News Deputy expresses interest in top ministerial post

25-07-2014 16:55 | Jan Velinger

The deputy minister for regional affairs, Klára Dostalová, confirmed on Friday her interest in the post of minister for regional development following the departure of Věra Jourová to the European Commission. Ms Jourová has backed the deputy for the job but Dostálová otherwise had not been contacted. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who reviewed the Ministry for Regional Development on Friday, said it was up to coalition partners in ANO to propose a nominee.

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Study: Czech families with three or more children most threatened by poverty

28-05-2015 13:22 | Ruth Fraňková

Around a third of Czech families with children have serious problems making ends meet, according to data released by the Czech Statistical office on Thursday. Some 45 percent of families with three or more children and 55 percent of one-parent families have insufficient income and are threatened by poverty, the study suggests. At the same time, the real earnings of Czech households have gone up. In 2013, the average income per person reached 153,300 crowns, increasing for the first time since 2009. 

Radek Jiránek to head Czech government Agency for Social Inclusion

28-05-2015 12:10 | Ruth Fraňková

Radek Jiránek, head of the crime prevention department at the Czech Interior Ministry, has been named the new head of the Czech government Agency for Social Inclusion, which is aimed at helping integrate Roma and other deprived groups, into mainstream society. He is to take up the post on June 5. Mr Jiránek, will replace the agency’s long-time head Martin Šimáček, who was recently sacked by the Minister for Human Right, Jiří Dientsbier, who cited poor communication and the fact that Mr. Šimáček had refused to discuss a planned reorganization. 

Number of road deaths in Czech Republic up year-on-year

28-05-2015 12:10 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Republic, along with Lithuania, Poland, Greece and Luxembourg, ranks among the EU countries with the highest number of road fatalities, according to the data released by the International Transport Forum organisation. The risk of dying on the road in the Czech Republic is twice as high as in the neighbouring Germany. While the number of road deaths has been decreasing in the long term, the Czech Republic in 2014 ranked among other 13 EU countries, where the number of fatalities increased year-by-year. According to experts, most of the accidents were caused by speeding and inattentive driving. 

Press: Defence Ministry to acquire 3D radars from Israel

28-05-2015 08:33 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Ministry of Defence is planning to acquire mobile 3D radars from Israeli company Elta Systems, E15 reported on Thursday. The ministry plans to sign a contract for the devices without holding a tender process, going back on an earlier plan, the business daily said. The deal would go through at government level, as in the case of the leasing of Gripen fighter jets from Sweden. Almost CZK 6 billion has been earmarked for the 3D radars in a recently approved plan, four times more than previously announced. 

Liberec lift Czech soccer cup after beating Jablonec on penalties

28-05-2015 08:26 | Ian Willoughby

Slovan Liberec have won the Czech soccer cup for the second time in the club’s history. They were trailing regional rivals Jablonec 1:0 until four minutes from the end of normal time but managed to keep the game alive with a late equaliser before eventually winning a penalty shootout. Wednesday night’s victory gives the North Bohemian side a place in the third qualifying round of next season's Europa League. 

Bělobrádek: Top Communists should face justice for pre-1989 killings on border

27-05-2015 18:35 | Ian Willoughby

Former senior Communists such as one-time party general secretary Milouš Jakeš and prime minister Lubomír Štrougal should face justice for the deaths of people killed trying to cross the Iron Curtain from Czechoslovakia to the West, says deputy prime minister Pavel Bělobrádek. The chairman of the Christian Democrats said they had committed crimes against humanity that were not bound by a statute of limitations. Mr. Bělobrádek made the comments in the lower house, where he was supporting the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, a group that pushes for the punishment of perpetrators of communist-era crimes. 

Russia could occupy Baltics in days, says Czech general Pavel

27-05-2015 14:56 | Ian Willoughby

Russia could occupy the Baltic States within just two days, according to Czech Army general Petr Pavel. General Pavel, who is due to become chairman of the NATO Military Committee next month, made the comment at a security conference in Prague on Wednesday. He said NATO’s political leaders were not capable of reacting with sufficient speed to altered situations, adding that measures adopted by Europe in connection with the threats of Russia and Islamic State were glaringly ineffective. 

Brussels calls on Czech Republic to take in 1,300 refugees on top of previous proposed allocation

27-05-2015 14:03 | Ian Willoughby

The European Commission has asked the Czech Republic to take in over 1,300 asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea who are already in Italy and Greece. Under the plan unveiled on Wednesday, EU states would take in a total of 40,000 such refugees in the next two years. EU officials also repeated a recently announced call for members to take in 20,000 refugees, of which over 500 would go to the Czech Republic. Prague is opposed to such quotas and argues that asylum seekers should only be accepted on a voluntary basis. However, the Czech government cannot block the plan alone as it will be voted on using the qualified majority system. 

Police raid energy office over Vesecká letter of appointment

27-05-2015 13:52 | Ian Willoughby

The police’s anti-corruption unit raided three branches of the Energy Regulation Office on Wednesday morning. A spokesperson said officers were searching for the letter of appointment of its deputy chairwoman Renata Vesecká on suspicion that the document contravenes the law on energy. For its part the Energy Regulation Office said the raids involving around 40 police were heavy-handed and violated its independence. Ms. Vesecká was supreme state attorney from 2005 to 2010. At the time of her appointment in November, the Energy Regulation Office said she fulfilled all legal requirements for the post, including a minimum of seven years’ experience in the energy field. 

Fine for firm that posted photo of thief on Facebook page lifted

27-05-2015 13:00 | Ian Willoughby

A Czech court has rescinded a fine on a company that posted on the internet a photo of a man who stole a bicycle from its shop. The Office for the Protection of Personal Data had fined the firm Ekolo.cz CZK 5,000 after it put a picture of the alleged thief on its Facebook page. A judge at the Prague Municipal Court said there was no reason that protection should be provided to the perpetrator of a crime, adding that the company had merely been attempting to recover its property. After Ekolo.cz posted the image on Facebook in November 2011 the bike was recovered the next day at a second-hand shop. 

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