The government on Wednesday condemned the acts of vandalism against several cafes and shops in Prague over the weekend. A number of coffee bars and shops which are part of the Hate-free project were sprayed with Nazi symbols and threats. Culture Minister Daniel Herman said it was important to take a firm stand against any expression of extremism. Several hundred people gathered on Monday in Prague to condemn the acts of vandalism, which is being investigated by police as hate-related crime.
If the Rio de Janeiro Olympics were held today, the Czech Republic would win 10 medals, four of them gold, suggests an analysis carried out by the US-based Gracenote sports data provider released exactly 100 days before the start of the Olympics. According to their forecast, the Czech Republic would finish in the medals table in 20th place, one place lower than four years ago. According to Gracenote, the gold medallists will include javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková, hurdler Zuzana Hejnová, rower Ondřej Synek and Judo Wrestler Lukáš Krpálek.
The first four refugees from Syria, accepted in the Czech Republic under a quota system approved by the European Union, arrived in the Czech Republic on Monday, the spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, Hana Malá, told the Czech News Agency. The four-member family is staying at a ministry facility waiting to be granted asylum. The Czech government has decided to take in the first seven Syrian refugees under the quota system approved by the European Union, but three of them escaped from a Greek facility in order to avoid being relocated to the country. The Czech Republic is due to take in just under 2,700 refugees by the end of next year.
Parliamentary representatives from the Visegrad Four countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, attended a meeting at the Štiřín chateau outside Prague on Thursday. After the meeting they again criticised the idea of compulsory refugee quotas for European Union states. According to the Hungarian parliament leader, László Kövér, it is an attempt to federalise Europe, while the head of the Czech Parliament, Milan Štěch, said it was an excess, which will hopefully not be repeated in the future.
The Czech producer of ultralight aircraft Direct Flight will manufacture their aircraft in China, the company’s co-owner, Ivo Lederer, told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. Company representatives signed an agreement on transfer of technologies with the Chinese company Wanfeng Aviation. The company will launch large-scale production in China, initially producing about 100 to 150 aircraft a year. The Chinese company will invest about four million crowns into cooperation with the Czech partner.
The Social Democrats on Wednesday payed 2.4 million crowns to the creditors of Zdeněk Altner, the party’s former lawyer. In a recent court ruling, the Social Democrats were ordered to pay 337 million crowns owed to Mr Altner for past services which had not been paid. The party has lodged an appellate review request with the Supreme Court and says it will await the outcome of the appeal before making the payment, claiming that the money could end up in a tax haven. Meanwhile, Mr Altner had demanded the court seize the party’s assets, but that request was rejected.
The Czech branch of the Russian-based oil firm Lukoil has to pay a fine of 27.7 million crowns to the State Administration of Material Reserves, a board of appeal decided on Wednesday. The case goes back to 2009 when the firm reportedly failed to replace part of 30,000 cubic metres of aviation fuel. The Czech branch of Lukoil is headed by Martin Nejedlý, chief advisor of President Miloš Zeman. Mr Zeman said earlier he would consider firing him depending on the court verdict.
The average price of apartments in the Czech Republic in 2015 increased by six percent on average year-on-year, according to a survey carried out by Deloitte. The average price per metre was 41,800 crowns. The most expensive apartments were sold in Prague (for 56,400 crowns per metre), while the cheapest apartments could be found in Ústí nad Labem region (for 10,000 crowns per metre). Last year, the overall sales of apartments amounted to 70 billion crowns, which is a 15 percent increase on the previous year.
Hospital directors should deal with the problem of doctors working excessively long hours, the Czech minister of health, Svatopluk Němeček, told the Czech News Agency. He said his ministry wished to help resolve the problem by increasing the number of medics at hospitals. Mr. Němeček’s comments came after the Czech Doctors’ Trade Union called on him to produce a plan to deal with the overtime issue by mid-June. The union says that if the legal limit of 416 hours of overtime a year was adhered to there would not be enough doctors to serve patients.
One-time Czech prime minister Josef Tošovský caused a motor accident near the US city of Washington a week and a half ago, the news website Aktualne.cz reported. Mr. Tošovský, who headed a caretaker cabinet for six months in the latter half of the 1990s, is facing reckless driving charges after his Ferrari crashed into three cars on the Georgetown Pike in Virginia. A passenger in his car and two people in the other vehicles suffered minor injuries. The news was confirmed by the Financial Stability Institute in Basel, which the 65-year-old banker heads.