News President Zeman to attend meeting of V4 heads-of-state
Czech President Miloš Zeman has accepted an invitation to attend a meeting with other V4 heads-of-state in Warsaw next week, according to the president’s spokesman. The invitation was issued by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and the meeting will also be attended by Slovakia’s Andrej Kiska and Hungary’s János Áder. The V4 compromises of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Mr Zeman will reportedly use the opportunity to discuss efforts in the fight against international terrorism; also on the agenda will be preparations ahead of the NATO summit in Wales in September.
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The Czech football club Sparta will continue in the Europa League in the spring, after defeating the Greek club Asteras Tripolis 1:0 in Prague on Thursday night. The same evening, Viktoria Pilsen lost a chance to advance after losing 2:1 to Dinamo Minsk. Liberec also lost – 2:1 – to the Portuguese team Bragga but still has a chance to advance: the team needs to win its final group stage match against Marseille.
Chinese investors are planning to build a huge spa complex in South Moravia, the region’s governor Michal Hašek, who is accompanying the Czech PM on his ongoing visit to China, said on Friday. The spa in the town of Pasohlávky is expected to cost about two billion crowns (around 80 million euros) and should create about 500 new jobs. The new complex is to be completed by the end of 2018.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka met for talks with the Chinese President Xi Jinping on his ongoing trip to China on Thursday. Mr Sobotka said that the Czech Republic, along with China and the EU, are currently facing serious threats, such as terrorism, which they have to fight together. He also said that Thursday’s meeting was a proof of the dynamic development of Czech-Chinese relations. Ahead of the meeting in the Chinese parliament, the Czech Prime Minister signed an agreement involving the Czech Republic in China’s News Silk Road Initiative, promoting trade between Europe and China.
Over 1,500 volunteers from the Czech Republic have been helping refugees abroad since early September, Zuzana Lenhartova from the group We Are Helping Fleeing People group told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. Groups of Czech volunteers have organised help at the border crossings through which the refugees are coming, providing them with food and clothing, Lenhartova said. Volunteers have been paying most of their trips from their own means. The People in Need aid organisation has recently set aside 1.25 million crowns for material help, the purchase of water, food and sanitary needs. The Foreign Ministry has earmarked another 1.2 million for the purpose.
The price of electricity for end clients will stay roughly the same in 2016 as this year, while the price of gas will drop by one to two percent, the Energy Regulatory Office announced on Thursday. The office raised the regulated part of the electricity price, which is comprised mainly of the fee for transmission and distribution and a contribution to renewable energy sources, but said the growth would be compensated for by a drop in electricity prices on the market. The regulated part accounts for over 50 percent of the end price of electricity; the price of baseload electricity is set by the suppliers. The regulated part of gas price currently accounts for one quarter of the final price, but its size is expected to drop by some 3 to 5 percent next year.
The Czech Republic’s Temelín nuclear power plant is set to undergo the biggest safety review since it went into operation in the year 2000, the spokesman for the nuclear plant to the Czech News Agency on Thursday. An international team of 31 nuclear safety experts will be assessing the plant according to the new rules set up by the World Association of Nuclear Operators. The in-depth review will take place from November 27 to December 11. The 2,000 megawatt plant is the biggest source of electricity in the country and covers a fifth of overall consumption.
The Turkish national, convicted of a crime with possible links to terrorism, who was detained in Hradec Králové on Tuesday, has been taken into preliminary custody. The 30-year-old Nazmi Sahin, searched by Interpol, is believed to have been convicted in Turkey for being linked to the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK. His lawyer has dismissed the speculations about terrorism, and said she would file a complaint at the High Court.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are ready to contribute to better security of outer EU borders and support the establishment of a European border patrol or a joint European intelligence agency, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said on Thursday after meeting with his Slovak counterpart Peter Kažimír. Mr Babiš said that instead of financing border protection of individual states, the EU should centralize the system. He also repeated that he was against the quota on accepting refugees. Peter Kažimír, who arrived in Prague for a two day official visit, is also set to meet with Czech National Bank Board member Jiří Rusnok and with Czech president Miloš Zeman.
Veteran opera singer Soňa Červená, artist Stanislav Kolíbal and film-maker Fero Fenič will be awarded the title of honorary citizens of Prague, the city council ruled on Thursday. Prague Mayor Adriana Krnačová said that they have all contributed significantly to promoting the Czech capital in the world. Honorary citizenship of Prague has been awarded since 1920. Two people, the communist-era presidents Klement Gottwald and Gustav Husák, have been removed from the list in the past.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s stance on the migrant crisis puts at risk the security of the Czech Republic, President Miloš Zeman said on Thursday in an interview for the daily Mladá fronta Dnes, describing the migrant crisis as an organised invasion. The Czech head of state also reacted to the prime minister’s criticism of his speech during November 17 celebrations at Prague’s Albertov, where he shared the stage with members of the Bloc Against Islam. The president said it was not his choice to stand next to the group’s leader Martin Konvička.