Czech Gripen fighter pilots have completed their mission guarding Icelandic airspace, returning with the planes to the Czech Republic on Friday. The journey took three-and-a-half hours and the jets refuelled during flight. Czechs have now guarded Icelandic airspace twice. The Czech military also served in similar missions in the Baltic states as a member of NATO.
The Czech Statistical Office has confirmed strong 4.4 percent annual growth of the economy in Q2 in its revised estimate made public on Friday, while improving its preliminary estimate of a quarter/quarter rise from 0.9 to 1 percent. The Czech Republic is currently showing the most significant growth in all of Europe that, analysts confirmed. The surge is tied to positive developments in the economy, namely boosts in domestic consumption as well as investment.
The electronic registration of sales will most likely be launched by mid-2016 following the coalition’s approval of the Finance Ministry's proposal to extend the period between the promulgation of the relevant law and the time the law takes legal effect from 3 to 7 months, the Finance Ministry said on its website. The bill on the introduction of the electronic registration of sales is currently being discussed in the Chamber of Deputies. Opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats have come out against the bill. The government is hoping the system will help limit grey economy and improve tax collection.
The Education Ministry will spend half a billion crowns in the new school year in promoting sport activities for schoolchildren and youths, while 170 schools will take part in a new project encouraging sports after class. In the Czech Republic it is common for elementary school children to remain in monitored classrooms before being picked up by parents. The Education Minister, Kateřina Valachová, made clear, the project aimed to encourage greater physical activity. Team sports such as football or volleyball are to be encouraged. Phys. Ed. teachers who work with children after school, stand to make an additional 250 crowns per hour, the minister said.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Friday that the country has no information about a wave of illegal migrants bound for the Czech Republic from Macedonia or Serbia. He made a statement after a meeting of the security forces; he added that if such a situation did materialize, additional centres with a capacity for 300 people would be set up in the region of South Moravia. The minister added that the level of security currently in place, regarding migrants, was sufficient.
In football, Czech national coach Pavel Vrba said Friday that he will boost his squad for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers by calling up Jablonec’s left back Filip Novák and Sparta Prague’s midfielder Martin Frýdek. The Czech Republic face Kazakhstan on September 3 and Latvia three days later. Novák announced Friday he is to move to Danish club Midtylland. Frýdek recently made an impression during the Under 21 European Championships which were hosted by the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is trailing Iceland in the qualifying group.
The country’s transport minister, Daniel Ťok, has said the D8 motorway to Germany will be completed by Christmas of 2016. He made the statement after meeting with his German counterpart Alexander Dobrindt on Friday. The Dresden (or Teplice) motorway was originally to have been completed by 2010 under the original plans, but the project met with delays, protests by environmentalists and even a landslide. Before the summer holidays, the government took steps to remove all administrative obstacles, Minister Ťok said. Companies taking part in the construction work have also pledged to stick to the deadline, he said.
Some 200 Czech personnel will take part in a NATO rapid reaction force exercise in neighboring Germany in September, the Czech Army has confirmed on its website. The operation, entitled ‘Strong Sword’ will take place from September 14 to October 2. In all, some 2,000 soldiers from several NATO countries are taking part. In a mock scenario, Strong Sword will require rapid response units to come to the “defense” of a NATO ally under Article 5.
Czech and Arsenal stars Petr Čech and Tomáš Rosický will face Bayern Munich, Greek club Olympiakos Pireus, and Dinamo Zagreb in the group phase of football’s Champions League. The draw was made Thursday. Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League by the German champions in both 2013 and 2014. Petr Čech has mixed memories of Bayern. He was the hero of a penalty shootout which helped former club Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy in 2012. But Chelsea lost in the Super Cup staged in Prague against Bayern a year later.
In football, Sparta Prague, Viktoria Plzeň, and Liberec met with success in the second legs of the Europa League games on Thursday night to proceed to the main competition. Sparta drew 3:3 against Swiss club Thun, Plzeň beat Novi Sad 2:0, and Liberec won 1:0 against Hajduk Split. All had notched up victories in the first leg. The only Czech casualty on the night was Jablonec which was unlucky to end with a goalless draw against Ajax Amsterdam at home with a penalty missed and the Dutch team down to 10 men. Jablonec lost the away leg by a sole goal.