The minister of justice, Marie Benešová, says she does not understand the
approach of the Prague state attorney’s office toward a case in which
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has been investigated over alleged abuse of EU
grants. In an interview for Denik N, Mrs. Benešová said the
prosecutors’ work was incomprehensible and sent a bad signal about the
state of the system of state attorneys.
On Monday it was reported that the Prague state attorney had halted the prosecution of Mr. Babiš, pending a review of the matter by his superiors.
The prime minister and a number of associates had been facing charges of misusing CZK 50 million in EU subsidies for small businesses in connection with Stork’s Nest, a hotel and conference centre near Prague.
The Prague authorities are considering a toll on cars using some roads in
the city. The capital’s leaders want to discuss the matter with Ministry
of Transport officials within the coming weeks as the move would require a
change in the law, Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček and Tomáš Voříšek from
the council’s sustainable energy and emissions committee said on Tuesday.
The new toll would likely cost motorists tens of Czech crowns a day. An earlier idea of creating an emissions-free zone in the centre of Prague was dropped.
Around 5,500 cameras would be used, alongside monitoring vehicles currently used to oversee parking zones, would be employed in the enforcement of the new system.
The Czech national basketball team have achieved their first win at the
sport’s World Cup in Shanghai, beating Japan 89:76 on Tuesday. Though the
Japanese remained in contention for the first half of the game, the Czechs
began to build up an unassailable lead from the third quarter on. Blake
Schlib, who was born in Illinois, produced a strong performance for the
Czechs, scoring 22 points.
The result keeps alive the Czech Republic’s chances of advancing to the knock-out stage of the competition, which they are participating in for the first time in 37 years.
The head of the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, says it is necessary to
await more detailed information on why the Prague municipal state
prosecutor halted the prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš over
alleged corruption. OLAF chief Ville Itälä said there were could be many
reasons the Czech prosecutor had decided not to charge Mr. Babiš and
several other people with unlawfully acquiring CZK 50 million in EU
subsidies in connection with the Stork’s Nest complex near Prague.
The official said OLAF had achieved a positive result in ensuring EU money was not in the end used to build the recreation centre. The funding came from Czech sources and the conclusions of the Czech inquiry will be completely in domestic hands, he said.
In 2017 OLAF said after an investigation that there were suspicions the Agrofert group started by Mr. Babiš had wrongly acquired EU grants to construct Stork’s Nest.
Czech international football forward Patrik Schick has left the Italian
club Roma for RB Leipzig in Germany’s Bundesliga. It is a one-year loan
deal with an option for Leipzig to make the move permanent.
Schick moved to Roma from Genoa in 2017 for EUR 38 million but failed to live up to expectations and only scored eight times in 57 games.
The rangy 23-year-old has made 18 appearances for the Czech national team, finding then net eight times.
The draft state budget for 2020 that the Ministry of Finance forwarded to
the government at the end of last week anticipated both revenues and
expenditures some CZK 20 billion higher than figures approved at the end of
June. However, the planned deficit of CZK 40 billion is not affected by
this, the minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, told Czech Television.
The minister said the increased revenues and expenditures were due to a change in the macro-economic indicators.
The Prague 6 authorities have ordered that the scaffolding and tarpaulin
around the controversial statue of Soviet Marshall Ivan Konev be taken down
after around 200 people gathered at the site to protest against the
decision to cover up the statue on Monday evening.
The protest followed a week of isolated incidents in which the tarpaulin was torn down and replaced.
The local administration had the monument, which has repeatedly been vandalised, covered up saying it was the cheapest and easiest way to protect it.
Activists who opposed the move said it was an insult to the Red Army which liberated the country in 1945.
Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. Although he helped liberate the country from Nazi oppression, he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
The Prague 6 authorities have been pushing for the statue to be moved to the grounds of the Russian embassy.
The average gross monthly wage in the Czech Republic increased by 7.2
percent to CZK 34,105 in the Q2 of this year, according to data released by
the Czech Statistics Office. In real terms, taking into account inflation,
wages increased by 4.3 percent.
However, two-thirds of employees earn less than the average wage.
The median wage in the Czech Republic was CZK 29,127, up 6.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Some 80 percent of employees earned wages between CZK 14,955 and CZK 55,259.
The newly appointed culture minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has cancelled the
selection procedure for the director of the National Gallery in Prague,
whom his predecessor in office Antonín Staněk sacked in in mid-April
citing poor management.
Minister Zaorálek told reporters the conditions cited in the open competition for the post had been prepared in haste and were inadequate. He said the selection process did not place emphasis on the gallery’s future direction nor did it open the position to contestants from abroad.
Minister Zaorálek said he likewise planned to review another of his predecessor’s last minute decisions, namely that the Hadí lázně spa in Teplice be struck off the list of Czech cultural monuments.
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