News Michal Hašek to give up parliamentary seat and remain regional chief

24-04-2014 09:08 | Chris Johnstone

Top Social Democrat Michal Hašek has decided to give up his seat in the lower house of parliament and continue as the head of the South Moravian Region. Hašek was forced to choose between the functions by party instructions preventing politicians from occupying more than one significant post at the same time. Hašek, who is also the chairman of the Association of Regions, has seen his position in the parliamentary party plummet following a failed bid to oust party leader Bohuslav Sobotka after last October’s parliamentary elections. Several other members of the lower house must also choose whether to keep their seats or drop other functions within the next days.

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Zaorálek: EC chief Juncker should quit over Brexit

26-06-2016 14:31 | Ian Willoughby

The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, bears responsibility for the people of the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union and should step down, the Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, said on Czech Television on Sunday. Mr. Zaorálek said Mr. Juncker was in his view not the right man for the job. The Czech foreign policy chief also said that talks between Brussels and London over managing the UK’s exit should be launched as quickly as possible. 

Zeman: Brexit vote means EU will not be equal partner to China, Russia or US

26-06-2016 13:16 | Ian Willoughby

President Miloš Zeman says the UK’s vote to quit the European Union is bad for both sides. Speaking on TV Prima, Mr. Zeman said Britons would have not backed Brexit if the EU were headed by forceful personalities, adding that he had hoped the union would be an equal partner in dialogue with China, Russia and the US, but that would not now happen. The head of state also said he believed that Scotland was now likely to quit Great Britain, which would further undermine the UK economically. 

Hundreds attend Ležáky memorial on 74th anniversary of atrocity

26-06-2016 12:58 | Ian Willoughby

Hundreds of people attended a memorial on Sunday observing the 74th anniversary of the razing of the village of Ležáky by the Nazis and the murder of 52 of its citizens. Speaking at the ceremony, the chairman of the lower house of the Czech Parliament, Jan Hamáček, said Ležáky was an eternal reminder of the bad that people were capable of when they were guided by a hateful ideology. The village was burnt down on 24 June 1924, two weeks after a similar attack on Lidice. Both atrocities were part of reprisals for the assassination of Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich. 

Fire officers called out three times more often than usual after storms

26-06-2016 09:51 | Ian Willoughby

Fire officers in the Czech Republic were called out three times more often than usual on Saturday to deal with the affects of heavy storms that hit large parts of the country. The worst-affected areas were south and central Bohemia and the Plzeň and Liberec regions. While average call-outs for fire brigades number just under 300 a day, on Saturday there were over 1,000, a spokesperson said. They have mainly been removing fallen trees, pumping water out of underground spaces and clearing drains. 

Jágr, 44, wins Golden Hockey Stick for player of year for 12th time

26-06-2016 07:09 | Ian Willoughby

Veteran star Jaromír Jágr has crowned a successful season with victory in the Golden Hockey Stick poll of Czech ice hockey player of the year. The third most productive player in NHL history, who is 44, picked up the prize for the 12th time in a ceremony in Karlovy Vary on Saturday night. Jágr said that he had first been in the 10 best in the Golden Hockey Stick way back in 1990 and that it remained a huge honour for him. 

Iggy Pop performs at maiden Metronome festival in Prague

26-06-2016 07:03 | Ian Willoughby

US singer Iggy Pop headlined the first edition of the Metronome music festival in Prague on Saturday. The punk pioneer, who is now 69, performed a 90-minute featuring many of his best-known songs as well as tracks from his most recent album Post Pop Depression. The two-day Metronome is taking place in parallel to United Islands of Prague, a long-running free festival that is held at various venues in the Czech capital. 

Social Democrats buy debt of lawyer they owe enormous sum

25-06-2016 19:17 | Ian Willoughby

The Social Democrats have bought a CZK 5 million debt of lawyer Zdeněk Altner, with whom they are locked in a legal dispute, and launched distraint proceedings against him. A spokesperson for the party said this would improve their position with regard to Mr. Altner, to whom they have been ordered to pay a huge sum. Mr. Altner’s legal representative said the move would not impact the case between his client and the Social Democrats, while the lawyer himself described the move as base. Earlier this year the Social Democrats were ordered to pay Mr. Altner CZK 377 million in connection with his representation in a case surrounding the party’s headquarters. 

Plíšková loses Czech-Slovak Eastbourne final to Cibulková

25-06-2016 16:48 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková was beaten in the final of the UK’s Eastbourne tournament on Saturday by Dominika Cibulková of Slovakia. The 5-7 3-6 defeat denied Plíšková her second WTA title of the season and despite reaching the final at Eastbourne she is set to remain at 17th in the world rankings. 

Sobotka: Europe may pay high price for Cameron’s Brexit vote pledge

25-06-2016 15:56 | Ian Willoughby

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says Europe may pay an excessively high price for his UK counterpart David Cameron’s pledge to hold an EU referendum in order to unify his Conservative Party prior to elections. Speaking a day after the UK’s vote to leave sent shockwaves around the bloc, Mr. Sobotka said that would had happened was not the end of European integration – just the end of the UK in the EU. The Czech leader said the main thing now was agreeing co-existence with Great Britain under conditions advantageous to the Czech Republic; the priority is ensuring the maintenance of smooth exports and good conditions for Czechs working in the UK, he said. 

Czech Republic in line to join European Space Agency programme

25-06-2016 15:45 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech Republic is likely to join the prestigious Ariane and Vega space programme run by the European Space Agency at the start of July, the Czech News Agency reported on Saturday. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has pledged to provide financial backing, saying he wished to support the country’s orientation in the aviation and space industries. Czech firms and researchers are expected to take part in the development, testing and production of parts for the Ariane 6 launch vehicle, whose first test flight is scheduled for 2020. A spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Transport said the country would come on board once the move had been approved by existing ESA members. 


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