News Number of children enrolling for elementary school highest in 10 years

04-04-2014 17:32 | Jan Richter

A total of 148,000 five- and six-year old children have enrolled for elementary school, the highest number in ten years, a spokeswoman for the Education Ministry said on Friday. The ministry expects that around 116,000 of them will start school this September while the rest will have to wait a year. Last year, 112,000 children entered first grade. The numbers of first graders have been rising over the last three years, causing capacity problems in Czech schools.

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Court in London rules in favour of extraditing runaway

02-07-2015 18:19 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech businessman A court in London has ruled in favour of extraditing the runaway Czech businessman František Savov, who has sought refuge in the British capital. Savov, who has been sought since March in connection with suspected tax evasion totalling billions of crowns, is the owner of a series of the Mladá Fronta publishing house and a series of publications including the business paper E15 and magazine Euro. Savov has denied the accusations and said he would appeal against the court’s decision. He said he didn’t want to return to the Czech Republic because he wouldn’t receive a fair trial. 

Petr Čech’s annual football summer school for children in Prague gets underway

02-07-2015 18:05 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech international goalkeeper Petr Čech, who has just completed his transfer to London club Arsenal, officially opened his annual football summer school for children in Prague on Thursday. The training at Sparta Prague’s youth training centre at the Strahov stadium was also attended by Pavel Vrba, the coach of the Czech national football team. The two-day summer football school, which is now in its tenth year, is intended for young football players between seven and fifteen years of age. 

Interior minister criticizes police for not stopping anti-immigration rally

02-07-2015 17:32 | Ruth Fraňková

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has criticised the police for not intervening in Wednesday’s anti-immigration rally on Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Around 500 people attended the demonstration, some of them erecting fake gallows for ‘traitors’ and calling for the Czech Republic to be reserved for Czechs, for the closure of borders, and departure from the EU. Mr Chovance wrote on his Twitter account on Friday that there is ‘no place for gallows in democracy’ and that the police should be aware of the fact, adding that he would demand an explanation. 

American actor Richard Gere has arrived in Karlovy Vary

02-07-2015 16:51 | Ruth Fraňková

American actor Richard Gere has arrived in Karlovy Vary. Mr Gere will attend the opening ceremony of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday at the Thermal hotel, where he will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography. The 65-year-old Hollywood actor will present the opening film, Time Out of Mind, along with actress Jena Malone and director Oren Moverman. Mr Gere will also attend Saturday’s screening of the legendary romantic comedy Pretty Woman and Sunday’s screening of the film Franny. 

US ambassador Shapiro pays tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton

02-07-2015 16:00 | Ruth Fraňková

US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Shapiro has paid tribute to Sir Nicholas Winton, the Briton who helped save the lives of 669 children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. Sir Nicolas passed away at the age of 106 on Wednesday. The US ambassador said the story of Mr Winton showed that that a man with courage and imagination is able to achieve extraordinary things. Mr Shapiro’s mother, who was born into a Jewish family in Prague, was also forced to flee Czechoslovakia in 1939 in order to save her life. Mr Shapiro said he was grateful that there were people like Nicholas Winton and added that the world would miss him greatly. 

PM Sobotka: Czech Republic to support Montenegro in NATO bid

02-07-2015 14:40 | Ruth Fraňková

joining NATO The Czech Republic will support Montenegro’s ambition to join NATO this year, the Czech Prime Minsietr Bohuslav Sobotka said after meeting with his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Dukanovic on Thursday. The Czech Prime Minister said Montenegro should be the first new country to join NATO. Economic cooperation was also among the topics on the agenda. Mr Dukanovic said Montenegro is ready to sign a deal worth 350 million euros with the Czech engineering company Škoda Praha for supplying a coal-fired power plant in Pljevlje. Škoda Praha won the tender along with nine other companies earlier this year 

Czech finance minister’s massive earnings outlined in assets declaration

02-07-2015 13:16 | Ruth Fraňková

Minister of Finance and founder and owner of the Agrofert agro-chemical group, Andrej Babiš, earned just under 201 million crowns from the company after tax last year and acquired bonds worth 230 million crowns. The details were made public from his assets declaration which was made available from July 2 on the register of the lower house of parliament. The ANO leader also earned around 76 million crowns from existing Agrofert bonds and 8.2 million was repaid from a personal loan, the details of which were not made public. Babiš also earned around 115,000 crowns from his position with Germany biggest ammonia producer, SKW Piesteritz, and around 350,000 from rental income. 

Severe heatwave has hit Czech Republic

02-07-2015 12:23 | Ruth Fraňková

The public has been warned to brace for a severe heat wave in the coming days. Currents of hot air moving from Africa, which have driven up temperatures in Spain, Portugal, France and parts of Great Britain, has hit the Czech Republic on Thursday. Meteorologists have forecast temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius over the next few days and people have been warned to increase their intake of liquids. Children, chronically ill people and the elderly have been warned to stay out of the sun. The authorities have also issued a high fire danger warning. 

Hundreds of films fans queue for tickets to Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

02-07-2015 12:23 | Ruth Fraňková

Hundreds of films fans have been queuing up for tickets to the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival, which is due to kick off on Friday. The festival will open with a screening of Time Out of Mind, which will be personally presented by the films lead actor Richard Gere. The American actor will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinematography. Among other guests of the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival will be Harvey Keitel and Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, who will present the new co-production film Anthropoid which begins filming in Czech Republic in mid-July. 

Police detain six at anti-immigration rally in Wenceslas Square

02-07-2015 08:38 | Chris Johnstone

Police detained six people at an anti-immigration rally on Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Wednesday night. Around 500 people attended the demonstration with a handful of opponents of the action also in place but kept apart by the police. Speeches were delivered by Tomio Okamura, the former leader of the Dawn Party elected to the lower house at the last elections, and right-wing journalist Adam Bartoš. Some opponents pelted Okamura with eggs but their aim was awry. Calls were made for the Czech Republic to be reserved for Czechs, for the closure of borders, and departure from the EU. Fake gallows were erected for ‘traitors’and calls made for the country to be saved from ‘hordes of horny blacks.’ 

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