News Study warns of long term drought threat

29-05-2014 09:19 | Chris Johnstone

Although floods are in the news, preparations are being made at the Ministry of Environment to cushion the effects of a disastrous drought caused by climate change. A large swathe of the Czech Republic including some of the most fertile agricultural land across the centre of the country could be threatened according to a report which will go to the government, the daily Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Thursday. It pointed out that the costs of a drought in Western Europe last year was almost as high as the bill for floods in Central Europe in 2002. Proposals for dealing with a Czech drought include a tenfold increase in water charges for those who exceed consumption limits.

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Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s government facing a no-confidence vote in Parliament

26-05-2015 16:52 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s government is facing a no-confidence vote in the lower house of Parliament. Opposition parties tabled the motion in protest against a bill approved last week which would extend state support for bio-fuel, which they claim serves the business interests of Finance Minister Andrej Babis. The centre-left administration has a majority in the lower house that should enable it to survive the no-confidence motion. It controls 111 seats in the 200-strong lower house.

During the debate in Parliament Prime Minister Sobotka accused the opposition of being hypocritical, saying that what offended them was not a conflict of interests as they claimed, but the changes that were being affected by the centre-left administration. 

Prague Waterworks ready to compensate those who were taken ill after drinking contaminated tap water

26-05-2015 16:41 | Daniela Lazarová

The Prague Waterworks will pay compensation to all those who were taken sick after drinking water contaminated by coliform bacteria in Prague 6, an official for the waterworks announced on Tuesday following a meeting with the Prague City Council. The contamination of tap water in Prague’s Dejvice district has come under fire from its residents who say they were not warned in time about the danger. Close to 200 people were treated for diarrhoea, vomiting and fevers between Friday and Monday after drinking tap water. The Prague Waterworks says it will pay each resident who suffered health problems 5,000 crowns in compensation, on the basis of a doctor’s certificate, and those who were hospitalized an even higher sum. 

Food served in hospitals not up to nutrition standards

26-05-2015 16:06 | Daniela Lazarová

The food in Czech hospitals, maternity clinics and homes for senior citizens does not meet the required nutrition and health standards, according to the results of an inspection by the Hygiene Office. The results, presented by the health minister at a press briefing in Prague on Tuesday, show that food served to patients and the elderly is not nutritionally balanced, is deficient in fresh fruit and vegetables and contains too much salt. Inspectors also found a lack of variety in the menus. Inspections were made at 33 hospitals, 25 maternity clinics and 53 old peoples homes around the country. The minister said that the heads of these institutions would receive instructions on how to correct the problem and inspectors would remain vigilant. 

Court sends notorious fraudster to 11 years in jail

26-05-2015 14:55 | Daniela Lazarová

A Prague court has sent the notorious fraudster Vladimir Prokop to 11 years in jail for embezzling close to nine million crowns from the National Museum of Agriculture. Vladimír Prokop served as the museum’s chief economist for a number of years after applying under a false name and lying about his qualifications. Ironically, this happened at a time when he had escaped from jail where he was serving a sentence for the same crime. He had previously stolen 10 million crowns from the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, in many cases abusing large donations from sponsors. 

Czech president congratulates Polish president- elect Andrzej Duda

26-05-2015 13:30 | Daniela Lazarová

President Miloš Zeman has sent the winner of Poland’s presidential elections Andrzej Duda a congratulatory telegram. In it Mr. Zeman expresses the hope that he and the new Polish president will establish a good working relationship and contribute to further developing the strong ties between the two neighbour states. Conservative challenger Andrzej Duda won Poland's presidential election with 51.55 percent of the vote, against 48.45 percent for defeated incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski, according to final results published by the Polish state electoral committee on Monday. 

Marihuana and crystal methamphetamine top list of most commonly abused drugs

26-05-2015 12:12 | Daniela Lazarová

The police confiscated close to 600 kilograms of marihuana and over 50 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in raids on illegal plantations and secret home labs in the course of last year, according to the annual report of the National Anti-Drug Office. The illegal drugs business is largely in the hands of foreign gangs, mainly Vietnamese, Albanian, Nigerian and Turkish nationals, the report says. Czechs are mostly involved in the home production of crystal methamphetamine. The number of secret marihuana plantations uncovered by the police rose to over 300 last year. Marihuana and crystal methamphetamine are the most commonly used illegal drugs in the Czech Republic. While marihuana grown in the Czech Republic is mainly for the home market, crystal methamphetamine is often smuggled to neighbouring Austria and Germany. 

Verdict expected in closely-watched case involving former prime minister

26-05-2015 10:50 | Daniela Lazarová

A verdict is expected on Friday in the closely watched case in which the former prime minister’s present wife Jana Nečasová is accused of abusing the country’s intelligence service. Jana Nečasová, formerly Nagyová, was romantically linked with the prime minister at the time of the scandal which brought down the centre-right government in 2013. She used the country’s intelligence service to spy on the prime minister’s then wife Radka for which she and several top-ranking intelligence officers face three to four years in jail. Tapes of wiretappings played played in court show the enormous influence Jana Nagyová, formerly chief-of-staff at the office of the government, had over the prime minister. 

Football: Legendary players from Euro ’96 reunite in exhibition match

26-05-2015 09:50 | Jan Velinger

Veteran members of the Czech national football team, who finished second in the European Championships at Wembley at Euro ’96, reunited in Prague on Monday to face fellow veterans from the German squad, who won the championship. The Czech team, featuring legends like Pavel Nedvěd, Patrik Berger, Karel Poborský, Pavel Kuka and others faced a squad led by Lothar Matthaus at Prague’s Eden Stadium. In ‘96 the Czechs lost 2:1 on a golden goal in extra time; on Monday the Czechs, under former national team coach Dušan Uhřín, dominated 6:3. Euro ’96 featured many unforgettable moments including Karel Poborský’s famous lob against Portugal goalkeeper Vítor Baía in the quarterfinal. 

Czech fighter jets may patrol airspace over Iceland in August

26-05-2015 09:20 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Republic is planning to send Gripen fighter jets to patrol airspace over Iceland for a month in August, a mission currently being conducted by Canadian pilots, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický told journalists on Monday. The mission is yet to be approved by the government, the minister added. NATO has requested the Czech Republic to deploy its Jas-39 Gripens in Iceland; Czech fighter pilots have done so before. Last October, five Gripen fighters left for Iceland. However, only four protected the Icelandic airspace and one plane was a reserve. Along with the pilots, more than 70 Czech soldiers took part in the mission. The Gripens returned to the Czech base on December 4. The Czech fighter pilots patrolled the skies over Iceland and its territorial waters within the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence. Iceland does not have its own military and the activities of Russian air forces allegedly intensified close to the Icelandic airspace. 

Police catch man suspected of killing librarian

25-05-2015 19:01 | Jan Velinger

Police have caught a man suspected of killing a 28-year-old woman, a librarian in Horní Bříza near Plzeň, on Monday. The victim was reportedly stabbed in the back and died at the scene; TV Nova reported that the victim had called the station terrified, at the man’s insistence, saying she was being held against her will. He had wanted a camera crew to b dispatched to the scene immediately. The reporter she spoke with notified the police. According to, the suspect was a regular visitor at the library who made use of the internet. 



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