Czech businessman Igor Sládek has announced his intention to run for president in the upcoming presidential elections in 2018. The advert was published in Thursday’s edition of the daily Mladá Fronta dnes. The 66-year old Sládek, who emigrated to Germany and the US in the 1980s, highlighted his fears about immigration in his explanation and said that the Czech Republic had to defend itself against Islam, even if it meant leaving the EU. In order to officially register as a candidate, he would have to collect 50,000 signatures or win the backing of a set number of members of the lower house of parliament or the Senate.
War veterans Karel Kuttelwascher and Jaroslav Klemeš are among the nominees for this year’s state awards, which will be handed out at Prague Castle on the occasion of Independence Day on October 28. Members of the lower house presented the list to president Miloš Zeman on Thursday. The famous RAF pilot Kuttelwascher is to receive the highest honour, the Order of the White Lion, in memoriam. Nominees for the Order of Merit include for instance geologist Václav Cílek and historian Petr Čornej. Astronomer Jiří Grygar, who was originally included on the list, has asked to be removed but didn’t specify the reasons.
Renowned Czech artist David Černý has presented his new artwork, “Zátopek’s legs”, which will go on display at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The mechanical sculpture features the lower torso of the legendary athlete Emil Zátopek dressed in shorts. A hundred pairs of “moving legs” will be installed on walls and houses across the Brazilian city during the Olympics. Four years ago, Černý presented another of his works, a converted red double-decker doing push-ups, at the London Olympics. The object is now on display in Prague’s Quadrio shopping centre.
Top Czech men’s singles hope in the French Open, Tomáš Berdych, is out of the tournament after going down in straight sets to world number one and tournament top seed, Novak Djokovic. The Serb triumphed in the quarter final confrontation 6:3, 7:5, 6:3. Berdych has now just won two of his 26 matches against Djokovic and has lost all three of their encounters this year.
The number of grocery stores in the Czech Republic has dropped by four percent since 2013, to 12,294, according to data released by the Nielsen consultancy company on Thursday. Small grocery stores with a shopping area under 400 square metres saw the biggest drop in numbers. The number of supermarkets went down as well, by 28 over the past three years, while the number of hypermarkets increased by 19. Supermarkets and hypermarkets account for 80 percent of the overall sales of grocery items in the Czech Republic, which is the highest proportion in Central Europe.
The head of the Czech Institute of Experimental Medicine, Eva Syková, who came under criticism for receiving payments for providing stem cell therapy to patients with the nerve wasting ALS disease, has stepped down from her post. According to Czech Television, Syková’s expert team collected 150,000 crowns from the patients in Prague's Motol University Hospital for their participation in the stem cell therapy clinical research, although the law declares involvement to be cost-free. Earlier this week, Mrs Syková also resigned as deputy head of Czech Government Research and Development Council.
Meteorologists have warned of heavy storms due to hit the Czech Republic on Thursday afternoon. The storms are expected to advance across the country from east Bohemia. The warning is in place from 1 p.m. Thursday until Friday morning. Meteorologists have also warned of hail and torrential rain, which could swell smaller rivers and flood roads and cellars.
Car makers in the Czech Republic increased their turnover last year by 7.0 percent to a record 912 billion crowns, representatives of the Czech Automotive Industry Association reported on Thursday. Exports accounted for 85 percent of the sales. The growth was fuelled mainly by record production of passenger cars, which increased by 4.0 percent to nearly 1.3 million cars. The Czech Republic currently holds 16th place in car production in the world and second place in number of cars produced per person, second only to Slovakia.
Czechs could celebrate tax freedom day on June 2 according to the calculations of the Liberal Institute, that’s after a total of 153 working days. Last year Czechs had to work 155 days before they started earning for themselves. The institute said that the Czech Republic is still trailing many advanced OECD countries where day freedom day comes earlier. According to consultancy, Deloitte, tax freedom day this year comes later, on June 20.
In football, the Czech Republic beat Russia 2:1 in a friendly warm-up ahead of the Euro 2016 finals in France. The Czech team pulled back after conceding an early goal with captain Tomáš Rosický getting the equalizer. Tomáš Necid got a late equalizer in the 90th minute. The Czechs will now face South Korea in Prague for the last warm up match before heading off for France.