The Czech Republic is still not a target country for migrants and is not part of any migration trails across Europe, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Tuesday. The country has received 995 asylum applications so far this year, of which 132 have been approved, Mr. Sobotka told journalists. Over the long term Ukraine has been the home country of the largest number of asylum seekers, he said. The Czech PM also defended a deal agreed between the European Union and Turkey aimed at reducing the number of refugees reaching Europe, which he said was proving effective. He also indicated that an EU system of allocating refugees to member states was a dead arrangement.
Czech exports to Russia have continued to decline this year, falling by 12 percent year-on-year in the period from the start of January to the start of July, according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office on Tuesday. While the Russian federation was the destination of nearly 4 percent of Czech exports in 2012, that figure has now fallen to just 1.7 percent. EU sanctions imposed on Russia over its role in the annexation of Crimea are seen as a main reason for the trend. However, the Czech Chamber of Commerce says there are other factors involved, including Germany’s increased share of Czech exports on the back of the Czech crown’s weakness toward the euro.
A Czech man who videoed US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looking weak at a public event says he has been greatly surprised by the impact his film has had. Zdeněk Gažda shot the Democrats’ nominee for president on his mobile phone as she staggered at an event marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. He told Czech media outlet DDTV that it had never occurred to him that his video would get any response but that he had received 26,000 mobile messages after just one night. Mr. Gažda said he had not wished to harm anyone. Opponents have been trying to raise questions over Mrs. Clinton’s state of health in the run-up to November’s presidential election.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has rejected a call from Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, to exclude Hungary from the EU over its stance toward migrants. Mr. Asselborn said Budapest was guilty of a massive violation of European values. Mr. Sobotka said, however, that such calls deepened divisions and that the 27 members of the bloc should cooperate. He also rejected the idea of creating a union within the European Union. On Monday the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, discussed the idea of boosting Central Europe within the EU with Austrian presidential candidate Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party.
Jakub Michálek, a Prague councillor for the Pirate Party, has won a legal battle against the Office of the President, which had refused to release information regarding who had been involved in drafting a presidential amnesty issued by then head of state Václav Klaus in 2013. The Prague Municipal Court on Tuesday gave the Office of the President one month to respond to Mr. Michálek’s request. It had previously said the legal challenge was unnecessary as the information had already been made public. Mr. Klaus issued the controversial amnesty shortly before he stood down as president after two terms.
The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute has issued a warning that fires could break out on most of the country’s territory between now and Friday due to the hot and dry weather. Low-lying areas are most at risk, the forecasters said on Tuesday. A high fire alert has been in place in Prague since last Wednesday. Friday is expected to see the arrival of lower temperatures and rain, greatly reducing the risk of fires breaking out. The public have been warned not to light fires, burn grass, put out cigarette butts on the ground or use portable stoves or other open fire sources.
Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of the sale of the first mobile telephones in the then Czechoslovakia, Czech Radio reported. The country’s first mobile network was launched the same day. The first mobile phone on the market was the Nokia MD59, which cost CZK 60,000. The device weighed four kilogrammes and had a battery life of only a few minutes. Today there are around 14 million active SIM cards in the Czech Republic, which has a population of 10.5 million.
This summer was the 13th hottest in the Czech Republic since 1961, according to figures released by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Tuesday. The average temperature for the months of June, July and August was 17.6 degrees Celsius. This was 1.6 degrees Celsius lower than for the same period in 2015, which was the second hottest summer in over half a century. The second summer month was particularly hot with a record of 36.8 degrees registered in Brod nad Dyjí in Southern Moravia on July 11.
Doctors have given warning that they will not work on September 21 in protest at their poor payment especially as regards car for adult patients on their books. Health minister Svatopluk Něměcek described the move as pre-election blackmail. The two sides have a chance to avert the one day action at a meeting at the ministry scheduled for Thursday. Doctors point out that provision has been made for hospitals to offer pay rises of 10 percent. First round elections to regions and part of the Senate take place on October 7 and 8.
The Czech team have won their first medal at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Swimmer Běla Třebíová won the bronze in the 50 metres freestyle event. The latest medal adds to her collection from participation in the three previous Paralympics. She had already won three gold medals, one silver, and one bronze.