Daily news summary
PM Sobotka approves ANO nominee Ivan Pilný as finance minister
Andrej Babiš said Wednesday that he had proposed the ANO member of parliament Ivan Pilný as the party’s nominee as finance minister. Pilný, the head of the house’s economic committee, should be an independent figure, Babiš said. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka later approved the nomination sayuing that he expected the president to dismiss Babiš when he returns from a trip to China. Sobotka had already rejected one ANO nominee, deputy finance minister Alena Schillerová, saying she was too close to Babiš and could not be counted on to investigate possible tax dodging by the ANO leader. A rejection of Pilný would have likely escalate a government crisis centred on the prime minister’s wish to sack Babiš as finance minister.
Avast says ransomware attack apparently earned little
Avast, the Czech-based worldwide anti-virus computer software company says that its monitoring suggests that the group behind the WannaCry ransomware attack from Friday have earned relatively little as a result. It said that it registered 260 bitcoin payments in response to the ransom demand, suggesting earnings from that selection of users of around 70,000 US dollars. Avast detected the attack on Friday and says its helped prevent around 250,000 attacks by the malware. It recommends not making any payment to try and recover dossiers and blocked software.
Special postage stamps commemorate 75th anniversary of Heydrich assassination attack
The Czech Post Office released on Wednesday a sheet of commemorative stamps to mark the 75th anniversary of the May 1942 attack on acting protector of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Heydrich. The stamps depict the aircraft that brought in the British-trained Czech and Slovak paratroopers selected for the attack as well as Heydrich’s damaged limousine and the machine gun and grenade used in the attack. The attack was the only assassination of a prominent Nazi during WWII and gave exiled president Edvard Beneš a lot of prestige among the allies at a time when Czech resistance effects were perceived as being half hearted.
Czech meteorite among few to have trajectory traced
Czech astronomers have said that a meteorite which fell to the Czech Republic in May last year is among a small handful where its trajectory through the solar system is known. The meteorite, named after the town near where it was found, Hradec Králové, was eventually found in a field of oilseed rape. The finder did not come forth immediately fearing that the find would be taken away, which is not the case. The meteorite has not been registered on a worldwide list, which greatly increases its potential value.
China Eastern expresses interest in Czech travel company, Prague airport
Chinese aircraft company China Eastern is interested in buying a stake in the Czech Republic’s biggest airport company operating Prague’s Václav Havel airport or one of the country’s main carriers, Travel Service. That emerged from talks between bosses of the Chinese airline and a Czech delegation headed by President Miloš Zeman, according to Czech transport minister Dan Ťok. The Czech side said that they registered the interest. The Chinese airline also indicated launching a new route between Prague and China and developing cargo services to the Czech capital.
Average mortgage rates in Czech Republic climb to 2.01 percent
Average mortgage rates in the Czech Republic have again increased. They reached 2.01 percent in April, up from 1.95 percent in March, according to information from market analysts Fincentrum. The figure for last month was the highest since February 2016. At the end of last year Czech mortgage rates hit a record low of 1.77 percent.
Czechs to face Russia Thursday in ice hockey worlds quarter-finals
The Czech Republic will face Russia in the quarter-finals of the World Ice Hockey Championships. The game will take place in Paris at 16:15 on Thursday. If the Czechs progress, they will move to Cologne for a semi-final clash against either Canada or Germany. Josef Jandač’s men lost their final group game on Tuesday, going down 3:1 to Switzerland.
The weather on Thursday will be sunny in the west and centre of the country with some clouds in the east. Top daily temperatures will range between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius.