News Environmentalists target Lego’s Czech plant in Arctic oil protest

16-07-2014 12:44 | Jan Richter

The Czech branch of the Greenpeace environmental group on Wednesday staged a protest outside the toy producer Lego’s Czech plant. The protest is part of the group’s global campaign criticising Lego for its partnership with the oil firm Shell which is planning to expand its drilling operations in the Arctic. In a statement released on its website, Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said Greenpeace should handle the matter with Shell; meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Greenpeace’s Czech branch said the protest was not aimed against Lego but was meant to highlight their cooperation with Shell.

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Anti-corruption squad arrests several people in early-morning raids

13-10-2015 09:57 | Daniela Lazarová

The police’s anti-corruption squad conducted a number of raids in different parts of the country on Tuesday morning arresting several people, according to the internet news site The news has been confirmed by Supreme State Attorney Ivo Ištván who told Novinky that the investigation pertains to abuse of power and bribery. He refused to say whether the case involves politicians in high office. 

Constitutional Court orders case on possible discrimination against Romanies to be reopened

13-10-2015 09:39 | Daniela Lazarová

The Constitutional Court has ruled on the reopening of a case pertaining to the possible discrimination of three Romanies who were refused accommodation in a hotel in north Bohemia. The three men claim that the receptionist had confirmed they had vacant rooms over the phone but refused to accommodate them when they turned up in person. A ruling by the regional court in Ustí nad Labem went in favour of the hotel which produced an earlier booking for all of the hotel’s 156 rooms by a German entrepreneur who allegedly failed to turn up. The Romanies are demanding an apology and 25,000 crowns in compensation. 

Czech Prison Service workers to help guard detention centres

12-10-2015 21:16 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Prison Service is to help guard Czech detention centres for migrants, the ctk news agency reports. Justice Minister Robert Pelikan has released 70 employees for the job at the interior minister’s request. Prison Service employees will be working overtime for free under an article of the labour code relating to exceptional circumstances. 

Jan Zátorský wins Czech Press Photo

12-10-2015 18:00 | Daniela Lazarová

The winner of this year’s Czech Press Photo is Mladá fronta Dnes photographer Jan Zátorský with a photo of migrants desperately trying to cross the Serb-Hungarian border. The picture, taken in September of this year won both the main prize, the Crystal Eye award for Photograph of the Year and best picture in the Spot News category. The jury assessed 3,700 photographs by close to 300 authors. The migrant crisis was a dominant theme this year. 

Czech government approves social housing concept

12-10-2015 17:08 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech government has approved a concept on social housing as proposed by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. The concept, which is to serve as a framework for a law on social housing, envisages three forms of housing for the needy – crisis, social and affordable flats. The draft states under what conditions people will be eligible for social housing. The Czech Republic completely lacks social housing, a state of affairs that has repeatedly been criticized by NGOs and charities. 

Russia rejects claim it is assisting migrant wave to EU

12-10-2015 16:07 | Daniela Lazarová

Russia has dismissed a claim by Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnický that Moscow is likely helping to finance the transport of refugees to the European Union, the ctk news agency reported. Stropnický said in an interview for Saturday’s Mladá fronta Dnes daily that at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels he had heard from his Hungarian counterpart that the buses transporting refugees from the Balkans to Western Europe were financed by Russia. He said that while he had no proof, he had no reason to question the information. The Czech defense minister also suggested that the Russian Federation has an interest in undermining the European Union. The Kremlin dismissed his words, saying the claim was untrue and ungrounded. The Hungarian Defense Ministry has also denied having received information of this kind. 

Czech Airlines to fly to seven new destinations

12-10-2015 14:41 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Airlines will expand its flights to seven new destinations in the upcoming winter season, the ctk news agency reports. Among the new destinations are Venice, Bologna, Nice and Alma-Ata. Czech Airlines is also renewing flights to Yerevan and Helsinki. The airline’s winter schedule lasts from October 25th to March 26th. The airline currently flies to 38 destinations world-wide. 

Drahonice detention centre opens to migrants

12-10-2015 13:49 | Daniela Lazarová

Eighty migrants from the Bělá pod Bezdězem detention centre north of Prague were transported to a newly opened facility in Drahonice on Monday. The move is to alleviate the heavily overburdened centre at Běla and give migrants in both facilities more room and better conditions. The facility in Drahonice, which is not far from Běla, has a capacity of 240 beds and like that at Bela does not enable migrants freedom of movement outside the grounds. 

Government approves establishment of nature reserve in Brdy Hills

12-10-2015 12:46 | Daniela Lazarová

The government has approved a plan to turn the Brdy Hills, an area southwest of Prague, that has long served as military training grounds, into a protected nature reserve. The Defence Ministry withdrew from Brdy due to cost cutting measures. The Brdy Nature Reserve which will officially be established as of January 1st 2016, is to be larger than the present training grounds, linking up to adjacent reserves. It will cover an area of 345 km and affect life in 34 villages. 

Lesy České republiky unwilling to give up 30,000 hectares of forests in restitution

12-10-2015 12:07 | Daniela Lazarová

The state-owned company Lesy České republiky, which manages the majority of the country’s forests, has said it is not willing to give up approximately 30,000 hectares of forestland which the Czech Catholic Church has asked to be returned to it under the restitution law. The head of the company Daniel Szorad said on Monday that the individual cases would have to be resolved in court. 


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