Daily news summary
President praises state attorney for defying media opinion in case involving PM
Czech President Miloš Zeman has said he holds Jaroslav Šaroch, the state attorney who halted the prosecution of PM Andrej Babiš over suspected EU subsidy fraud, in high esteem, praising him for having the courage to defy the "the media gang” hounding the prime minister and change his position on the case. In an interview for commercial TV Barrandov, Mr. Zeman said Šaroch's report on the case should be available to the public.
The Prague Municipal State Attorney's Office said on Monday that Šaroch had changed his legal opinion on the case and that his superior is now checking whether the change is substantiated and in accordance with law.
Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman and Jusice Minister Marie Benešová, have both criticized the approach of the Prague state attorney’s office toward the case. In an interview for Denik N, Mrs. Benešová said the prosecutors’ work was incomprehensible and sent a bad signal about the state of the system of state attorneys.
Pirates want Czechia to join Poland’s complaint against EU copyright directive
The Czech Pirate Party has called on Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek to join Poland’s complaint against the recently approved European Union’s copyright directive.
The Pirates are mainly against the so-called automated filtering of social media platforms, which they say is inaccurate and infringes on freedom of expression.
The EU Council officially approved the directive in April, and it went into force on June 7. Meanwhile, EU member states have to produce their own laws to implement it.
Czech industrial growth slightly up in July
The Czech Republic’s year-on-year industrial production figures grew by 0.1 percent in July, factoring in the difference of two working days, the Czech Statists Office reported on Friday. Unadjusted, the increase was 5.6 percent.
The main drivers of growth were the automobile industry, electrical equipment production and manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products.
The country’s external trade balance in goods ended with a surplus of 0.1 billion crowns in July, compared to a deficit of 8.2 billion in the same month last year. Exports grew year-on-year by 8.4 percent to 289.5 billion crowns and imports by 5.1 percent to 289.5 billion crowns.
Czech archaeologists discover remains of medieval forest
Czech archaeologists have discovered the remains of a medieval forest near the village of Koječín in the region of Havlíčkův Brod in eastern Bohemia.
The largely pine tree forest was felled in the mid-13th century to give way to silver mining and the uncovered trunks bear visible marks from saws, axes and burning.
According to Petr Hrubý of the Archaeology Institute of Masaryk University in Brno, which carried out the research, very few such discoveries were made in Central Europe.
Road fatalities caused by speeding on the rise in Czech Republic
The number of deaths on Czech roads caused by speeding has started to increase, according to the data released by the country’s Centre for Transport Research on Friday.
Last year, 218 people died in accidents involving speeding, which is an increase by one fifth on the previous year. The trend is set to continue, with 104 fatalities recorded between the start of January and the end of July.
Speeding is one of the main causes of traffic accidents in the Czech Republic and claims the highest number of fatalities.
Woman fined over vandalism on top of Sněžka mountain
A woman was fined 5,000 crowns for an act of vandalism at the top of the Czech Republic’s highest mountain, Sněžka, the spokesman for the Krkonoše National Park informed on Friday.
The woman, who created a mandala on the mountaintop using stones and paint, voluntarily turned herself in to the authorities. She has also promised to take part in voluntary clean-up operations in the park.
According to the Krkonoše park management, the mandala could have damaged the fragile ecosystem of the alpine tundra.
Saturday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional rain in most parts of the country. Daytime highs will range between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.