News Details emerge from smuggled KGB files relating to Prague Spring events

09-07-2014 14:57 | Daniela Lazarová

Details have emerged from the KGB files smuggled out of Russia in 1992 by senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin, which Britain declassified last week. Some of the files relate to an operation code-named Progress in which 15 Russian agents were sent to Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1968 to undermine the Prague Spring pro-democracy movement. They targeted journalists from Czechoslovak radio and television, academics from Charles University, members of the Christian Democratic Party and writers such as Pavel Kohout and Milan Kundera. Operation Progress was launched by then KGB chief Jurii Andropov. The files can be viewed at Cambridge University.

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Brexit dominates talks between Czech Prime Minister and Austrian Chancellor

24-06-2016 17:55 | Ruth Fraňková

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who is on a two-day working visit to Austria, met with the country’s Chancellor Christian Kern on Friday. Mr Kern said after the meeting that the talks were dominated by Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The Czech Prime Minister stressed that it was essential for the central European countries to strengthen good mutual relationships, especially in view of Brexit. The two politicians also discussed European issues, the migrant crisis, transport infrastructure and energy security. 

Police seized record amount of pervitin in 2015

24-06-2016 16:49 | Ruth Fraňková

Police seized over 107 kilogrammes of pervitin last year, the largest amount in the history of the anti-drug squad and twice the amount seized in the previous year, according to the annual report by the National anti-drug headquarters quoted by the Czech News Agency on Friday. The police also took hold of over 655 kilos of marihuana and over 120 kilos of cocaine. According to experts, the illegal drug business is fuelled by growing demand for pervitin in neighbouring countries. In recent years, the large-scale production of pervitin has been dominated mostly by Vietnamese gangs, which aim at exporting the drug abroad. 

Temperature records broken around Czech Republic

24-06-2016 15:52 | Ruth Fraňková

The tropical heatwave that arrived in the Czech Republic this week has been breaking temperature records around the country. More than 15 monitoring stations on Thursday recorded the highest ever measurements for the day. The highest temperature, 32.9 degrees Celsius, was recorded in Žatec. Meteorologists have warned that the heatwave will be followed by heavy storms, which are expected to arrive in the country on Saturday afternoon and could be accompanied by hail and torrential rain. 

Wimbledon draw: wild card Radek Štěpánek to face Nick Kyrgios in first round

24-06-2016 15:29 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych will face Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in the first round of Wimbledon. Radek Štěpánek, who has received a wild card to the tournament, will play Australian Nick Kyrgios in his opening match. In the women’s singles, the tenth-seeded double Wibledon Champion Petra Kvitová will play Sorana Cirstea of Romania, while Barbora Strýcová has drawn Anett Kontaveit of Estonia. Another Czech, Lucie Šafářová, will face her double’s partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands. 

Police finds explosives and radioactive material in family house in Nedvědice

24-06-2016 15:29 | Ruth Fraňková

Some four tonnes of chemicals, including explosives and radioactive substances, have been found in a house in Nedvědice near the city of Brno. Fire fighters and pyrotechnics specialists are currently clearing the site. The governor of the South Moravian region, Michal Hašek, has called a state of emergency in the municipality which will be in place for the next 15 days. According to experts, the amount of dangerous substances found in the house does not require evacuation of people from the nearby area. The situation is also being monitored by the State Office for Nuclear Safety. 

Brexit to slow down Czech economy: analysts

24-06-2016 14:08 | Ruth Fraňková

Brexit could slightly slow down the growth of Czech economy in 2016, economic analysts predict. According to estimates, the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product could drop by several tenths of a percentage point. Despite Brexit, the Czech economy is expected to grow by about two percent this year. The slow- down will be caused by a weakening demand for export to the EU, fuelled by uncertainty on world markets. At the same time, experts say that economic relations with Great Britain are not threatened in any way. 

Czech police arrest drug smuggling gang

24-06-2016 12:40 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech police have cracked down on a five member gang which smuggled cocaine and ecstasy from the Netherlands to the Czech Republic, the head of the anti-drug squad of the Czech police Jakub Frydrych announced on Friday. During the raid the police confiscated several kilogrammes of drugs. If convicted of drugs smuggling and illegal sale of narcotics the group’s members could each face up to 18 years in jail. 

Over 130 bands and artists to perform at Colours of Ostrava

24-06-2016 12:40 | Ruth Fraňková

The annual international music festival Colours of Ostrava, one of the biggest such events in central Europe, announced the line-up for this year’s 14th edition. The programme features over 130 bands and artists including the legendary British electronic band Underworld, the Australian psychedelic rock band Tame Impala and Icelandic Of Monsters and Men as well as a number of Czech performers. The festival will be held between July 14 and 17 in a former mining and industrial complex in Dolní Vítkovíce. Last year, the festival attracted over 40,000 visitors. 

Czech defense minister worried Brexit will fuel nationalism and populism

24-06-2016 09:49 | Daniela Lazarová

Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky has expressed concern that Britain’s decision to leave the EU will fuel nationalism and populism across Europe. He warned against a domino effect and against other EU members jostling to get concessions in order to remain in the alliance. The minister also stressed the need for damage mitigation and a level-headed approach in resolving Britain’s exit and reestablishing cooperation. Making Britain “pay” for its decision would damage everyone and could result in various trade wars, Mr. Stropnicky said. He noted that Brexit was good news for Russia. 

Czech politicians call for change in wake of Brexit vote

24-06-2016 09:32 | Daniela Lazarová

The politicians have reacted to Britains decision to leave the EU by emphasizing the need for change. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Britain’s decision to leave the EU is serious and irreversible and signals the need for a transformation. He said the EU must now take measures to minimize the impact of Brexit. Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said Brussels needed to respond to negative sentiments within the alliance. The EU must react more to people's day-to-day needs and integration must continue only in areas where it can be defended, Minister Zaoralek said. The leaders of the main right wing parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats have stressed that the Czech Republic should take an active role in the EU reform that will inevitably need to take place. 


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