Daily news summary


President Zeman will try to renounce Czech recognition of independent Kosovo

President Miloš Zeman wants to discuss the possibility of renouncing the Czech recognition of an independent Kosovo with Czech top officials. He says that Kosovo does not belong to the community of democratic states because it is led by war criminals. The statements were made by the president at a press conference on Wednesday, which he attended after meeting with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić.

President Zeman’s strong words follow up on his statement yesterday, where he is reported to have said that he likes the Serbs and Serbia but he does not like Kosovo.

Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček reacted to the president’s words by saying that the Czech Republic has good relations with both Kosovo and Serbia.

Kosovo withdraws participation in Prague V4 summit following Czech president’s statement

Kosovo has cancelled its planned participation in Thursday’s Visegrad Four and Western Balkans summit in Prague, according to the Czech News Agency which quotes diplomatic sources. The move was made in reaction to President Miloš Zeman’s words earlier on Wednesday, where he said that he wants to discuss the possibility of renouncing the Czech recognition of an independent Kosovo at his next meeting with Czech top officials. Czech News Agency sources say that there are currently no confirmed guests from Kosovo for the Thursday meeting of prime ministers. However, discussions are still ongoing about whether the country will be represented on some level at least.

The Czech Republic has maintained diplomatic relations with Kosovo since 2008.

Czechs second in Euro qualifying group after win over Montenegro

The Czech Republic beat Montenegro 3:0 in a Euro 2020 qualifying game in Podgorica on Tuesday evening. The Czechs’ goals all came in the second half, through Tomáš Souček, Lukáš Masopust and Vladimír Darida, who converted a penalty in time added on. The reverse tie in Olomouc in June ended in the same result.

Tuesday’s result leaves the Czech Republic second in their group behind leaders England with five of their eight qualifiers played. The Czechs’ next Group A game is against England in Prague next month.

Police recommend criminal charges against former regional governor for corruption

The Czech police have proposed that the former regional governor of the Usti region Jiří Šulc be charged with abuse of office, news site Aktuálně reported on Wednesday. Investigators believe that Mr. Šulc influenced the selection procedure for the director of the ROP Severozápad who was responsible for allocating EU funds in the northwest of the country.

The benefactor of this action was to be Mr. Šulc’s acquaintance Petr Kušnierz, the former head of ROP Severozápad, who was sentenced to prison in 2017 for influencing grant projects in the region.

According to Aktuálně the police have also asked for criminal charges against Mr. Kušnierz’s predecessor in the position Petr Vráblík, who they believe took part in manipulating the grants.

Both Mr. Šulc and Mr. Vráblík have denied any wrongdoing in their previous statements.

iHNed: CZ Group is considering entering the Prague stock exchange

The largest Czech small-arms manufacturer CZ Group - Česká zbrojovka could be preparing to enter the Prague stock exchange, the Czech news site iHNed reported on Wedneday, referring to its own sources. The President of the Group Holding, Lubomír Kovařík, told the site that the company is indeed considering a public sale of shares, but that these thoughts are only in their initial stage. He refused to offer any details on the size and timing of the transaction.

According to iHNed, the company could use the capital raised by share sales to boost its investment in the United States, where it is currently building a new factory and preparing to compete in the local defence tenders.

Stanislav Fiala named Architect of Year

Stanislav Fiala has been named Czech Architect of the Year for his contribution to architecture over the last five years. He received the award at Prague’s CAMP venue on Tuesday night.

Fiala has designed dozens of original buildings, including the Špork Palace on Hybernská in Prague and the DRN Palace on the city’s Národní.

Fairtrade product sales on the rise in Czech Republic

There has been a significant rise in Fairtrade product sales in the Czech Republic. The most significant increase was registered in cocoa beans sales, which grew by 155 percent compared to last year’s numbers, Hana Malíková, from the NGO Fairtrade Czech Republic and Slovakia, told journalists at a press conference on Wednesday.

Fairtrade cotton sales also faired particularly well, increasing by 317 percent. Meanwhile, coffee and tea sales rose by 37 and 24 percent respectively.

Fair trade is an institutional arrangement designed to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions. According to a recent survey, 52 percent of Czechs recognise the Fairtrade logo and nearly a fifth of shoppers bought a product with this label in the last quarter-year.

Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod

A unique grave of a second century warlord has been found in the south-east Moravian town of Uherský Brod. Aside from human remains, the grave’s contents include bronze crockery and a knife. It is the first discovery of this kind from the Roman period in the region, the Czech News Agency reports.

According to the head of the Archaeology Department at the Museum of Moravian Slovakia Tomáš Chrástek the grave was found by chance when, during the construction of a rainwater sewer, a digger operator noticed his bucket had become stuck on something. Archaeologists from the museum then identified the object as a bronze pan from the Roman period.

According to Mr. Chrástek the body belongs to an influential warlord, who possibly ruled over the wider region. The archaeologist notes that the objects with which the skeleton is buried were imports made on the territory of the Roman Empire.