News President: Czech Republic should drop visa requirement for Russians

20-06-2014 16:42 | Jan Velinger

Czech President Miloš Zeman has told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS the Czech Republic should lift visas as quickly as possible for citizens of the Russian federation. He expressed the opinion in connection with sanctions faced by Russia over the Ukraine crisis, saying he saw no reason for the EU to isolate Russia. Nor did he see the need for sanctions, blockades or embargoes. Mr Zeman expressed the view that isolation had never led to success but only deepened misunderstanding and mistrust. The president’s spokesman pointed out that Mr Zeman’s view that economic sanctions were “counterproductive” is one that he has long held. The head of the Czech Association of Travel Agencies confirmed, meanwhile, that the Czech Republic has seen 40 percent fewer Russian tourists this year, due in part to developments in Ukraine, but also, due to the lengthy protocol and cost of obtaining a visa.

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Czechs lose 0:1 in friendly against Slovakia

01-04-2015 10:26 | Chris Johnstone

In football, the Czech Republic lost 0:1 in the friendly against Slovakia on Tuesday night. The sole goal came in the 49th minute when Ondrej Duda shot low from distance with the bounce leaving Tomáš Vaclík embarrassed in goal. Czech manager Pavel Vrba fielded an experimental teams with established players, such as Petr Čech, Tomáš Rosický and David Lafata, absent. A series of substitutions and a heavy pitch and blustery conditions also had an impact. The loss follows on from the disappointing draw against Latvia on Saturday. 

Gale-force winds and icy roads creating problems around the country

01-04-2015 10:01 | Daniela Lazarová

Gale-force winds, with snow and sleet showers in the higher altitudes, have been creating problems around the country for the third day now. A train derailed in the Bruntal region early on Wednesday after hitting a fallen tree and rail traffic is also disrupted in the Plzen region where workers are clearing a number of fallen trees from the rail tracks. Power lines are down in many parts of the country and a number of smaller roads have been closed to traffic. The police report a heightened number of accidents and have warned drivers not to set out for the mountain areas without winter tires. 

US convoy leaves Czech territory

01-04-2015 09:49 | Daniela Lazarová

The US convoy which spent four days in the Czech Republic on its way back from a military exercise in the Baltic states left Prague’s Ruzyne barracks in the early hours of Wednesday and is returning to its home base in Bavaria. It is expected to reach the Czech-German border at around midday. Fears that it could meet with negative reactions in the Czech Republic proved unfounded. The convoy was greeted by thousands of people lining the country’s roads and highways and over 20,000 people came to the military’s Ruzyne barracks to meet with the soldiers and inspect their military technology. A thousand people attended a concert given in the troops honour on Tuesday night. 

Gale force winds causing million crown damages

31-03-2015 19:08 | Daniela Lazarová

Gale-force winds sweeping the country since Monday have caused considerable material damage, the ctk news agency reports citing the country’s leading insurance companies. The leading insurer, Česka Pojištovna says that in two days people have filed 160 claims for insurance mainly relating to damaged roofs and cars damaged by falling trees. The company says it expects to pay out around 25 million crowns in insurance in connection with the bad weather. 

President Zeman wants to discuss time-frame for euro adoption

31-03-2015 18:14 | Daniela Lazarová

President Zeman wants to open a debate on a time frame for Czech adoption of the euro, the ctk news agency reports. According to the president’s spokesman Mr. Zeman wants to meet with Prime Minister Sobotka next week to discuss a possible meeting on the euro at Lany Chateau in the coming months. The meeting should be attended by Finance Minister Andrej Babis, the governor of the central bank Miroslav Singer and bank board member Jiri Rusnok. The president has already stated his intention of making Mr. Rusnok central bank governor when Mr. Singer’s term in office expires. He has criticized Mr. Singer’s policy at the head of the central bank and even suggested that he is intentionally putting a brake on the process of preparing for euro adoption. The president and prime minister favour euro adoption and Mr. Zeman would like to see the country adopt the euro by 2017. 

US soldiers given enthusiastic welcome in Plzeň

31-03-2015 16:50 | Daniela Lazarová

Part of the US convoy travelled to the West Bohemian town of Plzeň to pay homage to the US soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia in WWII. Over a thousand people congregated in the streets of the city to greet them as the troops made their way to the Thank You America Memorial to lay wreaths and flowers. The US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Shapiro who was also present said the US soldiers were given a great reception, confirming the people’s strong support for NATO and the US. 

Czech president in favour of creating European military

31-03-2015 14:37 | Daniela Lazarová

President Miloš Zeman has spoken out in favour of creating a joint European military that would be cheaper and more effective than the present system. Mr. Zeman said a European military should help the US in dealing with global threats and crisis situations. It is no longer possible that all problems plaguing Europe be dealt with by the United States. A joint European military would help face aggression better from whatever part of the world it might come, the president said in a statement. President Zeman first broached the idea last year saying that a second NATO pillar – to complement the American one –should have the form of a European military “in harmony with the trend of European integration.” 

US convoy attracts huge crowd to Ruzyně barracks

31-03-2015 13:36 | Daniela Lazarová

The US convoy which spent the day in Prague on Tuesday attracted crowds of people to the army’s Ruzyně barracks. Hundreds of people, including families with children, braved the cold weather cuing up in wind and rain to greet the troops and inspect US military technology close-up. The US troops also got a visit from Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Defense Minister Martin Stropnický and the US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Schapiro. Prime Minister Sobotka said that the country’s security was strengthened by the US presence in Europe and he was glad that the majority of Czechs clearly appreciated the fact. 

TOP 09 files criminal complaint against Prague mayor

31-03-2015 12:17 | Daniela Lazarová

Members of TOP 09’s Prague branch have said they are filing a criminal complaint against ANO representative and Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová. They claim that the mayor broke the law and hurt the interests of the city by opting for a new legal team to represent Prague in a legal dispute over the rental of Škodova Palace, owned by Copa Retail. TOP 09 leaders allege the mayor hired lawyers at the recommendation of the other party and went behind the backs of other city councilors. The mayor has denied the allegations saying the law firm in question was chosen according to rules on public tenders.However Prague City Hall announced on Tuesday that it had cancelled the contract with the said firm and would be selecting a new team of lawyers. 

So-called “fast communication roads” to become highways

31-03-2015 11:43 | Daniela Lazarová

All of the country’s so-called “fast communication roads” marked with an R should be transformed into highways as of 2016, according to a proposal by the Czech Transport Ministry. According to Transport Minister Dan Tok, 80 to 90 percent of these roads already fulfill the required criteria for international highways and the remainder will be brought up to the required standard by next year. This would see the country’s highway network which now measures 750km extended to 1,200km and the speed limit on fast communication roads would be increased to 130km per hour. 



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