News Czech foreign minister on business mission in China

28-04-2014 12:10 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, on Monday began a three-day visit to Beijing aimed at improving relations with China in an attempt to boost trade between the two countries and attract Chinese investors to the Czech Republic. The two sides are expected to sign a proclamation with which Prague will commit itself not to question the occupation of Tibet. The Czech government’s decision, driven by the need to diversify the country’s business interests and break its export dependence on the EU has come under fire from human rights activists. Czech government officials counter that Prague is only adopting the official EU policy line towards China. It is the first visit to Beijing by a Czech foreign minister in 15 years.

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German association welcomes commemorations, says Potsdam did not condone violent expulsions

03-08-2015 11:23 | Chris Johnstone

The German Association for the (BdV) on Monday welcomed Czech and other commemorations in Central Europe of the expulsion of German communities at the end of WWII and recognition of the fact that this was often accompanies by violence. The association recalled that the Allied powers agreed at the Potsdam Conference in late July and August 1945 to the expulsion of German populations from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland but stressed that it should be done in an orderly and humane fashion. The conference did not legitimize the violence that had started even before the conference began, the association said in a press statement. The statement specifically mentioned massacres of Germans at Ústí nad Labem, the death march from Brno to the Austrian border, and attacks on Germans at Žatec and Lanškroun. 

Almost 200 illegal immigrants detained on Czech territory

03-08-2015 11:23 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech Foreigners Police detained 197 illegal immigrants between Friday and Monday morning, the Ministry of Interior has announced. The daily average has now risen to 42 illegal immigrants, foreigners’ police spokeswoman Kateřina Rendlová told the ČTK news agency. Since checks were increased in mid-June, the total of illegal immigrants detained in the Czech Republic stands at 996. The ministry is discussing the provision of extra capacity for illegal immigrants. The number of those detained is expected to reach 3,500 by the end of this year and could double in 2016. 

Czech industrial confidence firms in July

03-08-2015 11:22 | Chris Johnstone

Industrial confidence in the Czech Republic firmed in July from June according to the latest survey of producers by the Markit financial services company. The monthly index climbed to 57.5 points in July from 56.9 in June. Manufacturing industry is growing at the fastest pace since April 2011, the company said in a commentary. New orders are at their highest level since May 2014, production has hit a peak for the last year but prices of raw materials are under control, the assessment added. 

Judge: Jailed ex-judge acquitted politician after two reached deal

03-08-2015 09:11 | Ian Willoughby

Convicted former judge Ondřej Havlín acquitted politician Karel Březina in exchange for the promise of a diplomatic post or money, the judge who handed Mr. Havlín a jail term, Petr Sedlařík, told the weekly Respekt. Mr. Sedlařík said recordings indicated that Mr. Březina and Mr. Havlín had reached a deal prior to the former’s trial in connection with his activities on the supervisory boards of two companies. Mr. Březina, who became a government minister in his late 20s, had stood to go to jail for two years if found guilty. Last week Mr. Havlín received a six and a half year sentence for influencing cases in favour of perpetrators, most of them drunk drivers. 

July was hottest for nine years

03-08-2015 07:27 | Ian Willoughby

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. 

Čech beats former club Chelsea in first competitive game for Arsenal

02-08-2015 18:08 | Ian Willoughby

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. 

Nobody invited you to Czech Republic, Zeman tells asylum seekers

02-08-2015 13:45 | Ian Willoughby

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 Bělá pod Bezdězem asylum camp increased as more migrants detained

02-08-2015 11:02 | Ian Willoughby

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. 

Underground corridor with moving walkways between two Prague railway stations considered

02-08-2015 09:59 | Ian Willoughby

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. 

5,500 attended this year’s Uherské Hradiště film school, say organisers

02-08-2015 09:45 | Ian Willoughby

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. 

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