The Czech economy grew 2.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of
2018 and by 0.6 percent in quarterly terms, the Czech Statistical Office
(ČSÚ) said on Friday.
Per capita income rose 2.8 percent in annual terms during the third quarter, when the average monthly salary reached 26,442 crowns (1033 euros).
Meanwhile, Czech retail sales excluding cars and motorcycles rose by 6.1 percent year-on-year in November, about 1.5 percentage points above the market consensus.
President Miloš Zeman says China will retaliate against security warnings
issued by the Czech authorities concerning the use of Huawei technology. He
said in a TV interview on Thursday that some members of the government had
information to that effect. Mr. Zeman said investments by carmaker Škoda
Auto were at risk, as were an agreement between the company PPF and Huawei
to create a 5G network in the Czech Republic and a plan by the Chinese firm
to build digital technology in this country.
Before Christmas the Czech cyber security agency warned of the dangers of using products made by Huawei and ZTE. This was followed by a public spat between the Czech prime minister and the Chinese ambassador to Prague.
This week 160 key Czech organisations were ordered to review their vulnerability to attack if they used technology produced by the Chinese companies.
Prague’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party, has told Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš that the capital’s leaders are opposed to the
latter’s idea of creating a special government district in the Letňany
area. At a meeting with Mr. Babiš, representatives of Prague City Hall
also discussed government help in the acquisition of land for the Prague
ring road and a better connection to Václav Havel Airport.
The councillors also asked the prime minister if there were an unused state building that could serve the city instead of the Škoda Palace, which it rents.
Czech courts have punished two people for wishing death on a child on
social media, Respekt reported on Thursday. The two were found guilty of
hate speech after calling for the death of a new-born baby with a Czech
mother and Kurdish father in Facebook comments beneath a photo of the
Pavel Hrabák was sentenced to 100 hours of community service by a court in Prague and Lada Vyskočilová received a suspended sentence from a court in Vyškov, Moravia.
Others are being investigated over similar comments directed at the baby, Respekt reported.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, on Thursday
told the Chinese ambassador to Prague, Zhang Jianmin, that publicising the
content of a private meeting was inappropriate. This was a reference to
talks between Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Mr. Zhang before
Christmas. Afterwards the Chinese envoy said on social media that the Czech
leader had climbed down over banning Chinese-made Huawei mobile phones at
the Office of the Government. Mr. Babiš later said this was a lie.
Mr. Petříček said he believed Thursday's discussion would ensure similar misunderstandings did not occur again.
The Czech prime minister this week ordered 160 key Czech organisations to look into whether they were at risk from using products made by Huawei or another Chinese firm, ZTE.
Activists at an independent social centre in Prague refused to vacate the
building on Thursday. The operators of the Klinika centre in the Žižkov
district had been ordered by bailiffs to leave by 11:30.
When they failed to do bailiffs and representatives of owners the Railway Infrastructure Administration moved in and the police were called. A number of activists then climbed onto the roof of the building.
Prisoners were deployed to help deal with a snow calamity declared in the
town of Jablonec nad Nisou in North Bohemia on Thursday. Streets and
pavements are blocked and maintenance workers are struggling to cope.
Over half a metre of snow had fallen in the town, which is in an upland area, over the last two days and it was still snowing on Thursday morning.
Heavy snow has caused power blackouts in some parts of North Bohemia and around 9,000 customers were without electricity overnight.
A train carrying 60 passengers derailed in the train station in Liberec,
north Bohemia on Thursday morning. The train was due to stop at the station
but did not halt at stop lights and crashed into buffers before jumping the
tracks, an inspector said. There were no injuries.
The causes of the accident are being investigated. Damages have been put at around CZK 650,000.