Daily news summary

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President Zeman to meet with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during visit to China

Czech president Miloš Zeman is set to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during his visit to China in May this year. He is also scheduled to attend a conference related to the New Silk Road project, president’s new chief foreign policy adviser Rudolf Jindrák told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. He also said the diplomats are now negotiating the date of a meeting between the Czech President and his US counterpart Donald Trump.

Justice Minister: Czech Republic needs new prisons to tackle overcrowding

The Czech Republic needs to build new prisons to tackle overcrowding, Justice Minister Robert Pelikán said in a debate on the commercial TV Prima on Sunday, adding that the new facilities should also improve conditions for working with inmates. Mr Pelikán said the ministry has already selected a number of localities but didn’t specify any particular localities. At the moment, there are around 22,800 inmates in the country’s prisons, which operate at about ten percent above their capacity.

Nearly 140,000 businesses part of electronic cash registers system

Around 138,000 businesses are now using the electronic cash registers system, according to the data released by the country’ tax bureau, the Financial Administration. So far, entrepreneurs have issued around 663 million receipts and the finance ministry officials have so far levied 83 fines to totalling 492,000 crowns. The system, under which businesses’ sales are relayed to an online taxation database in real time, entered its first phase in December 2016 and as of March this year, it also applies to retail and wholesale sellers. The third and fourth phases affecting business in fields such as transport, agriculture and craft production, will be launched in 2018. The measure was introduced by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš to counter the grey economy and tax fraud.

Number of passengers handled at Prague Airport grew thousandfold in 80 years

The number of passengers serviced at Prague’s Václav Havel, formerly called Ruzyně, has increased thousandfold since its establishment 80 years ago. During the first year of its operation in 1937, the airport handled 13,000 passengers, while today the figure stands at 13 million, the airport’s spokesperson Marika Janoušková told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. In 1937, Ruzyně airport employed around 400 people, including aviation personnel, while at the moment, there are more than 15,000 employees. The first aircraft to land at the airport was a Douglas DC-2 on a 9-am domestic flight from Piešťany to Prague via Zlín and Brno and the airport’s main runway was put into operation in 1963.

Sparta fans march through Prague ahead of derby with Slavia

Some 500 fans of Prague football club Sparta took part in a march on Sunday afternoon hours ahead of the club's derby with crosstown club Slavia. The march took them from Prague's Letná plain across the Old Town Square to Slavia's Eden stadium. The event was monitored by the police who apprehended several people for illegal handling of pyrotechnics. Up to 20,000 spectators are expected to attend the game, which is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Large fire breaks out in forest in South Moravia

Twenty fire-fighter units are fighting a blaze in a forrest near Hostěnice in South Moravia. A third degree fire-alert is in place, a spokesman for the fire service David Jirouš told the Czech News Agency. The fire broke out in a difficult to reach spot and spread to an area of 22 hectares. The situation is further complicated by lack of water.

Above average rainfall expected in April

After an unusually hot weekend, temperatures are expected to drop next week. The rest of the month should bring average temperatures for the time of year, the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute said in its regular four-week forecast issued on Saturday. Next week, temperatures are expected to hover around 12 degrees Celsius, while in the following three-week period they can reach up to 18 degrees Celsius. Rainfall should be slightly above average for the month of April.