Daily news summary
State to take legal action over oil reserves held in Germany
The Administration of State Material Reserves plans to file a criminal complaint against an unidentified perpetrator in Germany in connection with Viktoriagruppe, a company that administered some Czech strategic oil reserves in Germany but went bankrupt. Speaking on a TV debate show on Sunday, the agency's head, Pavel Švagr, said the statute of limitations concerning alleged fraud in the matter was approaching and action needed to be taken. The Czech Republic had oil valued at CZK 1.5 billion with Viktoriagruppe and is now in conflict with the insolvency administrator regarding ownership rights.
Zeman rejects call to distance himself from demonstration
President Miloš Zeman says Czechs live in a free society and can demonstrate if they like. He made the comment in response to a call from Civic Democrats leader Petr Fiala to distance himself from a demonstration in his support in central Prague. Around 1,000 participants in Saturday's event chanted such slogans as The Czech Republic for Czechs and We don't want multiculturalism. Mr. Zeman said he wished Mr. Fiala enough support to have demonstrations backing him. The Czech president has been criticised by the UN commissioner for human rights and others for his comments on migrants and Muslims. A recent opinion poll suggested 41 percent of voters would give him their backing if he stood again.
Sobotka welcomes "historic" Paris environment deal
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has described the deal on the environment reached in Paris as an historic moment. The pact – which from 2020 will follow the Kyoto protocol – aims to cut global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius and was agreed by nearly 200 states in the French capital. Mr. Sobotka said the deal satisfied all of the Czech Republic's wishes going into the process. It is important, however, that the historical compromise be turned into action in the face of major challenges, he said.
Car production up 4.5 percent in first 11 months of year
Car production in the Czech Republic grew by 4.5 percent year on year in the first 11 months of 2015, according to freshly released industry figures. Total output between the start of January and the end of November was 1.21 million. Škoda Auto remained the biggest producer with almost 700,000, while a joint Toyota, Peugeot and Citroen plant recorded the biggest increase in output with 9.7 percent. Bus production grew by 30 percent in the first 11 months of 2015. Car production is set to reach an all-time record for the year.
Prague cinema Kino 64 U Hradeb could be revived under new plan
The former Prague cinema Kino 64 U Hradeb could be revived under fresh proposals, the Czech News Agency reported. The long-abandoned building on Mostecká St., a short distance from Charles Bridge, could become a new centre for the film and video arts. The initiator of the renovation, Jan Čep, said concrete plans would be unveiled next spring. Opened in the mid 1960s, Kino 64 U Hradeb was the most modern cinema in the city at the time of the Velvet Revolution. It has been closed since 2002.
Čech equals EPL clean sheets record
Goalkeeper Petr Čech has equalled the record for number of clean sheets in the English Premier League. The Czech's shutout in a 2:0 win for Arsenal on Sunday was his 169th in the competition, matching the record set by the now retired David James. Čech, who is 33, achieved the vast majority of those clean sheets with Chelsea, who he helped to a great number of trophies over an 11-year-period. He recently also equalled the Czech international caps record.
Czech manager Vrba has mixed feelings over Euro 2016 draw
The Czech national soccer team manager says he has mixed feelings about Saturday's draw for the group stage of Euro 2016, in which his charges will play Spain, Turkey and Croatia. Pavel Vrba said that was a tough group but that he had feared being drawn in the same one as Germany and Northern Ireland, two teams that will be in the Czechs' qualifying group for the next World Cup; if the Czechs met them now it would be a kind of prelude, he said. The Czech Republic have qualified for the European Championship for the sixth time in succession.