Daily news summary
University: Minister Metnar’s thesis was not plagiarism
The shortcomings in Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar’s university thesis cannot be regarded as plagiarism, Ostrava University concluded after conducting an in-depth analysis of the work. A spokesman for the university said that while Metnar failed to include references to the sources he drew on in his 2004 university thesis, he did include the authors and works cited at the end of the work. Lubomír Metnar did not intentionally plagiarize the works of others, the university concluded.
The defence minister defended his work at a press briefing in Prague on Friday afternoon, saying he had no reason to resign from office. Two ministers from this cabinet have stepped down after facing accusations of plagiarism.
Babiš and other leaders to meet UK’s May in Salzburg
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, is set to meet his counterparts from the UK, Austria and Estonia in the Austrian city of Salzburg on Friday afternoon. Mr. Babiš, host Sebastian Kurz and Juri Ratas are expected to discuss migration and issues surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union with Theresa May, who has taken personal charge of Brexit talks.
Friday’s meeting takes place during a music festival in Salzburg and the leaders are due to attend a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the evening.
Parliamentary commission questioning former political leaders over OKD privatization
Former prime ministers Bohuslav Sobotka and Jiří Rusnok, as well as former industry minister Miroslav Grégr have been questioned by a parliamentary committee investigating the privatization of the OKD coal mining company.
Bohuslav Sobotka was finance minister at the time of its privatization and he in particular has been a target of criticism for the controversial sell-off of state shares in the company. The company was acquired by the firm Karbon Invest in 2004 and later sold to billionaire businessman Zdeněk Bakala. It later went bankrupt.
Sobotka said the sale to Karbon Invest had been perfectly in order, adding that he was later taken aback by the re-sale of the company to Bakala.
Czech Republic once again net recipient of EU funds
The Czech Republic received 10.4 billion crowns more from the EU budget than it paid in dues in the first half of 2018, according to a Czech Finance Ministry report released on Friday.
It received the equivalent of 32.9 billion crown from the EU budget while contributing 22.5 million.
The country is one of many EU member states that has been receiving more from the EU budget than it contributes.
Lone wolf sighted in Krkonoše mountains
A lone wolf was captured on camera in the National Park of the Krkonoše mountains, environmentalists report. They say this is further proof of the fact that wolves may be returning to the area after 150 years.
The head of the park Jiří Flousek says that so far there appears to be evidence of migrating individuals, who are crossing the border from Poland. Wolves disappeared from Czech territory in the mid-19th century.
Sparta lose to Spartak Subotica in Europa League qualifier
Sparta Prague have a hill to climb if they are to continue in the Europa League after defeat in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie against Spartak Subotica. The Czech side lost 2:0 to the Serbian club in Novi Sad on Thursday. The second leg takes place in a week’s time.
If Sparta do get through, they will take part in the third and final qualifying round for Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Saturday should be partly cloudy with rain in places and day temperatures between 29 and 33 degrees Celsius.