The Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has travelled to Turkey for a one-day visit. The Czech foreign policy chief is due to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on a range of subjects, including Czech-Turkish and Turkish-European Union relations and other matter relating to foreign policy. Mr. Zaorálek is also set to meet the speaker of the Grand National Assembly, Ismail Kahraman, and other senior local officials.
A consignment of humanitarian aid has arrived in Syria from the Czech Republic, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The delivery – jointly organised by the state and the Czech Red Cross – includes powdered milk, a dialysis machine, four defibrillators and children’s toys. It was brought to the war-torn state on a Czech Army plane and is the latest consignment within a long-term programme aimed at delivering aid to Syria in the 2016–2019 period. The materials will be distributed by the local Red Crescent, including to the besieged city of Aleppo. A group of five Czech MPs also travelled to Syria on the army plane; they were due to hold talks with senior local officials, including the foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem.
The Czech and Polish governments are to create a joint team to make part of the Oder River navigable. The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said after a meeting with his Polish counterpart, Beata Szydlo, in Wisla on Monday that a section of the Oder between Ostrava and Kozle in Poland should be made navigable in future. Mr. Sobotka also told the Polish leader that Prague aimed to speed up work on a motorway between Hradec Králové in East Bohemia and the Polish border.
The Kurdish group People’s Protection Units, or YPG, have closed an office they set up in Prague in the spring of this year, Právo reported on Monday. The organisation failed in their bid to establish ties with Czech politicians and win support for recognition of the Kurds as a nation, the newspaper said. A Czech political scientist said Prague regarded the Syria-based YPG as being connected to Kurdish groups the PYD and PKK, which the EU and US have dubbed terrorist organisations.
Prague police have made arrests in connection with the robbery of three luxury stores in the city in which some CZK 34 million worth of jewellery was taken. At a news conference on Monday the police said the men were members of two international gangs, one chiefly made up of citizens of the former Yugoslavia and the other mainly comprising people from the former USSR. Those arrested face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
David Holoubek is set to remain manager of Sparta Prague football club, despite formal shortcomings. In an interview with Czech Television on Monday, the 36-year-old said the only thing to be resolved was the “model” that he and the club would follow. Holoubek will not receive the trainer’s licence he requires for the post until May. Until then his assistant will lead the team on paper, as was the case during a recent Europa League game against Inter Milan. Meanwhile, Sparta have drawn Russia’s Rostov in the next round of that competition.
Stress tests on Czech banks show that the sector is sufficiently resilient to withstand unexpected shocks, the central bank said on Monday. The tests were based on banks’ results to the end of the third quarter of this year. The Czech National Bank said the sector’s capital adequacy was considerably higher than the 8 percent regulatory minimum, even in a stress scenario in which there was a marked downturn in the domestic and international economies.
Trade unions at Czech Post have announced plans to hold a two-hour strike next Monday. Around 6,000 employees – roughly a fifth of the total number – will join the strike called by three small unions at the national postal service. The unions say salaries at the organisation are considerably below the national average and are demanding a pay-rise of CZK 2,500 a month. Czech Post management say the strike action, planned for 5 pm to 7 pm, is unlawful.
The population of the Czech Republic increased by 18,600 in the first nine months of 2016 year-on-year, according to the Czech Statistics Office. The number was affected most by immigration: the number of new arrivals, largely from Slovakia and Ukraine, outnumber those who moved away from the Czech Republic by some 12,600. The number of births than deaths over the period; 1,200 more babies were born over the first babies were born in the first nine months for a total 85,400. The overall population of the country is now 10,572,400 million people.