Daily news summary


Czech MEP denies involvement in financial fraud

Czech Communist Party MEP Miloslav Ransdorf, who was arrested is a Swiss bank on suspicion of fraud on Friday, has been released and is on his way back to the Czech Republic, the head of his office Helena Sucha told the ctk news agency. MEP Ransdorf, who contacted his office, has allegedly denied involvement in financial fraud, saying that he did not have an account in the bank in Zurich where he was arrested along with three Slovak nationals and had not been trying to withdraw 350 million euros as Swiss police sources reported. Ransdorf said he had been detained in Zurich for administrative reasons until Saturday when he had been given permission to leave the country. The MEP said he was on his way back to Prague and would provide an explanation for the affair on Facebook immediately upon his return. Two of the Slovak nationals have likewise been released; one remains in detention.

Czech PM: Europe must help refugees but not at own risk

Europe must help refugees but not at the cost of its own security, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said at the weekend conference of Slovakia’s ruling party Smer-SD. The Czech head of government said the migrant crisis was a challenge that required a strong and decisive Europe, which would do its duty to those in need but at the same time take effective measures for its own security. He said the migrant wave must be regulated on Schengens’s outer borders and securing them must be a joint EU effort. The Czech prime minister rejected the notion of a “small Schengen” of a few select states, saying that such a plan would lead to the expulsion of those states which were most committed to defending the common open space.

Foreign Ministry issues travel warning for Iraq

The Czech Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning for Iraq, advising citizens to put off all non-essential trips in view of the heightened risk of terrorist attacks. A statement published on the ministry’s web page says that the operations of Islamic state militants are creating a highly volatile and dangerous situation in the north and north-west of the country as well as the previously relatively safe area of Iraqi Kurdistan. Citizens who decide to make the journey despite the risks are advised to register with the ministry’s travel data base DROZD.

Czech Republic could host multinational aviation training centre after 2018

The plan for the Czech Republic to host a multinational aviation training centre for allied forces could be implemented after 2018, the head of the Czech Airforce Libor Štefánik told deputies in the lower house during a seminar on the development of the Czech airforce. The plan for the Czech Republic to create and lead a multinational aviation centre for allied pilots within the Smart Defence initiative to share capabilities was approved at a NATO summit in Chicago in 2012. The Czech Republic has been a lead country of the HIP Helicopter Task Force Initiative since 2009 and significantly contributes to the training of Afghan helicopter personnel and American aviation instructors. The United States, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Sweden have have already declared interest in participating in the project. The centre should enable training for supersonic jets in due time.

Education Ministry to cover cost of school lunches for socially-disadvantaged children

The Education Ministry will cover the cost of school lunches for socially-disadvantaged children, the ministry said on its web page.The ministry has earmarked 30 million crowns for this purpose in 2016 and will cooperate with non-governmental organizations in implementing the project.The ministry also wants to place greater emphasis on the quality of school lunches and sports activities for children.

Lidl planning big investments into its Czech stores

The food chain Lidl is planning to invest close to ten billion crowns into new stores, warehouses and modernizing its facilities in the Czech Republic, the ctk news agency reports citing company sources. Over that time Lidl should create around 1,500 new jobs in the country. Lidl entered the Czech market in 2003 and employs over 4,000 people.

November one of the hottest on record

The month of November was one of the warmest on record, the Czech Meteorological Office reported. Temperatures throughout the month were 3 to 3.5 degrees higher than the long term average. Records were broken at monitoring stations around the country as November highs reached 18 to 20 degrees Celsius several times in the first half of the month. The warmest day of the month was November 10 when the Znojmo monitoring station recorded 20.8 degrees Celsius. Records date back to 1752.