German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit Prague in the first half of
this year, meaning during the current Czech presidency of the Visegrad
Four, iHned.cz said on Thursday. The news site reported that the German
leader had been invited to a summit of Visegrad Four prime ministers and
would most likely come to the Czech capital in May.
Chancellor Merkel’s last visit to the Czech Republic was in October 2018, shortly before events marking the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.
Police have charged three people with fraud amounting to over CZK 1
billion. Using the company name J. O. Investment, the accused offered to
invest clients’ money on international stock exchanges and to deliver
very high returns.
Officers from the police’s organised crime unit said more than 2,000 people were allegedly duped by the three, who now face up to 10 years in jail of found guilty of serious fraud.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his ANO party colleague Finance Minister
Alena Schillerová are the two of the most popular politicians in the
country, suggests an opinion poll released on Thursday. The STEM survey of
ministers and party leaders indicates that 50 percent of Czechs view Mr.
Babiš favourably, while Ms. Schillerová’s approval rating has climbed
to 47 percent.
The next most popular lower house politicians are the Social Democrats’ Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová, on 41 percent approval, and Pirates’ chairman Ivan Bartoš on 40 percent.
The state attorney’s office has charged two people in connection with the
collapse of a foot bridge in Prague. The architect of the bridge in the
city’s Troja area and a former head of the bridges section at the state
agency that manages communications are facing charges of reckless
negligence, the Czech News Agency reported.
Four people were injured, two of them seriously, when the bridge collapsed into the Vltava River in late 2017.
Prosecutors say steel ropes on the structure were damaged by corrosion and that it crumpled following an inadequate safety review and poorly executed repairs.
Footballer Václav Kadlec is to retire at the age of 27 due to a series of
serious injuries, Sparta Prague announced on Thursday. The striker is due
to undergo another knee operation on Friday and does not plan to return to
the game afterwards, his club said.
Kadlec made his league debut at 16 and at 18 years and four months became the youngest player to score for the Czech national side. Alongside separate spells at Sparta, he appeared for Eintracht Frankfurt and the Danish side Midtjylland.
Opponents of the freshly appointed Czech ombudsman, Stanislav Křeček,
attempted to prevent him entering his office in Brno for the first time on
Thursday morning. When the protesters refused to move the police made seven
arrests and cleared the way for the new public advocate.
Responding to the protest, Mr. Křeček said democratic elections must be respected, adding that at least it highlighted the presence of the Ombudsman’s Office, of which many people had previously been unaware.
Prior to his election as public advocate Mr. Křeček angered critics by saying he would serve the majority society and would not pursue a human rights agenda.
Prague City Hall is asking Prague residents to report Airbnb flats to
municipal police officers and any connected problems, the Daily
Hospodářské noviny reports. If the property owner is not registered with
a Trade Certificate, he may be liable to a fine of up to CZK 1 million.
City Hall has been trying for some time to get Airbnb to share the details
on the owners of the flats who are believed to often avoid paying tax for
renting out their properties.
Airbnb is one of the short-term letting platforms active in Prague, which has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years. Critics say that such platforms have moved from the original idea of a shared economy to a purely business venture, with up to 15,000 flats in Prague being rented out for this purpose, blocking flats for long-term rent as well as often causing unease for local residents who have to deal with loud tourists.
GFG Alliance is planning to invest EUR 750 million into its Liberty Ostrava
steel mill in the Czech Republic, Czech Television reported on Thursday.
Part of the investments will be focused on establishing new, hybrid
technologies for steel making, which the company says will be the first of
its kind in Europe. The local rolling mills will also be modernised,
Liberty Ostrava announced.
GFG Aliance owner Sanjeev Gupta told Czech Television that the investments are being made with the goal of making Liberty Ostrava the foremost steel maker in Central Europe and transition it to carbon neutrality.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he does not expect this week’s
exceptional EU summit, set to begin on Thursday, to lead to a mutual
agreement between the 27 states on the union’s budget for 2021 to 2027.
The positions of individual member states are simply too different,
according to the Czech prime minister who has described the proposed
framework as favouring wealthier states.
European Council President Charles Michel called the summit in January, hoping member states will reach an agreement on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework, stressing that failure to do so would jeopardise the continuation of current programs and policies as well as the launch of new ones.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery