Daily news summary


Cyber security watchdog: Other state likely behind hacking of ministry

An attack on the computers of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs was most likely carried out by another state, according to the National Cyber and Information Security Service. The agency informed the Senate’s Committee for Defence and Security of its findings and on Tuesday committee members called on the government to ensure that the National Cyber and Information Security Service devoted all the necessary attention and resources to the issue.

Deník N reported that a cyber-attack on the Czech Foreign Ministry carried out in June was most probably the work of Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. The news website said this had been confirmed to it by a number of very well placed sources.

Schillerová promises more money for ministries in 2020 budget

The minister of finance, ANO appointee Alena Schillerová, says more money will be available to individual government departments than previously planned. The prognosis for expansion of gross domestic product has improved while savings have also been made in servicing the state debt, Czech Television reported.

Ms. Schillerová says the 2020 state budget could be up to CZK 10 billion higher than previously projected. This will be clear by the end of August, she said.

The finance chief has already agreed deals with a number of cabinet colleagues on their ministries’ budgets for next year.

The Social Democrats, the junior party in the coalition, are pushing for more money for certain areas.

Okamura ordered to apologise for claiming news site was linked to Soros

The Prague Municipal Court has ordered Tomio Okamura of the Freedom and Direct Democracy party to apologise over making false claims against a news website. In a Facebook post Mr. Okamura said that HlídacíPes.org was connected financially to the billionaire George Soros. He also called the website “fraudulent” and referred to its staff as a “media cesspool”.

The Freedom and Direct Democracy chief has appealed the verdict.

Mr. Okamura made the Facebook post after HlídacíPes wrote in December 2017 that he had failed to make public the sale of his share in a Prague restaurant.

Poll: Trust in President Zeman remains steady

Trust in President Miloš Zeman remains virtually unchanged from last year, suggests a poll by the STEM agency. In 2018 some 56 percent of those surveyed said they trusted the head of state; this year the figure was 57 percent.

The over 60s are more likely to approve of President Zeman, with more than three-thirds of respondents in the poll saying he enjoyed their trust. Among those aged 29 or younger the figure is 43 percent, a fall from last year.

Czech grain harvest set to outdo 2018

The Czech Republic’s grain harvest should be 8 percent higher this year than in 2018, according to official estimates released on Tuesday. When it comes to cereals, both yield per hectare and total area sowing area have increased on last year.

By contrast the oilseed rape harvest is expected to fall by 15.3 percent this year. Earlier estimates for both crops had been higher.

2019 burčák now on sale in South Moravia

The first burčák of 2019 has gone on sale in South Moravia, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. Among those offering the fermented young wine is Miloslav Machuča from Valtice, who began selling it on Friday. Mr. Machuča said this year’s grapes were of high quality and in plentiful supply, meaning that 2019 burčák is also good.

The appearance of burčák, which is fizzy and can resemble fruit juice, is linked to the start of the country’s grape harvesting season.

Weather forecast

It should be cloudy with some sunny spells in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 21 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs could climb to up to 30 degrees Celsius at the weekend.