News Czech President Zeman addresses European Parliament

26-02-2014 12:39 | Jan Richter

Czech President Miloš Zeman addressed a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. In his first address to MEPs, Mr Zeman expressed support for the earliest possible adoption of the euro by the Czech Republic. He also criticized what he considers as the EU’s excessive bureaucracy, transfers of MEPs between Brussels and Strasbourg, the architecture of EU buildings and other issues. The Czech president later met with the European Parliament speaker, Martin Schulz, as well as Czech MEPs.

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Interpol interested in Czech system tracking criminals' drug compression techniques

25-05-2016 09:20 updated | Ian Willoughby

Interpol are interested in using a unique database created by Czech police that compares methods of wrapping illegal drugs with similar cases around the world, iDnes.cz reported on Wednesday. The system, named Reliéf, tracks the impressions made by machines compressing drugs into small packages, helping investigators to detect what mafia groups are behind particular cases of smuggling, the news website said. 

CT: Interior Ministry to set up team to monitor foreign propaganda

25-05-2016 09:12 | Ian Willoughby

The Ministry of the Interior is to set up a special team to monitor foreign propaganda, Czech Television reported on Wednesday. The group, comprising around 30 people, will be tasked with curbing the influence of Russia and other states on media and social networks in the Czech Republic. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told the broadcaster that it was necessary to react to such propaganda and to at least be aware of what direction such activities were taking. 

Berdych advances in Paris while Štěpánek gives Murray tough match

24-05-2016 16:55 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic’s Tomáš Berdych has reached the second round at the French Open in Paris. The seventh seed advanced after beating Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-3 6-2 6-1 on Tuesday. His compatriot Radek Štěpánek, who was a qualifier at Roland Garros, led Andy Murray 2:0 on sets but – despite at one stage finding himself two points from victory – was eventually defeated in five. 

Sobotka outlines plan for rise in minimum wage

24-05-2016 16:09 | Ian Willoughby

The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is to send a proposal to the government to increase the minimum wage in the Czech Republic from next year, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told a gathering of trade union leaders on Tuesday. The plan envisages a rise from the current figure of CZK 9,900 a month to CZK 11,000 at the start of January. While the unions would like an increase of CZK 1,500 from the present level, employers say they regard a rise of CZK 600 or CZK 700 as realistic. 

Czech driver arrested in UK after 28 migrants found in truck

24-05-2016 14:10 | Ian Willoughby

A Czech truck driver has been arrested in the UK after 28 illegal immigrants from Africa were found in a hidden compartment in the trailer of his vehicle. The driver, who is 61, was detained by police in Portsmouth before being released on bail, The Daily Telegraph reported. The arrest took place in an industrial zone around eight kilometres from the port in the city on England’s south coast. One of the migrants had to be taken to hospital with acute health problems. The driver could face a fine or jail term. 

Zeman testifies in court case involving ex-lawyer for Social Democrats

24-05-2016 12:57 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, has appeared as a witness in a Prague court over a dispute involving the headquarters of the Social Democrats. Former notary Václav Halbich is demanding CZK 17 million from the president’s former party for legal services in their successful bid to get their HQ back in the 1990s. However, Mr. Zeman testified on Tuesday that the Social Democrats’ only partner in the matter was lawyer Zdeněk Altner. The president, who is known for his witticisms, said he had been familiar with their contract with Mr. Altner as he was not yet “suffering from dementia” at that time. 

Prague Writers’ Festival to welcome Coetzee and Palahniuk

24-05-2016 11:32 | Ian Willoughby

The 26th Prague Writers’ Festival will welcome the South African writer J.M. Coetzee and US novelist Chuck Palahniuk, organisers announced on Tuesday. The theme of this year’s festival, which takes place in October, is crime and punishment. Other scheduled guests include Egyptian poet Mohamed El-Baaly and Yan Lianke, a Chinese writer and recipient of the 2014 Franz Kafka Prize. 

Czech Republic to continue helping defend Baltics airspace, Sobotka tells Butkevicius

24-05-2016 11:25 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic will continue to play an active role in the defence of the airspace of the Baltic states, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Tuesday after a meeting in Prague with his Lithuanian counterpart, Algirdas Butkevicius. The two leaders discussed security in the Baltics in connection with a forthcoming NATO summit in Warsaw. They told reporters that the alliance should show unity and solidarity and beef up its presence in Eastern Europe. The defence ministers of the Visegrad Four are also due to discuss security in the Baltic states on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Nymburk lift 13th successive Czech basketball league title

24-05-2016 10:50 | Ian Willoughby

Nymburk have won their 13th Czech basketball league title in a row. The Central Bohemian club beat Děčín 102:53 in Monday evening’s third final to make it 3:0 on games, repeating the result from last year. Nymburk again dominated the NBL this season, losing only one match. The club’s Vojtěch Hruban was named most valuable player in the final. 

Jágr not to come out of international retirement for World Cup

24-05-2016 10:50 | Ian Willoughby

Ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr will not join the Czech squad for the sport’s World Cup in September. The Florida forward, who is 44, informed the Czech Republic’s general manager Martin Ručinský of his decision at the weekend, the newspaper Sport reported on Tuesday. Though Jágr officially retired from international hockey last year Ručinský and new trainer Josef Jandač hoped to persuade him to take part in the tournament in Toronto. 

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