The Constitutional Court on Thursday backed the claims of a Nazi concentration camp survivor to reclaim his parent’s home at Mimoň in the north of Bohemia. The court said that although the deadline for reclaiming property had past, the claim should be allowed and that lower court’s refusal to do so were formalistic. The claimant is the sole survivor of his family in spite of four years in Nazi camps. The family home was first confiscated as Jewish property by the Nazi regime and then by the Czechoslovak authorities after the war as German property,. The man said he only found out that his family owned the property, now a police station, during searches of archives for scant details about his family’s past.
The mayor of Prague 3, Vladislavova Hujová, has suggested that the masterpiece of Alfons Mucha, the Slav Epic, be exhibited at a specially constructed pavilion on Vitkov hill in the district. She suggested the location would be suitable for such an historic series of paintings. Hujová’s suggestion comes after the central Prague 1 district suggested that the paintings be displayed in the future in its locality at the end of Revoluční street. The world famous artist donated the series of painting to Prague in 1928 but no permanent home for them has been built in the capital.
Creditors of the struggling Czech hard coal mining company OKD voted overwhelmingly that a restructuring of the firm be pursued to try and return it to profit. Only one creditor out of around 100 present at the regional court in Ostrava voted for the alternative of bankruptcy in which the company would be split up and assets sold off. Company management have been tasked with drawing up a restructuring plan which will be submitted to the court and creditors. The insolvency manager will remain Lee Louda. Louda earlier warned that creditors had little hope of reclaiming any of their debts if bankruptcy was the option chosen and added that it was unrealistic to sell off the assets and keep together the business as an operating concern.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit the Czech Republic this month, according to a report by the Czech daily Mladá Fronta Dnes. The visit has not been confirmed by either Czech or German authorities. The paper said that the visit had been arranged by the former prime minister and current advisor to Bohuslav Sobotka, Vladimír Špidla. The talks are likely to focus on dealing with the immigrant crisis. Her last visit to the Czech Republic was in 2012.
The Czech hops harvest this year is expected to reach around 6,000 tones, just over a third more than the drought damaged harvest of around 3,800 tons in 2015, according to the association of hop growers. The total area devoted to cultivating hops has risen this year for the third year in a row. It now totals around 4,700 hectares, around 160 hectares more than in 2015. Most of the harvest will be gathered over the next two weeks.
In football, former defender for the Czech national team Martin Jíranek is returning to Czech league football. The 37-year-old former defender with Spartak Moscow, Reggina, and Birmingham has signed a contract with first division Příbram. Before leaving the Czech Republic, Jíranek played for Liberec and Bohemians 1905. He played 31 games for his country including the semi-finals of Euro 2004.
Moneta, formerly GE Banka, announced a first half drop in profit to 2.3 billion crowns. Bank assets rose 2.8 percent to 144 billion crowns. New loans rose 4.4 percent to 21.1 billion compared with the same period in 2015. Moneta is the sixth biggest bank in the Czech Republic with around 1.0 million clients.
A Prague court began hearing the case against former national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička on Thursday. Růžička is accused of fraud in a case focused on his time as a club trainer and allegations that he demanded bribes from parents for players to take part in the junior team. The allegations surfaced last year in April just before the ice hockey World Championships being hosted in Prague and Ostrava. Růžička has denied committing any criminal offense and said that he was offered bribes. He refused to give further details in court.
Czechs have clinched the first medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, with a bronze win by Jiří Prskavec in men’s canoe slalom. The 23-year-old Czech picked up a two second penalty without which he could have clinched the gold medal. He eventually finished behind Slovenia’s Peter Kauser with the gold claimed by Joe Clark of Great Britain. It is the first Olympic medal for the Czech water slalom world champion.
Most of the Iraqi refugees who refused asylum in the Czech Republic and left for Germany in April this year will not return to the country. According to the German organisation Asyl in der Kirche, most of them have received religious asylum in Germany. The German police are currently looking for three Iraqis who had been refused asylum and who should return to the Czech Republic. The group of 25 refugees came to the Czech Republic as part of a resettlement programme for Christian families in Iraq, organised by the NGO Generation 21.