The Administration of State Material Reserves plans to file a criminal complaint against an unidentified perpetrator in Germany in connection with Viktoriagruppe, a company that administered some Czech strategic oil reserves in Germany but went bankrupt. Speaking on a TV debate show on Sunday, the agency's head, Pavel Švagr, said the statute of limitations concerning alleged fraud in the matter was approaching and action needed to be taken. The Czech Republic had oil valued at CZK 1.5 billion with Viktoriagruppe and is now in conflict with the insolvency administrator regarding ownership rights.
Goalkeeper Petr Čech has equalled the record for number of clean sheets in the English Premier League. The Czech's shutout in a 2:0 win for Arsenal on Sunday was his 169th in the competition, matching the record set by the now retired David James. Čech, who is 33, achieved the vast majority of those clean sheets with Chelsea, who he helped to a great number of trophies over an 11-year-period. He recently also equalled the Czech international caps record.
President Miloš Zeman says Czechs live in a free society and can demonstrate if they like. He made the comment in response to a call from Civic Democrats leader Petr Fiala to distance himself from a demonstration in his support in central Prague. Around 1,000 participants in Saturday's event chanted such slogans as The Czech Republic for Czechs and We don't want multiculturalism. Mr. Zeman said he wished Mr. Fiala enough support to have demonstrations backing him. The Czech president has been criticised by the UN commissioner for human rights and others for his comments on migrants and Muslims. A recent opinion poll suggested 41 percent of voters would give him their backing if he stood again.
The former Prague cinema Kino 64 U Hradeb could be revived under fresh proposals, the Czech News Agency reported. The long-abandoned building on Mostecká St., a short distance from Charles Bridge, could become a new centre for the film and video arts. The initiator of the renovation, Jan Čep, said concrete plans would be unveiled next spring. Opened in the mid 1960s, Kino 64 U Hradeb was the most modern cinema in the city at the time of the Velvet Revolution. It has been closed since 2002.
Car production in the Czech Republic grew by 4.5 percent year on year in the first 11 months of 2015, according to freshly released industry figures. Total output between the start of January and the end of November was 1.21 million. Škoda Auto remained the biggest producer with almost 700,000, while a joint Toyota, Peugeot and Citroen plant recorded the biggest increase in output with 9.7 percent. Bus production grew by 30 percent in the first 11 months of 2015. Car production is set to reach an all-time record for the year.
The Czech national soccer team manager says he has mixed feelings about Saturday's draw for the group stage of Euro 2016, in which his charges will play Spain, Turkey and Croatia. Pavel Vrba said that was a tough group but that he had feared being drawn in the same one as Germany and Northern Ireland, two teams that will be in the Czechs' qualifying group for the next World Cup; if the Czechs met them now it would be a kind of prelude, he said. The Czech Republic have qualified for the European Championship for the sixth time in succession.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has described the deal on the environment reached in Paris as an historic moment. The pact – which from 2020 will follow the Kyoto protocol – aims to cut global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius and was agreed by nearly 200 states in the French capital. Mr. Sobotka said the deal satisfied all of the Czech Republic's wishes going into the process. It is important, however, that the historical compromise be turned into action in the face of major challenges, he said.
The Czech Republic will face Spain, Turkey and Croatia in the group stage of football's European Championship in France next summer. Pavel Vrba's team take on the holders Spain in their opening game in Toulouse on June 13. They then play Croatia in St. Etienne and Turkey in Lens. The Czechs have qualified for the tournament for the sixth time in a row.
Around 1,000 people demonstrated in support of President Miloš Zeman in central Prague on Saturday. Participants chanted "The Czech Republic for Czechs" and "We don't want multiculturalism," the Czech News Agency reported. A demonstration against xenophobia was also held and police led away participants who attempted to block the pro-Zeman group by sitting on the ground. The Czech president has been criticised by the UN commissioner for human rights and others for his comments on migrants and Muslims. A recent opinion poll suggested 41 percent of voters would give him their backing if he stood again.
The Communist Party does not plan to suspend the membership of Miloslav Ransdorf, an MEP for the party who was recently arrested in Switzerland on suspicion of an attempted fraud. After a meeting of the Communists' central committee on Saturday at which Mr. Ransdorf presented materials relating to his case, party leader Vojtěch Filip said that it was an advisory body and could not take any action. He said it was now up to the MEP to clear his name. Mr. Ransdorf was arrested with three Slovaks at a bank in Zurich, allegedly attempting to withdraw EUR 350 million on the basis of false documents.
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