Daily news summary
Czech utility to build car battery 'gigafactory' bordering Germany, lithium deposits
Czech utility ČEZ plans to build a 'gigafactory' for batteries for cars in North Bohemia in the coming years that would use lithium discovered in the Ore Mountains near Cínovec, on the German border.
Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček said during a visit to Berlin on Wednesday that ČEZ plans to use lithium stocks from both countries.
The Czech Republic has the biggest lithium reserves in Europe and many politicians have pushed for its mining to be in the hands of a state-controlled company, such as ČEZ.
Vatican bans Czech priest over alleged sexual abuse of women
The Vatican has banned a Czech priest who served in Pelhřimov from practising due to allegations he sexually abused two women during the 1990s, ČTK reports.
Local Catholic Church officials opened their own inquiry some three years ago. The allegations against him are of sexual harrassment and inappropriate contact with two women in his parish between 1991 and 1999.
This autumn, Cardinal Dominik Duka was investigated by police after having been accused of covering up a case of sexual abuse in the Dominican Order.
Duka has until recently tended to downplay the problem, claiming such allegations were rarely justified and part of a wider “media campaign” against the Catholic Church.
Industrial production down in December
The Czech Republic’s industrial production has declined for the first time in five years: it suffered a drop by 3.4 percent in December, the Czech Statistics Office reported on Thursday. The development was affected mainly by a lower production of motor vehicles, other transport equipment and machinery.
According to preliminary data, the country’s external balance in goods ended in a deficit of CZK 6.7 billion, which was worse by CZK 2.1 billion than in the previous year.
Exports decreased year-on-year by 2.4 percent to CZK 247 billion while imports fell by1.5 percent to 253.7 billion.
Electronic cash registers to bring over CZK 15 billion to state coffers in 2020
The electronic cash register system, known as EET, is expected to bring some CZK 15.2 billion into state coffers this year, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said on Thursday.
Some CZK 2.4 billion out of the total will come from the extension of EET’s online reporting requirements, approved this May, to professions that were not yet subject to it, including craftsmen, doctors, lawyers and taxi drivers.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš introduced the EET in 2016, when he was serving as finance minister, to counter the grey economy and tax fraud.
2019 Ferdinand Peroutka Prize goes to Ondřej Štindl
The Ferdinand Peroutka Prize for journalist of the year has gone to writer and commentator Ondřej Štindl, who currently works as a columnist for the news site and weekly Echo 24.
Štindl has also written two novels and several screenplays, two of which received the Czech Republic’s most prestigious film awards, the Czech Lions.
He received the prize in a ceremony at Prague’s DOX centre for contemporary art on Wednesday evening.
The award is named after František Peroutka, one of the most significant figures of Czech journalism, who died in exile in 1983.
National Museum now accessible via Google Street View
The National Museum in Prague has become available for exploration via Google Street View. As of Thursday, users can take a virtual tour of the building, including the Pantheon, the dome and the building’s second floor, which is not accessible to the public.
All of the Czech Republic’s UNESCO heritage sites as well as many castles and natural sites are now accessible via Google’s mapping service, which was first launched 15 years ago.
Among the Czech Republic’s most visited sites on Google Street View are Prague Castle, the South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov and the centre of the Czech capital.
Friday is expected to be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.