News Lower house passes declaration reaffirming Czech commitment to NATO

14-05-2014 14:21 | Ian Willoughby

The Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday passed a declaration stating the Czech Republic regards NATO membership as a basic pillar of its security policy and is prepared to fulfil all commitments arising from its membership. The declaration was proposed by the minister of defence, Martin Stropnický. Earlier this week he sparked opposition criticism by telling the Reuters news agency that the permanent presence of NATO units on Czech soil would be a problem for a significant part of the population in view of the occupation by Soviet troops in the past.

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V4, Croatian presidents agree on strengthening border protection

09-10-2015 13:29 | Jan Velinger

The presidents of the Visegrad Four countries, together with the Croatian head-of-state, have agreed on the necessity for the European Union’s outer borders to be strengthened in the face over the migrant crisis. Hungarian President Janos Ader spoke with reporters after their two-day meeting on Friday. Hungary, along with Croatia, both face a strong influx of refugees from the Middle East and north Africa. The five presidents also agreed that detention centres for asylum seekers should be established in Turkey through which many refugees were coming to Europe. Czech president Miloš Zeman criticized the EU, saying it had proven “zero ability” to protect its outer borders. 

Police send case against Ztohoven members to prosecutors office

09-10-2015 12:32 | Jan Velinger

The police have passed the case against three members of the guerrilla art group Ztohoven on to the state prosecutors office, police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulová has confirmed. The members of the renegade group, between the ages of 33 and 41, made international headlines when they posed as chimneysweeps, climbed onto the roof of Prague Castle, and replaced the presidential flag, an official symbol of the Czech Republic, with a pair of enormous red underpants. The move was meant as criticism of the current head-of-state’s past public behaviour and policies. The police charged the three with disorderly conduct, theft and the damage of private property; damages incurred in the stunt have been tabulated at 90 thousand crowns. 

News website reports that outgoing head of Czech Radio will receive ten months’ severance pay

09-10-2015 12:11 | Jan Velinger

The outgoing head of Czech Radio, Peter Duhan, whose resignation was accepted by Czech Radio’s supervisory council earlier this week, will receive 10 months’ severance pay amounting to at least two million crowns, according to the news website The final sum could be higher if the council grants Mr Duhan an annual bonus as high as 480 thousand crowns. Mr Duhan resigned this week, citing health reasons, ahead of a meeting of the supervisory council which was investigating the employment of his son, not allowed under existing regulations. Mr Duhan, 69, oversaw broad changes at Czech Radio, including the introduction of new moderators and a new logo. 

Police launch nationwide operation to curb underage drinking

09-10-2015 09:50 | Daniela Lazarová

This weekend will see the launch of a nationwide-police operation aimed at curbing underage drinking. Police offers, paramedics and members of the Czech Trade Inspection Office will be making inspections of pubs, bars and restaurants around the country to make sure alcohol is not being sold to adolescents. The inspections should continue until the end of the year. Alcohol abuse among teenagers has increased by 100 percent in the past 20 years and the Czech Republic now tops the European ladder in underage drinking. 

Czech Republic to tighten security on Austrian border

09-10-2015 09:27 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic will extend random controls along its borders with Austria on Saturday, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told Czech Television on Thursday night. The minister said security measures would be taken depending on how the situation develops in Austria, which earlier indicated it might close its borders at the weekend. If that were to happen Mr. Chovanec said the Czech Republic was ready to deploy soldiers and officers on the border and effect controls on international trains in order to prevent a massive influx of migrants. 

Qatari prince sentenced to 11 months in absentia

08-10-2015 19:15 | Daniela Lazarová

A Prague court has sentenced Qatari Prince Hamid bin Abdal Sani to 11 months and 8 days in prison for having sex with underage girls in Prague. The verdict, which overturned an earlier court ruling, was delivered in absentia since the Prince was extradited to Qatar in 2005. The jail sentence corresponds exactly to the amount of time the prince spent in a Czech jail before his extradition. 

Council for Human Rights says country should ensure better conditions for refugees

08-10-2015 18:02 | Daniela Lazarová

The government’s Council for Human Rights is pushing for a more humane approach in dealing with refugees. The council on Thursday approved a list of basic principles that the authorities should adhere to – among them that families with children should not be placed in detention and that they should be provided with psychological and legal assistance, as well as the services of an interpreter. The council has likewise criticized the fact that migrants are being made to pay for the time they spend in detention. The Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Jiří Dienstbier is to present the document to the government at its next session. 

Czech Republic will not file complaint about migrant quotas

08-10-2015 16:47 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic will not join Slovakia in filing a complaint about temporary migrant quotas so as not to fall into isolation in further negotiations with EU member states, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in an question and answer session in the lower house on Thursday. The prime minister said the government’s goal was not to bring the Czech Republic into isolation within the European Union, but to prepare the ground for pushing through its arguments against permanent migrant quotas. “It would be meaningless to act in a way that would frustrate our communication with other member countries where our arguments would no longer be listened to and would not be taken seriously," Sobotka said. 

Direct air-link between Brno and Munich to be set up by end-2015

08-10-2015 16:33 | Daniela Lazarová

A new direct air-link between Brno and Munich is to be set up by the end of the year, the governor of South Moravia Michal Hašek told journalists on Thursday. The BMI regional flights should be six days a week with the exception of Saturdays and the planes will have a capacity of 50 seats. Mr. Hašek said Brno had waited years for a direct link to Munich and expressed the hope that it would spur business and tourism in the region. 

Czech unemployment down to 6 percent in September

08-10-2015 15:18 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech unemployment rate in September dropped to 6 percent from 6.2 the previous month, according to figures released by the Labour Office. The office currently registers 441.892 unemployed persons and there are 4.1 applicants per vacancy on average. September’s unemployment figure is the lowest since March of 2009. The positive trend is driven by strong economic growth. A slight increase is expected towards the end of the year with the end of seasonal work. 


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