Daily news summary


Russian embassy in Prague calls Czech reaction to events in Moscow “biased”

The Russian embassy in Prague has criticized the reaction of the Czech Foreign Ministry to the weekend police crack-down against demonstrators in Moscow.

On its Facebook page, the embassy called on Czech officials to refrain from adopting a "selective and biased" stand to human rights issues, noting that Prague showed no such concern with regard to crack-downs on demonstrations in the US, Great Britain or France.

The Czech Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it was concerned by the mass arrests of peaceful protesters in Moscow and urged the Russian authorities to respect fundamental human rights.

Riot police in the Russian capital arrested some 600 people on Saturday in an attempt to suppress a protest rally that had been banned by authorities. It was the latest in a series of protests, triggered by a refusal to let opposition candidates stand in Russia’s parliamentary elections.

Construction of new dwellings on increase in Czech Republic

The number of construction projects launched in the Czech Republic in the first half of 2019 was the highest for the period since 2008. Work began on almost 6,000 new apartments between the start of January and the end of June this year, according to official figures released on Tuesday. Work began on 2.3 percent more family houses in the first half of this year than in the same period in 2018.

In Prague construction began on almost 2,000 new apartments, 75 percent more than in the first six months of last year. One-third of new construction projects of that kind are in the capital.

However, a representative of developers Central Group said around 10,000 new flats a year could easily be sold in Prague.

Protesters block entrance to Environment Ministry

Around 20 activists held a protest at the Ministry of the Environment in Prague on Tuesday morning. They blocked the entrance to the building and unfurled a banner suggesting department chief Richard Brabec was the “minister of environmental failure”.

Demonstrators from the groups Extinction Rebellion CR and Limity jsme my said they wished to highlight what they called the Czech government’s irresponsible approach to climate issues.

The protestors handed out leaflets saying the Czech Republic’s outmoded usage of coal was contributing to the climate crisis. They said recent approval for extending extraction at the Bílina mine was in direct contravention of the county’s international commitments.

Industrial output weakens after four months of expansion

Industrial output in the Czech Republic weakened by 3.8 percent in June following four months of growth, according to official figures released on Tuesday. Lower auto production has been given as one of the main reasons for the downturn. The manufacture of metal structures and fabricated metal products also declined.

By contrast, the production of rubber and plastic products, computers and other electronics and pharmaceuticals increased in the Czech Republic in June.

Zeman spokesman Ovčáček to get own TV show

The spokesman of President Miloš Zeman, Jiří Ovčáček, is to get his own television show. The programme, named Jiří Ovčáček’s Talk Show, will begin airing on TV Barrandov in the autumn. The station already hosts a regular interview programme with Mr. Zeman presented by its owner, Jaromír Soukup.

Mr. Ovčáček, who worked for the Communist Party newspaper Hálo noviny, has been with Mr. Zeman since 2013. He is known for making inflammatory comments on Twitter, saying his main account is private despite the fact it is named Presidential Spokesperson.

Strýcová named WTA Breakthrough of Month at 33

Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová has been voted WTA Breakthrough of the Month for July after enjoying the best Grand Slam of her career at the age of 33. She beat four seeds on route to the semi-finals at Wimbledon, the first time she had reached the last four at a major tournament.

In addition Strýcová and Hsieh Su-wei won the ladies doubles at the All England Club, a result that left the Czech veteran world doubles number one.

Weather forecast

It should be partly sunny with the chance of storms in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Temperatures will reach up to 27 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should range from 25 to 29 degrees Celsius for the remainder of the week.