Prague City Hall has agreed to buy most of the stadium of top flight football club Bohemians 1905. The council has agreed to pay 121.1 million crowns for the Ďolíček stadium in Prague 10 district with the club chipping in around 7.0 million crowns. Several dozen Bohemians fans turned up at the council meeting to back the purchase from the current owner, the company Bohemians Real. The club, nicknamed the Kangaroos after a famous tour of Australia, had feared they might have to quit the stadium at the end of this season. In the past, various real estate development projects have been mooted for the prime Prague site.
The Czech nuclear regulator, the State Office for Nuclear Energy, has approved the continued operation of the Dukovany 1 nuclear reactor. The existing permit for the reactor was due to expire on Thursday. The regulator has not set a time limit on the new approval but has demanded that power plant operator ČEZ fulfills a series of yearly and other reports on the ongoing condition of the reactor and key equipment. The previous 10 year operating permit was extended by three months to give CEZ more time to meet the regulator’s demands for documentation and details. The Austrian environment minister has reportedly called for the European Commission to examine the decision, in particular the cross border aspects of the reactor’s continued operation. Austria has historically taken an anti-nuclear power stance.
The Visegrad Four regional grouping, currently headed by the Czech Republic, can help countries in the Western Balkans in the EU accession talks, Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek said on Thursday. He was speaking at a meeting between the Visegrad Four, composed of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, and Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. Zaorálek proposed a forum be created for regular meetings between the two groupings.
The Constitutional Court has backed a Ukrainian woman saying that she was not given the opportunity of justice when she previously came before a Prague court for illegally remaining in the Czech Republic following an expulsion order. The woman was not offered the chance of consulting a lawyer with the court discouraging her by saying that she would remain in custody if she challenged the expulsion decision. Her chances of free legal advice were also not explained to her and she only found out about them and her chances to appeal later, the Constitutional Court added. She has now applied for asylum in the Czech Republic. Some lawyers point out that many foreigners appearing in Czech courts are almost totally unaware what is happening to them.
Deputy prime minister in charge of science, research, and innovation, Pavel Bělobrádek, has said he hopes to send a scientific diplomat to the United States during the next two years. The Czech Republic dispatched its first science diplomat, tasked with creating links between Czech research institutions and companies and local ones, to Israel at the end of last year. The diplomat, Delana Mikolášová has already established links between Czech and Israeli research foundations. She said on Thursday in Prague that Czech cooperation prospects are brightest in cybernetic security, nanotechnology, IT, artificial intelligence, and research related to the auto industry.
Top Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych has lost in the quarter finals of the Miami Master tournament. He went down to world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets 6:3, 6:3. It is the Czech’s 10th loss in a row against the Serb. Djokovic has not dropped a set so far in the tournament. Berdych won the Miami event in 2010.
Chinese company CEFC has boosted its stake in Czech airline operator Travel Service to 49.9 percent, the business daily E15 reported Thursday. Previously, CEFC had a stake of around 10 percent. As well as operating scheduled and regular flights, mainly through the carrier SmartWings, Travel Service also owns a third of the national airlines Czech Airlines (ČSA). The increased Chinese stake should allow SmartWings to boost its offer of scheduled flights according to management.
The Czech economy grew by 4.3 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year, the Czech Statistical Office reported Thursday in news which confirmed its earlier prediction of GDP growth. The office also confirmed its 4.0 percent growth year on year figure for the last quarter. The 2015 growth is the best the Czech economy has achieved over the last eight years. Separate figures showed the average Czech wage last year climbed to 26,787 crowns, a rise of 2.6 percent on 2014.
Over 80,000 Czechs suffer from hepatitis C, which is about eight times more than it was previously thought, suggests a new study carried out by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Defence. Experts warn that many people are actually not aware of the disease. Hepatitis C is transmitted mainly by blood and can stay undetected in one’s system for decades. It can eventually lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Among those most at risk are drug users, sexually promiscuous individuals, and people having tattoos or piercings. The highest incidence of Hepatitis C is among the age groups of 18 to 29 and 30 to 44.
Czech car producer Škoda Auto wants to double its deliveries to China to over half a million cars by 2020, the company announced in a press release on Wednesday. Last year the Czech carmaker sold 281,700 cars in China. The company also plans to invest over 50 billion crowns into the development of new technologies. Representatives of Volkswagen, Škoda Auto and Chinese SAIC Motor Corporation signed a memorandum on their future cooperation at the Czech-Chinese business forum in Prague on Wednesday. At the moment, the Chinese market represents about one fourth of the company’s worldwide sales.