The consumer loan provider Home Credit will not continue to pursue its
previous plans to enter the Hong Kong Stock Exchange due to market
conditions, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday, citing a communique
from Home Credit itself.
The company, which is part of the PPF investment group owned by the Czech Republic’s richest man, Petr Kellner, filed for a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange in July.
Since 1990, the number of people suffering from dementia has doubled in the
Czech Republic and the mortality rates among such patients has risen by
more than a factor of seven in the past 10 years, the Czech News Agency
reported on Wednesday, quoting data published by the Czech Alzheimer’s
Society and the Czech Statistics Office. Experts say this is down to the
overall aging of the population. However, statistics show that the
expansion of relevant services is not keeping up with the growth in
Every 13th person in the country over the age of 65 suffers from dementia, statisticians say, and the ratio gets higher with increased age. Last year there were 167,000 people suffering from dementia related diseases, but only 341 homes that offered programmes for patients with dementia with altogether 20,075 beds.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation should focus on fighting
international terrorism, the main, if not only, enemy of civilised states,
Czech President Miloš Zeman said at a meeting of Czech heads of military
command on Wednesday. He and Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar also said
they were against a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The Czech president also mentioned the recent remark by his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who said in a recent interview with the Economist magazine that NATO was in a state of "brain death". Mr. Zeman said that “if NATO is not to be in a state of brain death, it should become more offensive and realise what its real role in the current world is.”
The Czech army will adopt a new command and control system from 2020, which
will be divided into three levels: strategic, operational and tactical, the
army announced on Wednesday on its Facebook account. Included in the change
is the transfer of the Ground Forces Command from Prague to Olomouc on June
1, 2020 and of the Air Force Command to Kbely in the north of Prague in
2021. Meanwhile, in Tabor, a new Territorial Command is being established,
which the army says will ensure more flexible use of active reserves.
Information operations in cyberspace, as well as the defence of military systems and the army’s internet will be run by a newly established Cyber and Information Operations Command in the Moravian capital of Brno.
Czech political and military leaders are meeting this Wednesday and discussing the army’s modernisation plans, as well as its role in the NATO alliance and international missions.
Mortality rates in the Czech Republic have declined by around one seventh
in the last ten years. Those who do die, tend to pass at an older age than
in previous decades, according to data presented by the Czech Statistics
Office on Wednesday. However, the main causes of death - heart and vascular
diseases – remain the same, being responsible for two thirds of the
112,920 deaths last year. Cancer, mainly of the lungs, is another recurrent
cause of death.
According to Terezie Štyglerová from the Czech Statistics Office, the top three causes of death are the same for men and women. However, men are more likely to die from accidents, while for women the other main causes of death are Alzheimers, other types of dementia and diabetes.
The Czech army will take over leadership of the EU’s military training
mission in Mali, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defence Minister Lubomír
Metnar announced at an armed forces high-command meeting on Wednesday.
According to the Czech News Agency, Czechs will lead the mission for six
months. Their main task will be to help in the establishment and training
of Mali’s army, which is currently fighting Islamic radicals in the
The Czech Republic currently has around 120 soldiers in Mali. So far, they have been in charge of maintaining security at the military mission’s main command in Bamako and a training base in the Koulikoro region.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has voiced support for
Monday’s EU declaration, which calls for restraint and constructive
engagement in de-escalation efforts regarding the ongoing protests in Hong
Kong. “Neither policemen and soldiers, nor the protesters should get away
with acts of violence”, Mr. Petříček tweeted on Tuesday, stressing
instead that “dialogue with protesters“ was key and that Hong Kong’s
Basic Law, including the island‘s autonomy, should be respected. He
finished with a message to the citizens of Hong Kong, writing that he
supported their “non-violent fight” for rights.
Many, including the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, have pointed to the continuing rise in violence in Hong Kong, including the ongoing police siege of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which is being occupied by protestors.
Seven individuals and two companies are facing charges of money laundering
and illegal tax cuts worth more than CZK 131 million, a police press
release announced on Wednesday. The charges were brought following a series
of raids by the special “Tax Kobra” unit of the Czech police, which
started in late October. Defendants could face up to 10 years in prison if
According to the police, crimes were committed by issuing fictitious or purposefully overstated invoices from 2013 to 2018. A system of purpose-built chains of companies was used in committing the crimes. So-called “white horses”, individuals set up to commit a criminal offense and cover the actual perpetrator, were apparently put into the statutory bodies of companies that continued to be run by the defendants.
The Australian mining company European Metals Holdings (EMH) Limited has
reached a conditional agreement with the Czech energy company ČEZ Group
regarding a strategic partnership as well as large investment into a
lithium mining project around Cínovec in the North West of the country,
the Czech News Agency reports quoting a Wednesday statement by EMH. If the
agreement passes a due diligence check and is approved by shareholders it
will mean that ČEZ will pay EUR 34.06 million to receive a 51 percent
share in Geodet, a subsidiary of EMH, which possesses the rights to mine in
Lithium, a key component of electric car batteries, is sometimes referred to as the “metal of the future”. The Czech Republic is estimated to possess 3 percent of the world’s lithium reserves and the deposit around Cínovec is the largest in Europe.
The question of who owned the country’s lithium reserves was one of the key issues in the last general election in the Czech Republic. The Czech government is the majority owner of ČEZ.