Daily news summary
Czech National Bank raises basic interest rates to 0.75 PCT
The Czech National Bank announced Thursday that it had increased its basic interest rate by 0.25 percentage points to 0.75 percent.
The move had been widely expected with the crown strengthening ahead of the announcement. It moved to its highest level against the euro since the so-called low crown policy was ended last year before retreating slightly.
The board already decided twice last year to raise interest rates by the same margin, the last decision coming at the start of November.
Bank governor Jiří Rusnok has indicated in the past that a series of gradual interest rate rises can be expected as inflation picks up in the country and economic growth remains strong.
Czech decision on funding new nuclear plants seen by May
A government decision on how to fund the construction of new nuclear reactors in the country should come in April or May.
That deadline was given by the head of the lower house of parliament’s economic committee, Radim Fiala, on a visit to the Dukovany nuclear power plant which continues on Thursday.
The ministry of industry and trade’s standing committee on nuclear issues said earlier this week that it expected the various scenarios for funding new power plants to be prepared by the end of March in time for its next meeting.
Jaromír Jágr to play in next fixture for Kladno Knights
In ice hockey, Jaromír Jágr confirmed that he will take the ice for the Kladno Knights on Saturday in the first division against Benátky nad Jizerou.
Jágr, who returned from Canada on Wednesday, took part in training with his new team for the first time on Thursday. He said the around 45 minute session hurt him more than expected.
Jágr said he is keen to make a start for his home town club as soon as possible so that he can take part in the end of season play offs for promotion to the top Czech league if they get that far. Jágr, 45, returned to the Czech Republic after his stint playing for the Calgary Flames in the NHL came to an end.
Czech tax freedom delayed until June 23
Tax freedom day in the Czech Republic will fall on June 23, that’s the latest it has ever been according to the calculations of consulting company Deloitte.
The calculation means that citizens will in effect work 174 to cover tax payments before they can start to earn for themselves. Last year, tax freedom day fell one day earlier on June 22. Tax freedom day with this year fall earlier in Poland and Slovakia but later in Hungary.
Movie featuring real presidential candidates enters distribution
The comedy film Prezident Blaník, which features scenes involving real candidates from the recent Czech presidential elections, enters cinema distribution around the country on Thursday.
The makers of Prezident Blaník shot scenes at presidential debates and during celebrations on November 17, with the film’s fictional characters – headed by political fixer Tonda Blaník – interacting with candidates for the post of head of state and several other figures from Czech public life.
The movie is an offshoot of Kancelář Blaník, a regular political satire that found large audiences on the website Stream.cz.
Top court to consider complaint against state purchase of Lety site
The Constitutional Court is to consider a complaint against the approval of the purchase by the state, of the site of a WWII concentration camp for Roma, Lidové noviny reported on Thursday. Bohuslav Sobotka’s then government agreed on the move in August last year. The site at Lety in South Bohemia is now home to a pig farm.
Experts say it is very rare for the Constitutional Court to hear a petition against a government decision. Lawyer Jan Kysela, a constitutional specialist, said it was hard to imagine the complaint succeeding.
The Nazis imprisoned nearly 1,300 Roma at the Lety concentration camp between 1940 and 1943. Over 300, including almost 250 children, died there, while more than 500 more were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
Sparta Prague gets new Romanian keeper
In football, Czech club Sparta Prague have announced a deal with English club Newcastle United under which Slovak goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka will leave on a free transfer to the end of the season.
A decision will then be made about his future. Sparta Prague will get Romanian keeper Florian Nita from Bucharest club FCSB under terms which have not been revealed.
The weather on Friday will be cloudy with sunny spells especially in the north-west of the country. Top temperatures will range between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.