Police have been combing open air markets and stone and mortar shops around the country for uncertified and dangerous fireworks. According to Interior Minister Milan Chovanec the inspections with customs officers have been going on for several weeks in order to minimize the danger for consumers. The German authorities recently warned their citizens against buying cheap uncertified fireworks in the Czech and Polish border areas.
A Czech transport boat stranded on the Elbe river near Dresden has been freed after water management authorities artificially raised the water level.The 90-metre long boat carrying over 1,000 tons of cargo got stuck on its way to the port of Dečín on Sunday. Why the boat became stranded is not yet clear. According to preliminary reports it was not overloaded.
Finance Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš remains the most trusted politician in the country, according to the outcome of a December poll conducted by the STEM agency. Mr. Babis received a 61 percent trust rating, just ahead of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Defense Minister Martin Stropnický who both got 56 percent. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec placed 4th with 53 percent trust. STEM says that the popularity of the defense and interior ministers indicates the importance the public attaches to the migrant crisis and suggests that the public approves of their performance in this respect.
The Energy Regulatory Office will clear the way for state support for renewable energy sources to the tune of 42 billion crowns next year. The decision came in the wake of a call from the Industry and Trade Ministry which said the government‘s commitment regarding state support for renewables had now been published in the code of regulations. The Energy Regulatory Office had been holding back on the move citing a lack of knowledge of the government’s plans for the energy sector following claims from the Industry Ministry regarding overcompensation of renewables in the past.
The Interior Ministry is reported to have mismanaged public and EU funds to the tune of 390 million crowns. The Supreme Audit Office says it found irregularities in a number of projects aimed at establishing an advanced central system for electronic communication undertaken between 2008 and 2014. It also criticized the ministry for having avoided holding public tenders for several important contracts. According to the office 85 percent of the financing came from EU funds and the Czech Republic may have to return the money.
As of January 4 car owners will be able to order personalized license plates for the price of 10,000 crowns, the Czech Transport Ministry confirmed on Monday. There are a number of restrictions: for example, personalized plates must in no way be vulgar or include acronyms of existing bureau. The ministry says it expects predominantly interest from companies.
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejčíř has filed a constitutional complaint against a 2013 verdict by a Czech court which found him guilty of tax fraud and sentenced him to 10.5 years in jail. Krejčíř was sentenced in absentia having fled the country during a police raid of his villa in 2005.He is now in prison in South Africa where he is awaiting a sentence for attempted murder, abduction and possession of drugs.
The Finance Ministry has launched administrative proceedings to curtail the licenses of 200 gaming bars in Prague. The move comes in line with a new regulation to tighten the rules governing the gambling business according to which gambling will only be allowed in a restricted number of casinos. The restriction has raised protests from the Gaming Industry Union which says that the stricter regulations will just speed up the movement of most of the business online.
Automobile production in the Czech Republic will surpass last year’s record by three percent, the head of the Automotive Industry Association Antonín Šípek has confirmed. In 2015, some 1,285,000 cars were produced. In order to surpass last year’s numbers, almost 40,000 cars needed to be manufactured in December, and 60 vehicles in the category of transport trucks. Bus and motorcycle manufacture passed last year’s figures in November.