Chassix, a precision casting and machining solutions supplier, plans to establish a greenfield plant in Ostrava, Czech Republic, according to a company press release. The facility, which will cast aluminum chassis and powertrain components for passenger cars, will be the company's first casting foundry, and third plant in Europe. It should be operational in early 2018 and accounts for an investment of about 50 million US dollars. Chassix Ostrava is expected to generate approximately 350 skilled jobs in the region.
A Prague court has ruled that the police did not violate the law when it refused to allow human rights activists to demonstrate on Prague’s Hradčany Square during a visit to Prague by the Chinese president. One of the protesters, former environment minister Martin Bursík, took the matter to court, arguing that the police had infringed on people’s right to assembly. Police closed off the square citing security reasons, but let in supporters of President Zeman and his Chinese guest. Activists say they were banned entry so that the Chinese president would not be exposed to criticism of his country’s human rights record and the wave of solidarity with Tibet.
Czechs willing to replace their old stoves with pellet stoves for burning biomass will be able to draw state subsidies within a second wave of a government project in aid of environmental heating. State support for the purchase of a pellet stove will reach 127,500 crowns, covering up to 80 percent of the cost. According to Environment Minister Richard Brabec, 3.4 billion crowns have been earmarked for the project and the money should help purchase 35,000 environmentally-friendly stoves.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that he expects his finance minister, Andrej Babiš, to sufficiently explain some of his financial dealings that opponents say were aimed to avoid taxes. The prime minister warned Babis not to belittle calls for an explanation by the lower house of Parliament. “I feel it is essential for a minister who is spearheading the government’s anti-corruption drive to be able to sufficiently dispel concerns that he himself may have used unethical or even illegal practices in order to avoid paying tax” Mr. Sobotka said in a press release on Thursday. Lower house deputies said on Thursday that if Mr. Babiš did not provide a satisfactory explanation they expected the prime minister to take action. The finance minister, who accused his critics of mud-slinging, has now agreed to provide a full excplanation by the end of April.
Czech politicians have welcomed the result of the Dutch elections as “good news for Europe”. The Netherlands has taken a step in the right direction on behalf of all of Europe, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek tweeted shortly after the results came in. Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek described the outcome as “a triumph of common sense” saying it was good to know that opponents of the EU are weaker than expected. He noted that like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands has a pro-export economy that would be severely damaged if the country decided to leave the EU.
Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has reached the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The world number three defeated Garbine Muguruza of Spain 7:6, 7:6. Plíšková will now face Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the final. Last year, the Czech player finished in the semi-finals at Indian Wells.
The world-famous Chinese conceptual artist and political activist Ai Weiwei opened an exhibition created exclusively for the Czech National gallery in Prague on Thursday. The artist’s biggest sculpture ever reflects his concern about the refugee crisis. Called "Law of the Journey", the 70-metre-long (230-foot-long) inflatable boat with 258 oversize refugee figures will be shown in Prague’s Veletržní Palác until the end of the year.
Finance Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš should dispel the suspicion of tax evasion by the end of April, the Chamber of Deputies agreed during its session on Wednesday. Mr Babiš should also “plausibly” explain how he had funded the purchase of bonds in his company Agrofert, the lower house said in its resolution, pushed through by the Christian Democratic Party. If he fails to do so, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka should take appropriate measures, the deputies concluded. Mr Babiš, who attended the session, has rejected the allegations, adding that he didn’t need to explain himself.