News Czech Republic may miss out on CZK 10 billion in EU research funding, says minister

06-05-2014 13:55 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic may fail to draw on up CZK 10 billion of European Union funding available for research and development projects, the minister of education, Marcel Chládek, said on Tuesday. Mr. Chládek said he hoped to cut that figure by around CZK 4 billion. Previous estimates had suggested that around CZK 7.5 billion of potential EU funding for that area would not be accessed. A programme for research and development administered by the Ministry of Education is building six major scientific centres around the country. However, legislation on public tenders was complicating the use of EU money for those projects, Mr. Chládek said.

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Sobotka: No need to accelerate euro adoption over Brexit vote outcome

28-06-2016 17:23 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic does not need to accelerate adoption of the euro because of the UK’s decision last week to quit the European Union, prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in Brussels on Tuesday. Older EU members have been pushing for increased integration in a 27-member bloc, including closer ties within a currency union. Mr. Sobotka told journalists that nobody would be pressured into anything, adding that it was in Czech interests for contact to be maintained between eurozone states and those that have not adopted the common European currency. 

V4 states say EU must emerge stronger from challenges posed by Brexit

28-06-2016 17:16 | Ian Willoughby

The Visegrad Four states issued a joint statement in Brussels on Tuesday expressing deep regret for the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and saying that the EU must emerge stronger from the challenges that poses. The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary said talks on a way forward should focus on protecting the bloc’s interests. They also outlined a need to renew credibility in an EU that better reflects the concerns of citizens. 

Court ruling allows homosexuals to adopt

28-06-2016 16:30 updated | Ian Willoughby

Homosexuals in registered partnerships in the Czech Republic have the right to adopt children, according to a ruling issued on Tuesday by the Constitutional Court. The court’s justices overturned a provision in the law on registered partnerships barring such adoptions, which they said was discriminatory. The Civic Code only allows married couples to conduct joint adoptions, so only one member of a pair in a registered partnership will be the adoptive parent under the new ruling unless the legislation is changed. There are around 1,800 registered partnerships in the Czech Republic. 

Segway operators may sue if Prague centre ban goes ahead

28-06-2016 13:45 | Ian Willoughby

Segway operators in Prague are considering legal action if the city’s authorities go ahead with a planned ban on the two-wheeled electric vehicles. A spokesperson for the Segway Association of the Czech Republic, which comprises 25 operators, said it would sue the city for losses incurred. From mid-August Segways should be barred from city centre pavements, cycle paths and pedestrian zones, where they have become a familiar sight in recent years. 

Czech arms makers see healthy growth in exports

28-06-2016 13:14 | Ian Willoughby

Czech arms manufacturers increased their exports last year to CZK 15 billion, according to figures released on Tuesday by the head of the Defence and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic, Jiří Hynek. In 2014 the industry’s exports totalled CZK 11.8 billion. Mr. Hynek attributed the jump to a marked increase in sales to the United States and the European Union. Czech arms makers export 90 percent of their products. 

Prague not calling for Juncker to step down as EC chief, says PM Sobotka

28-06-2016 12:23 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic is not demanding the resignation of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, says the country’s prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka. Mr. Sobotka made the comment in Brussels on Tuesday ahead of a meeting of EU leaders to discuss the UK’s plans to quit the bloc. On Sunday the Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, indirectly called for Mr. Juncker to step down over his responsibility for the UK’s Brexit vote. But Mr. Sobotka said it was not about one person; rather the European Commission needs to change how it operates as an institution. 

New exhibition shows previously unseen Sudek photos of St. Vitus Cathedral

28-06-2016 11:59 | Ian Willoughby

A new exhibition in Prague is set to display previously unseen pictures of St. Vitus Cathedral by the great Czech photographer Josef Sudek. While Sudek’s photos of the cathedral taken in the 1920s during construction are well-known, the works on show date from the Nazi occupation of the city. The exhibition In the Shadows of the Cathedral runs from Wednesday until August 30. 

Czech and Dutch police arrest 58 after series of drugs raids

28-06-2016 11:48 | Ian Willoughby

Czech and Dutch police have arrested 58 people in connection with the large-scale production and distribution of illegal drugs, police spokespersons in both states announced on Tuesday. Coordinated raids uncovered six laboratories, eight cannabis factories, 32 kilos of synthetic drugs, 54 kilos of marijuana and a host of other illicit materials. Police said they had been monitoring the gang, which was also active in other countries, for three years. 

Lucie Šafářová saves three match points to progress at Wimbledon

28-06-2016 06:45 | Chris Johnstone

In tennis, Lucie Šafářová is through to the second round of Wimbledon after saving three match balls against US doubles partner Bethany Mattek-Sands. Šafářová converted her first match ball to win the tie 6:7, 7:6, 7:5. She faces another US opponent, Samantha Crawford, in the next round. 

ČEZ seeks to claw back billions from Dukovany closure

28-06-2016 06:44 | Chris Johnstone

Czech electricity producer ČEZ has began proceedings to reclaim billions of crowns lost after the prolonged closure of three out of four of its nuclear reactors at the Dukovany plant following faulty safety checks on pipes. Czech Radio reported that proceedings have begun against engineering company Škoda JS to reclaim around 3.5 billion crowns. Škoda JS recruited a sub-contracted to carry out X-ray checks on pipes at the plant which were later found to be flawed. Much of the reactor was closed in late 2015 and into 2016 as a result. Škoda JS has denied being guilty. 

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