The first group of Christian refugees from Iraq who have been offered a future in the Czech Republic will arrive in the country on January 24, the group which is taking care of them has announced. The refugees, comprised of six families, will be taken to a recreation centre at Jihlava where they will be given intensive lessons in Czech and Czech culture. Acceptance of the families was agreed by the Czech government in December last year. The charity Generation 21 has taken charge of their resettlement and transition to Czech life.
Government ministers met Thursday with managers of the struggling mining company OKD. Minister of Industry and Trade, Jan Mládek, said after the meeting that it had been agreed that any fundamental steps agreed by company management would have to be approved as well by the company’s creditors. He added that ongoing negotiations would focus on a possible restructuring plan for the company and the sale of the Frenstat mine to the state. Coal at that mine has not been exploited yet. The future of the OKD mines are threatened by low coking coal prices with around 13,000 immediate jobs at stake.
The Czech Ice Hockey Association has named a new manager for the national team. The choice has fallen to current Sparta Prague coach and assistant national manager Josef Jandač. He replaces Vladimír Vujtek. The executive committee said the choice was unanimous and taken with a view to the looming squad selection for the World Championships being held in September.
Czech perceptions of West European countries have fallen sharply according to a survey by the STEM agency published on Thursday. Positive views of Germany shrunk by 15 percentage points to 49% since the last survey was undertaken in 2013. The drop is likely caused by Germany’s immigration policy and doubts whether it can be managed. Favourable views of Belgium plummeted by 14 percentage points to 60 percent. And the positive perception of France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Britain all fell although these still hover around 70 percent. Those holding positive views of the US dropped by 11 percentage points to 54 percent. The only country whose rating appeared to rise was Slovakia, now appreciated by 86 percent of respondents.
Czech scientists have contributed to research explaining the state of the galaxy today. The research focused on so-called ‘green pea’ galaxies, which are smaller than normal galaxies and green in colour. Some of these were observed using the Hubble telescope and found to be emitting large amounts of ionizing protons. A mystery previously existing about where the source of these ionising protons was since they are not emitted by normal mature galaxies. The results should help understand the early universe and point the way forward for further research. The research was led by the University of Virginia with the Czech Academy of Science taking part.
Prague’s High Court has overturned an earlier court verdict resulting in seven and six year sentences on two former deputy ministers. Former deputy labour and social affairs minister Vladimír Šiška was previously awarded a seven year jail sentence and the minister dealing with informatics, Milan Hojer sentenced to six years. The two were alleged to have promised to arrange a new contract for the software company OKsystem after it lost out on a lucrative long running deal with the ministry. The offer followed the company threats to complain about the loss of the first contract. Prague’s municipal court has been ordered to take up the case again.
An avalanche warning has been issued by authorities in the Krkonoše mountains. The lowest, grade one warning, has been issued following recent snowfall and winds of up to 70 kilometres an hour which could have caused drifts. Forecasters have warned of heavy snowfalls in some areas in the days to come.
Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that the Bavarian government’s views on immigration are a lot closer to that of the Czech Republic and Visegerad Four countries than that of most Western countries. Sobotka’s comments came during a visit to a Siemens plant at Amberg where he was accompanied by the Bavarian minister president, Horst Seehofer. Seehofer’s conservative CSU party has clashed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over her open handed immigration policy.
More than three quarters of the Vietnamese, three fifths of the Ukrainian and half the Russian nationals who live in the Czech Republic would like to acquire permanent residence in the country, according to a survey conducted by the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs released on Wednesday. The foreigners cited security, health care and earnings among the major reasons why they want to settle in the country. They consider the lack of knowledge of the Czech language and their accent as well as the Czechs' reserved attitude to foreigners as the biggest barriers to their integration in the Czech society.
British screenwriter and playwright Peter Morgan, best known for his films The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, will be among the guests of this year’s Febiofest international film festival, the organisers announced on Thursday. The Golden Globe owner will receive the Kristián Award for Contribution to Cinema. The 23rd edition of Febiofest will take place between March 17 and 25.