The Czech Republic is hoping to participate in the modernization of the port of Koper, Slovenia, in order to promote trade opportunities for Czech exporters. Minister Bohuslav Sobotka made clear following his meeting in Prague on Monday with his Slovenian counterpart, Miro Cerar. Located on the Istrian peninsula, the commercial port of Koper is the only one of its kind in the country. No final decision about Czech participation has been taken yet.
The Defence Ministry will invest 180 billion crowns (around 6.6 billion euros) over the next decade; of that amount 130 billion will go towards equipping the military’s ground forces. This year alone, the ministry will try and see deals worth 26 billion crowns approved, Defence Minister Martin Stropnický confirmed at a press conference alongside Czech Army officials. Investments planned include the purchase of some 62 Pandur and Titus armoured vehicles, DANA self-propelled howitzers, and dozens of lightly armoured vehicles for chemical and radiation analysis.
Karolína Plíšková, a US Open finalist last year, has advanced to the
quarterfinals at the Australian Open, beating Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-3. The
Czech faces Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia, next.
Meanwhile, Barbora Strýcová was knocked out after being beaten in the fourth round by the six-time champion and world number two Serena Williams by a score of 5:7, 4:6.
A smog warning from the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute remained in place on Monday for some parts of the Czech Republic. The warning applied for eight regions, including Prague, Hradec Králové, Ústí nad Labem and South Moravia, where more than double the permissible limit for airborne dust particles have been recorded. People with respiratory diseases and heart condition as well as elderly people and children have been advised to limit outdoor physical activities. Authorities in Prague have repeatedly appealed to drivers to curb their travels. The regulation limiting the biggest polluters is still in place in the regions of Prague, Olomouc and Central Bohemia.
Czech Euro MPs for ANO, Pavel Telička and Petr Ježek, have criticized Interior Minister Milan Chovanec for his statement on Sunday that the Czech Republic could begin negotiations with Great Britain over Brexit on its own rather than waiting for the European Union. At a press conference, Mr Telička called the idea “foolish” while fellow MP Ježek expressed doubts the Czech Republic alone could negotiate better terms than Germany or France. The EU has maintained that negotiations with Britain to leave should be conducted by EU members together.
London football club Arsenal have kept their title challenge alive in the Premier League with a late win against Burnley on Sunday, a match which saw Arsenal down to 10-men. Petr Čech conceded a penalty and the game was tied 1-1 in injury time when Arsenal were thrown a lifeline when Mee caught an Arsenal defender with his studs. Alexis Sanchez beat Burnley keeper Heaton with a “panenka” – a cheeky chip in the centre of the goal. Arsenal are second in the league but a full eight points behind leaders Chelsea.
Euro MP Petr Mach was re-elected the head of the Free Citizens’ Party at the weekend, gaining 301 of 487 votes from party members. About half of the party’s members took part. Two people, economist Martin Pánek and home schooling consultant Irena Steinhauserová ran against the chairman, picking up 128 and 58 votes, respectively. In December, Mach, 41, resigned as chairman over differences in the direction of the party, not represented in the Czech lower house. The division was over whether leaving the EU should be the sole signature aim of the party or one of several. The latter position was advocated by Mr Mach.
The Supreme Audit Office reports that 9.4 billion crowns allotted by the Environment Ministry from European and state funds in the years 2013 – 2015 did not improve the state of the environment. The news was confirmed by the bureau’s spokeswoman Olga Málková. The audit office says the ministry failed to assess the suitability and effectiveness of some projects. The ministry denies that the subsidies did not bring improvements.
Czech Cardinal and Archbishop Emeritus of Prague Miloslav Vlk, 84, has been diagnosed with lung cancer which has metastasized also to the bones; he is due to begin chemotherapy soon, the Czech News Agency and other sources reported on Monday. The first signs of the disease reportedly appeared last spring and at around Christmas of 2016 the Cardinal was hospitalised after his condition worsened. His illness was diagnosed this month, following a CT scan and bronchoscopy. Cardinal Vlk is in home care at a parish in Karlín where he is being cared for by the local priest, the website www.kardinal.cz writes.