News Czech president expresses opposition to Russian intervention in Ukraine

01-03-2014 20:55 updated | Jan Velinger

Czech President Miloš Zeman has expressed opposition to Russia intervening in Ukraine; in a statement issued through his spokesman on Saturday, the president suggested military intervention would create a gulf that would take more than a generation to bridge. Mr Zeman was reacting to rising tensions in Crimea, where Russian forces are stationed or being boosted. He made clear he could draw on concrete experience, the invasion of former Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led troops in 1968. On Saturday, President Vladimir Putin requested - and received - approval from Russia's upper house to use troops on the peninsula until the 'normalisation' of the political situation in Ukraine. Mr Putin claimed that such a move was to protect the Russian-speaking population. Ukraine's new leadership has called Russia's behaviour an attempt to provoke an armed conflict.

The Czech Foreign Ministry reacted on Saturday by saying that Ukraine's territorial integrity as well as sovereignty needed to remain untouched and intact. The foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, is to meet with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to discuss developments on Monday.

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Heavy storms expected on Sunday

30-07-2016 16:09 | Ian Willoughby

Forecasters have warned of storms in the Czech Republic on Sunday. They are expected to bring heavy rainfall and hailstones of two centimetres in diameter and should be particularly heavy in Moravia and the eastern part of Bohemia, though warnings have been issued for all parts of the country. Regions including South Bohemia, Pardubice and Vysočina should be affected from around 8 am on Sunday, while Prague is expected to not be so badly affected. 

140 students attending 60th summer Czech course at Charles University

30-07-2016 11:35 | Ian Willoughby

Some 140 students have signed up to Charles University’s Czech language summer school, which is being held this year for the 60th time. The course, which is organised by the Institute of Czech Studies at the institution’s Faculty of Arts, runs from Saturday until 25 August. Students are divided into four levels at the summer school, which also focuses on Czech literature, history and culture and has a rich accompanying programme. 

Babiš rules out postponing start of electronic cash register system

30-07-2016 09:55 | Ian Willoughby

Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has ruled out delaying the introduction of new electronic cash registers connected to a tax authority database, reported. The ANO leader had been considering a call to postpone rolling out the system from the Chamber of Commerce. However, Mr. Babiš now says the project will go ahead as planned, with the first phase – involving hotels and restaurants – going live on December 1. Trial operation will start a month earlier. Opponents say the electronic cash register system, which makes it compulsory for businesses to supply information on sales online in real time, will overly complicate the lives of restauranteurs and retailers. 

Pedestrian dies after being hit by police vehicle in Ostrava

30-07-2016 09:51 | Ian Willoughby

A pedestrian has died after being hit by a police vehicle in the Ostrava, a spokesperson for GIBS, the agency that investigates possible wrong-doing by members of the police force, said on Saturday. The incident occurred after 10 pm on Friday in the Svinov district of the north Moravian city. The pedestrian, who was 60, suffered multiple serious injuries and died on the spot. 

Saturday marks 50 years since work began on Ještěd hotel and transmitter

30-07-2016 08:32 | Ian Willoughby

Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the commencement of construction work on one of the Czech Republic’s most distinctive modern buildings, the television transmitter and hotel on Mount Ještěd near Liberec in North Bohemia. The 94-metre structure was designed by architect Karel Hubáček from the renowned company SIAL Liberec and replaced a previous hotel that had burnt down. Completed in 1973, Ještěd was voted Building of the Century in a public poll in the year 2000. 

National Centre for Combatting Organized Crime to begin operating next week

29-07-2016 18:00 | Jan Velinger

The country’s National Centre for Combatting Organized Crime will begin operation on Monday, in line with the merger of two former police units. The reorganization of the police led recently to a serious rift among the parties in government. The ANO party at one point had threatened to leave the coalition but backed down eventually. Some 870 police officers will serve in the new unit; Police President Tomáš Tuhý expressed the view the new centre will be more effective in crime-fighting. 

Finance Ministry revises downward its estimate for economic growth

29-07-2016 16:09 | Jan Velinger

The Finance Ministry has revised downward its estimate for the country’s economic growth in 2016, from 2.5 percent in April to 2.2 now. Next year, the economy is expected to grow by 2.4 percent instead of 2.6. In 2015, the Czech Republic saw economic growth of 4.5 percent. Reasons for the slowdown include an expected rise in oil prices as well as indirect aftereffects of the Brexit, under which Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. 

Czech Army wants to boost number of soldiers to pre-crisis level

29-07-2016 15:28 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Army wants to raise the number of soldiers in its ranks to 24,500, the level it stood at prior the global economic crisis in 2008, the deputy chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, Jaroslav Kocián has said. He made the statement on Friday at a ceremony for graduates from the University of Defence in Brno. The Czech Army currently has some 19,000 soldiers. 

ČEZ seeks prolongation of Dukovany second unit operating license

29-07-2016 15:16 | Jan Velinger

Czech electricity giant ČEZ has applied for a prolongation of its existing operating license for the second unit at its Dukovany power plant until July 10, 2017, spokesman Jiří Bezděk told ČTK. The current license is due to expire at the end of this year. Mr Bezděk said the application to the State Office for Nuclear Safety was made because of a prolonged shutdown at the reactor to check on pipe welds at the unit. ČEZ filed and a similar request by the regulator for Dukovany’s first unit earlier this year, which was granted. ČEZ has over the last year stepped up its X-ray checks on pipe welds at all four of the Dukovany units after it was found that previous checks by a sub-contractor were flawed. 

Foreign national to appeal court decision in flag theft case

29-07-2016 14:11 | Jan Velinger

A Chinese citizen found guilty of stealing Tibetan flag from a protestor during the Prague visit earlier this year of China’s president, has filed an appeal. The foreign national was arrested during a scuffle between supporters and opponents of Xi Jinping in March of this year; he was fined 15,000 crowns for his role in the incident. 


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