovakia agree on strengthening outer EU borders

26-11-2015 13:39 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are ready to contribute to better security of outer EU borders and support the establishment of a European border patrol or a joint European intelligence agency, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said on Thursday after meeting with his Slovak counterpart Peter Kažimír. Mr Babiš said that instead of financing border protection of individual states, the EU should centralize the system. He also repeated that he was against the quota on accepting refugees. Peter Kažimír, who arrived in Prague for a two day official visit, is also set to meet with Czech National Bank Board member Jiří Rusnok and with Czech president Miloš Zeman. 

Singer Soňa Červená and film-maker Fero Fenič to become honorary citizens of Prague

26-11-2015 13:38 | Ruth Fraňková

Veteran opera singer Soňa Červená, artist Stanislav Kolíbal and film-maker Fero Fenič will be awarded the title of honorary citizens of Prague, the city council ruled on Thursday. Prague Mayor Adriana Krnačová said that they have all contributed significantly to promoting the Czech capital in the world. Honorary citizenship of Prague has been awarded since 1920. Two people, the communist-era presidents Klement Gottwald and Gustav Husák, have been removed from the list in the past. 

President Zeman: PM’s stance on migrant crisis is a threat to country’s security

26-11-2015 11:58 | Ruth Fraňková

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s stance on the migrant crisis puts at risk the security of the Czech Republic, President Miloš Zeman said on Thursday in an interview for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes, describing the migrant crisis as an organised invasion. The Czech head of state also reacted to the prime minister’s criticism of his speech during November 17 celebrations at Prague’s Albertov, where he shared the stage with members of the Bloc Against Islam. The president said it was not his choice to stand next to the group’s leader Martin Konvička. 

Police search for source of new methanol poisoning outbreak

26-11-2015 11:58 | Ruth Fraňková

Police are searching restaurants and shops in the Kladno region in an attempt to find the source of methanol, which caused another severe case of poisoning at the weekend. The 66-year-old man from Velká Dobrá was taken to the hospital after he collapsed on Saturday and is still in critical condition. The police have against warned against the consumption of alcohol from unknown sources. The so-called methanol affair which hit the Czech Republic in September 2012 has claimed the lives of 48 people. 

Special meeting of Czech government scheduled over security situation

26-11-2015 07:27 | Chris Johnstone

A special meeting of the Czech government will be held on Saturday to discuss the security situation in the country and Europe. Prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who is currently on a visit to China, announced the move on Wednesday night. The session will also prepare the way for a meeting of EU leaders and Turkey in Brussels on Sunday which should chart ways of increased cooperation to tackle the immigration problem. 

Czech Radio council gets new head

26-11-2015 07:26 | Chris Johnstone

The hitherto head of public broadcaster Czech Radio’s governing council, Michal Stehlík, has resigned. His place will be taken by the former deputy chairman of the council, Petr Šafařík. Šafařík is a university teacher and publicist and a former member of the Green Party. Michal Stehlík gave the reason for his resignation as the events surrounding last month’s decision by Czech Radio’s general director, Peter Duhan, to step down. He was facing a call for his resignation over the employment of one of his sons at the radio, a move which is clearly ruled out under the broadcaster’s rules. 

Stepped up security seen in place until New Year

25-11-2015 17:06 updated | Chris Johnstone

Higher security measures are likely to be in place in the Czech Republic over Christmas and the New Year. The increased security already took effect on November 13 and 14 following the Paris attacks. They include stepped up police protection of airports, shopping centres, and some embassies. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said that there was no question of altering these measures now and that would depend in large part on developments in other European countries. Chovanec said Wednesday that the Czech Republic has detained a person suspected of having international links with terrorism. The minister made the announcement on his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon. Police later said the man was Turkish and sought by Interpol. 

Lower house seeks up to 44 billion crowns for 2016 budget

25-11-2015 15:32 | Chris Johnstone

Members of the lower house of parliament proposed additional spending in the 2016 budget totalling up to 44billion crowns on Wednesday as they debated next year’s spending package. Most of the extra spending was focused on the army, border protection, education, and social services. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said he would address the new demands in the final third reading. He added though that many ministries are currently now able to spend all the funds they are already allocated. The Ministry of Defence has been earmarked 50 billion crowns this year but appears on course to spend just 34 billion, he added. 


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