News Finance minister calls steps taken by MPs in lower house "an embarrassment"

25-07-2014 16:09 | Jan Velinger

The head of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, vented disgust in the media on Friday over the recent behavior of some in the lower house, saying he would prefer to resign as an MP if he had a capable successor. The finance minister was reacting to the handling of a fuel tax reduction bill for farmers on Wednesday, which was modified by a fellow coalition MP and former minister for industry and trade to be across the board. The bill, which initially passed but was subjected to a new vote on Friday following a complaint, would have thrown a spanner in government plans. The opposition Civic Democrats say they will petition the Constitutional Court over the matter.

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Police conclude investigation into murder of Czech tourists in Egypt

25-04-2015 09:59 | Ruth Fraňková

Police have concluded an investigation into the murder of two Czechs, a mother and daughter, who died in the Hurgada resort in summer 2013, Mladá Fronta daily wrote on Saturday. The father of the family, Petr Kramný, was charged with murdering his 36-year old wife and eight-year-old daughter by electrocution. Mr Kramný, who has been in custody since February 2014, denies any wrongdoing and insists that his wife and daughter were poisoned. If convicted of the murders Kramný faces from 15 to 20 years in jail. 

Czechs beat Finland 3:2 in ice hockey warm-up

25-04-2015 09:28 | Ruth Fraňková

In ice hockey, the Czech national team beat Finland for the second time in three days with a 3:2 victory in Brno on Friday. The decisive goal came from Jakub Voráček in a shootout. Two of the other Czech goals were scored by Michal Jordán and Vladimír Sobotka. Jaromír Jágr also featured in the Czech line-up. The duel, which was part of the Euro Hockey Tour, was the last warm up match for the world championships, which start in Prague and Ostrava at the beginning of May. 

EC launching consumer rights campaign in Czech Republic

24-04-2015 19:00 | Daniela Lazarová

The European Commission will launch an information campaign on consumer rights in the Czech Republic in order to increase people’s awareness of their rights when buying goods or taking consumer loans, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumer Issues and Gender Equality Věra Jourová told journalists on Friday. The campaign will target particularly young people aged 18-35 years who are considering taking the first consumer loan. According to a recent poll conducted by the TNS agency, 38 percent of Czechs do not feel sufficiently informed about their rights relating to consumer loans and only 30 percent of Czechs read the conditions of a loan carefully before signing the deal. 

Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Czech Republic

24-04-2015 18:07 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Pope Francis has accepted an invitation from President Miloš Zeman to visit the Czech Republic. The Czech head of state, who was granted an audience by the Holy Father in the Vatican on Friday, said the date of the visit has yet to be set but should take place by the spring of 2018, before the end of his first term in office. The Czech president expressed great admiration for the Pope’s leadership of the Catholic Church saying that the Holy Father’s philosophy reflected his own beliefs. Mr. Zeman brought the Pope a copy of the famous Infant Jesus of Prague, a wax statuette made in Spain in the 16th century which is highly revered particularly in the Hispanic world, where Pope Francis comes from. 

US historical liberation convoy rides through Prague

24-04-2015 17:43 | Daniela Lazarová

A convoy of 30 historical U.S. military vehicles rode through Prague on Friday within celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the country’s liberation from Nazi rule. According to the organizers, the ride was organized not only in remembrance of US war veterans, but also to symbolically fulfil the unfulfilled wish of General George Smith Patton to liberate Prague. Although General Patton’s army could have progressed to Prague he was bound by an agreement with Russia to stop at the demarcation line in western Bohemia. The convoy´s arrival in Prague annually opens its tour of western Bohemian towns that were liberated by the 3rd U.S. army under Patton´s command. It will culminate with a ceremonial parade in the West Bohemian town of Plzen on May 3. 

Ekoplast Slusovice to get medicinal marihuana deal

24-04-2015 16:44 | Daniela Lazarová

The State Office for Drug Control is poised to sign an agreement with the firm Ekoplast Slušovice which won a tender to produce medicinal marihuana for the Czech market. The Anti-Monopoly Office which was looking into the conditions of the tender has closed the case after failing to find any irregularities. Medicinal marihuana is already available on the market but is imported and thereby extremely expensive for patients. Presently one gram of medicinal marihuana costs 300 crowns while Ekoplast Slušovice won the tender with a projected price of just 68 crowns per gram. 

Czech firms have strong presence at Shanghai Technology Fair

24-04-2015 15:53 | Daniela Lazarová

Some 60 Czech firms are presenting their goods at the Shanghai International Technology Fair, within a Czech Days in Shanghai promotion event organized by the Czech China Chamber of Commerce, the ctk news agency reports. The participants are businesses from high-tech sectors: environmental technology, machinery, aviation, IT and nano and bio technologies, among others. Skoda Auto which is already well-established on the Chinese market is presenting it latest models. A Czech-Chinese business forum is also being held on the sidelines of the fair, attended by Czech Industry Minister Jan Mládek and the Speaker of the lower house of Parliament Jan Hamáček. A Czech Moser glass store is to open in Shanghai on Saturday. 

Czech Republic said to be happiest post-communist state

24-04-2015 13:43 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic ranks 31st on the ladder of the 2015 World Happiness Report published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an initiative under the United Nations. The placement makes it the happiest country among the post-communist states and puts it ahead of countries such as Spain which ranks 36th and Italy which placed 50. Switzerland tops the happiness ladder, followed by Island and Denmark. The Czech Republic’s former sister state Slovakia ranks 60th. The study bases its rankings on data from the Gallup World Poll and takes into account variables such as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, corruption levels and social freedoms. 

Industry minister wins Oil Guzzler award

24-04-2015 12:40 | Daniela Lazarová

Industry Minister Jan Mládek has won the 2015 Oil Guzzler award, a mock prize established by environmental groups to highlight the worst anti-environmental stance, decision or project in any given year. Mr. Mládek won the award for his draft long term energy concept which relies on nuclear energy and his efforts to lift coal mining limits in north Bohemia. The Green Pearl, a prize for the most shocking ant-environmental stand went to President Miloš Zeman for his statement on “the crimes of environmentalists and green fanatics”. Mr. Zeman also received the Oil Guzzler award in 2013 for promoting the 380km-long Danube-Oder-Elbe water corridor project. 

Bankrupt Tabor Zoo sold to new owner

24-04-2015 11:35 | Daniela Lazarová

The Tabor Zoo which was facing bankruptcy has been sold to a new owner for 16.2 million crowns and should reopen on June 30th ,the ctk news agency reported. The zoo closed to the public at the beginning of the year although its past owner continued to care for the animals. The sale of the animals was averted thanks to the zoo’s creditors who are owed tens of millions of crowns. The zoo’s past owner is expected to stay on in the position of advisor. 



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