A criminal investigation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš should be
completed by the end of the year, iRozhlas.cz reported, quoting the Prague
prosecutor’s office. The news site says that investigators now possess
several types of evidence linked to the Čapí hnízdo farm complex. Mr.
Babiš and members of his family are accused of wrongly acquiring CZK 50
million in EU subsidies for the project.
There is an accusation that the company Farma Čapí hnízdo was deliberately hived off from Mr. Babiš’s Agrofert conglomerate – which is now in a trust – to make it appear to be a small firm and therefore eligible for EU support.
The prime minister denies any impropriety and says the charges are politically motivated.
Real Madrid, one of the world’s most famous football teams, have arrived
in the Czech Republic for a Champions’ League game against Viktoria
Plzeň on Wednesday night. Real’s stars touched down in Prague on Tuesday
afternoon before taking a team bus to Plzeň.
Real beat the West Bohemians 2:1 in Madrid in a previous group game two weeks ago. The Spanish giants have won the Champions’ League for the last three seasons, a feat never before achieved, but have recently been through a turbulent period that included the sacking of their coach.
The Ministry of Finance has cut its forecast for expansion of the Czech
economy this year. While in July officials said gross domestic product
appeared set to grow by 3.2 percent, they have now revised that figure to
Similarly the ministry had previously predicted GDP growth for 2019 of 3.1 percent but now says 2.9 percent is more likely.
The Ministry of Finance says it regards Brexit, increased protectionism and Italy’s economic problems as the greatest threats to the Czech economy.
A Prague restaurant is facing sanctions after barring children from its
premises, Czech Television reported. The Stodola House eatery in the
city’s Jižní Město placed a sign outside saying under 18s were barred.
However, the Czech Trade Inspection Authority has adjudged the move to be age discrimination, which is illegal. The agency says it also discriminates against parents who would like to bring their children into the restaurant.
The owner of the business in question says he has the right to decide who enters his premises, while customers can decide if it is the kind of spot they would like to visit.
Earlier this year the Trade Inspection Authority imposed a CZK 5,000 on a hotel that barred children under the age of 10.
The Czech Pirate Party have won support from MPs from other groupings for a
bill to allow people to grow marijuana for their own usage, iDnes.cz
reported on Tuesday. The Pirates have the signatures of around 40 deputies
for an amendment which would make it legal to cultivate and process up to
five hemp plants, the news site said.
Leader Ivan Bartoš says the party will submit the bill for discussion in the Chamber of Deputies at the end of the week.
At present possession of the equivalent of five marijuana plants or less is considered a misdemeanor under Czech law.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, opened the Czech-Chinese Business Forum
in Shanghai on Tuesday. In an opening address, he called on entrepreneurs
to show courage, which he said was key to winning trade deals.
Mr. Zeman highlighted a 20-percent rise in Czech exports to China and 20-percent growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Czech Republic in the last year.
It is the Czech president’s fourth visit to China since 2014, reflecting his drive to boost ties with the world’s most populous state.
In its annual report on the state of the Czech economy, the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says steps need to be taken
for the Czech health care system to remain effective and financially
sustainable in the context of an aging society.
The OECD report says that while the system is now doing well in comparison with other countries, it is challenged by an aging population which will gradually prove an increasing burden. At present seniors use up more than 45 percent of the overall funds spent on patient care and unless action is taken the number could soon reach 75 percent, the report says.
It recommends that GPs be given a bigger share in care for chronically ill patients and for significant investments to be made in developing the areas of community and home care.
Ukrainian parliament deputy Andriy Lozovoy was detained at Prague’s
Vaclav Havel Airport on Monday for paying with counterfeit euro banknotes
at one of the airport’s duty-free shops.
The 29-year old Ukrainian, who is deputy chair of the opposition Radical Party, was released eight hours later.
According to Lozovoy, he was a victim of currency swindlers, who gave his assistant fake cash at an exchange office in Kiev.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, who is part of the Czech
delegation to China, on Monday met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Minister Petříček brought up the issue of human rights in China
stressing that in future they should be part of the Czech-Chinese dialogue.
He said that as a member of the UN Council for Human Rights, the Czech Republic would be issuing recommendations in the field of human rights as concerns China as well as other countries. Since a meeting of the council on China is due on Tuesday, minister Petříček refused to reveal them to the press in advance.