News Prime Minister to embark on ministry tour

06-07-2014 11:15 | Chris Johnstone

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is to launch a summer tour of ministries starting with the Ministry of Culture on Tuesday. The series of visits is expected to check on how they are performing and fulfilling the coalition programme around half a year after he was sworn into office and the government was formed. The visit to the Ministry of Culture will be followed by inspections at the education and transport ministries. In spite of rumours that Minister of Justice Helena Válková might be for the chop if further problems occur at her ministry, the prime minister is not believed to be preparing any changes in his Cabinet team for the moment.

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BMW considering Czech logistics site: report

04-03-2015 11:17 | Chris Johnstone

Luxury carmaker BMW has warned that it could build a logistics centre in the Czech Republic if its plans to site the new centre near Regensburg, Bavaria, are thwarted, according to the daily Die Welt. At stake are around 200 jobs that could be created at the new centre. BMW’s plans for 50 hectares of agricultural land outside the city have been complicated by a battle between a local farmer whose family has been renting the land for around 150 years and the owner, the noble Thurn-Taxis family. The farmer has refused offers of other land and a long drawn out legal battle is now looming. 

Cabinet to discuss Uherský Brod shootings

04-03-2015 11:15 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech government will on Wednesday for the first time discuss the Uherský Brod shooting during which a 63-year-old gunman shot dead eight people in a restaurant before taking his own life. The discussion will focus on a summary of the information collected so far by the Ministry of Interior and a precise timeline of the events which took place on February 24. The ministry and police have been on the defensive following the worst attack of its kind in recent Czech history. It was later revealed that police intervention occurred hours after the shootings had taken place although some individuals who had hidden in the restaurant and nearby were still at risk. Police say they had no way of knowing how many hostages the gunman had. 

Vaidišová loses on return to WTA tour after five-year absence

04-03-2015 09:17 | Ian Willoughby

Former tennis star Nicole Vaidišová has lost on her return to the WTA tour after a five-year absence. The 25-year-old Czech lost 1-6 6-7 to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the first round of the Monterrey Open after entering the competition as a qualifier. A one-time world number seven, Vaidišová quit playing in 2010 after tumbling down the rankings. She has undergone two shoulder operations during her time away from the court. 

First Czechs repatriated from Ukraine under government programme arrive in Prague

04-03-2015 09:06 | Ian Willoughby

The first ethnic Czechs being repatriated from Ukraine under a Czech government programme are now in Prague. Forty-four of them arrived at the city’s Florenc bus station on a coach from Novhorodkivka (known in Czech as Čechohrad), around 200 kilometres from where fighting has been taking place in eastern Ukraine. The Czech government has to date granted fast-track permanent residence to 140 ethnic Czechs in Ukraine. It has earmarked CZK 66 million for a repatriation programme that includes free accommodation, financial support and help finding permanent housing and employment. 

Mourinho: Čech won’t come cheap if he leaves Chelsea in summer

03-03-2015 19:22 | Ian Willoughby

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says if Petr Čech does leave the soccer club it will be for a high price. The Czech goalkeeper became Chelsea’s second choice between the posts after Belgian Thibaut Courtois returned from a loan spell at the start of the current season and there has been speculation he will move on in the summer. Mourinho said on Tuesday that if Čech does want to end his 11-year association with the club, with which he has won numerous titles including the Champions League, he will not try to persuade him to stay. 

Four charged with misappropriation of Ministry of Defence property

03-03-2015 16:53 | Ian Willoughby

Officers from the police’s organised crime unit have charged four people over the illegal misappropriation of Ministry of Defence property. In connection with the charges the unit carried out raids at the ministry and at premises belonging to the company Excalibur Army. The supreme state attorney, Lenka Bradáčová, said the four were suspected of breath of trust and abuse of office. One of those arrested was an army officer, two were from the ministry’s now defunct department for disposal of redundant assets and one was a former manager at the company VOP CZ. 

Sobotka writes to Juncker with view to CR drawing on EU funds

03-03-2015 14:21 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech prime minister, Bohsulav Sobotka, has written to the president of the European Commission informing him that the Czech Republic has fulfilled a commission demand regarding the introduction of civil service legislation, the Czech News Agency reported. Prague is now waiting for confirmation from Jean-Claude Juncker that the Czech Republic has fulfilled a condition for drawing on European Union funds. Mr. Sobotka wrote that he expected the Czech Republic to be able to apply for funding from the EU’s operational programmes in the coming weeks and other programmes soon afterwards. 

Regular siren tests cancelled due to tribute to shooting victims planned for Thursday

03-03-2015 13:05 | Ian Willoughby

A regular test of the siren systems in Czech cities and towns will not take place on Wednesday due to plans to use the sirens the following day to signal a moment’s silence for the victims of a shooting in Uherský Brod last week. The sirens usually go off at noon on the first Wednesday of every month. A spokesperson for the fire service directorate said it had decided to cancel the March test at the proposal of the minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec. Eight people were shot dead in an apparent random shooting in a pub in Uherský Brod before the gunman turned his weapon on himself. 

Mayor says designer of much-delayed Blanka tunnel must be “moron”

03-03-2015 12:34 | Ian Willoughby

The mayor of Prague says the designer of the city’s Blanka tunnel must be “a moron” (debil). Adriana Krnáčová made the comment after news emerged that the tunnel would not be open until next year at the soonest as hundreds of kilometres of water-damaged cables have to be replaced. The mayor told TV Nova that moisture could be expected in a tunnel and the designers must be stupid. However, a representative of the company that planned the project, Satra, told Tuesday’s Mladá fronta Dnes that the design had fulfilled all technical and safety requirements. Originally meant to open in 2011 Blanka, which has cost Prague CZK 37 billion, was most recently scheduled to go into operation in April. 

December-March period one of warmest on record but not as mild as last winter

03-03-2015 11:32 | Ian Willoughby

This winter has been one of the warmest recorded in the Czech Republic, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. The average temperature from the start of December to the end of February was 0.7 degrees Celsius, which is 1.9 degrees higher than the average for the period 1971 to 2000. However, last climatological winter was even milder with an average of 1.2 degrees Celsius. 

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