The Czech Foreign Ministry says a report on France’s BMF television that a Czech national was among those killed in the Nice attack has not been confirmed, one Czech woman is known to have suffered light injuries. The ministry has also announced that it can arrange for Czechs currently in France who wish to return to the Czech Republic to be taken back on a Slovak government plane.Tourists who wish to do so need to contact the Czech embassy in Paris by 5am, Saturday.
The Czech Football Association has named Karel Jarolím as the new manager of the national football team. The association’s chairman Miroslav Pelta said they had agreed a two year contract with Jarolím, the current manager of Mladá Boleslav, with an option for a further two year extension. Jarolím replaces Pavel Vrba who has signed with a Russian league club following the Czech team’s poor showing at the European Championships in France.
As messages of sympathy and solidarity with the French people pour in, the French Embassy in Prague announced that a book of condolences would be made available to the public. Among those who came to lay flowers outside the embassy and write messages of sympathy in the book were Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Culture Minister Daniel Herman and Justice Minister Robert Pelikan.At 3pm dozens of people who came to pay their respects observed a minute of silence for the victims.
Lawmakers are to consider whether Finance Minister Andrej Babiš did not break the law by remaining on the supervisory board of the German chemicals company SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz GmbH he owns after taking up his post in the Czech government. In his personal property declaration for 2015 Mr. Babis said he had received 4200 euros for his work on the supervisory board of the company. The finance minister claims his role in the company is not in violation of Czech or German law, but Parliament’s mandate and immunity committee says it could be in violation of the conflict of interests law.
Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek said on Friday that geological tests for a potential nuclear waste storage site would take place near the towns of Horka and Kraví Hora in Moravia. Five other localities which were initially also considered have been ruled out due to strong opposition from the locals. Mr. Mládek said the ministry would not enforce the decision and the nuclear waste site would only be built with consent from nearby localities. Shortly after the announcement the mayors of Horka and Kraví Hora said they were taken aback by the decision. The mayor of Horka said the town would make its opposition to the plan clear to the authorities.
Czech travel agencies say they expect the attack in Nice will result in a further drop in the number of Czech tourists heading for France. According to the Association of Czech Travel Agencies the number of Czech tourists visiting France this summer will be at least 30 percent lower than it was in 2015 when close to 140,000 Czechs visited the country. At present the country’s biggest travel agency Čedok has no package tours in Nice. A package tour heading for France this weekend, which was to have visited Nice, has been offered an alternative route.
The Czech Intelligence Service (BIS) has no information pointing to any imminent threat of terrorist attack on Czech territory, its spokesman Jan Šubert told the ctk news agency in the wake of the attack in Nice. Šubert said a potential risk remained stemming from the country’s membership in NATO and related activities. Key institutions have been given increased police protection.The BIS is cooperating closely with its partners abroad in assessing potential security risks. In 2015 it received over 8,000 reports and sent out over 1,500, all relating to the threat of terrorism.
Czech officials have strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Nice which killed 84 people and injured scores of others. President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka expressed deep sympathy and solidarity with the French people, saying that France had the Czech Republic’s full support in the fight against terror. President Zeman said the growing number of terrorist attacks showed the need for more resolute action from the international community, while Prime Minister Sobotka said this tragedy would only strengthen the determination of the democratic world to defeat this perverse evil. Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said he was deeply shocked by the terrible attack and his thoughts were with the French people, while Civic Democratic Party leader Petr Fiala expressed the conviction that France would not succumb to fear in the face of aggression.
The government is set to return to the issue of a controversial reorganisation of elite police units next week. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has invited the supreme state attorney, Pavel Zeman, and the police president, Tomáš Tuhý, to attend a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Czech Television reported. Under the restructuring, the present organised crime and anti-corruption units are to be merged from the start of August. The head of the organised crime unit quit in protest at the reform, which has been pushed through by Mr. Tuhý and the minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec. Mr. Sobotka was criticised for removing the issue from the agenda of a State Security Council meeting planned for next Wednesday.
Singer Marta Kubišová is recording a studio album which she says will be her last. Kubišová, who is 73, is making the record with the band of producer Petr Malásek, a spokesperson for her label Supraphon said. The singer said she hoped the album, which is slated for release later this year, would be the cherry on the cake of her career. Marta Kubišová’s song Prayer for Marta became a symbol of resistance to the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia and she was barred from performing by the Communists for two decades before making a comeback in the Velvet Revolution.