Daily news summary


Brno expresses regret for post-war expulsion of Germans

The Brno council has made a declaration of regret for events in the city at the end of May 1945 when German citizens were expelled as part of post-WWII reprisals. Around 20,000 Germans were forced to march from Brno to Austria at that time, with around a tenth dying of exhaustion along the way. After the passing of the Declaration of Reconciliation and Common Future on Tuesday evening, the mayor of the Czech Republic's second city, Petr Vokřál, said he and his fellow councillors hoped all past wrongs could be forgiven.

IMF praises Czech economy, sees 3.0 percent growth this year

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted Czech growth would reach 3.0 percent this year but slowdown in the mid-term to around 2.25 percent. A previous estimate saw growth this year at 2.5 percent. Inflation would be above zero this year before rising towards 2.0% in 2016, the report unveiled in Prague added. The overall tone of the report said that the foundations for strong growth were being laid but criticised aspects of the labour market, tax administration, and public spending. The IMF head of mission Costas Christou said that steps should be taken rapidly to enshrine the target for the structural deficit not to exceed 1.0 in national legislation.

Norwegian care authority gives ultimatum to Czech mother

Norwegian authorities have said they will not allow a Czech mother to see her two children if she does not agree for adoption procedures for them to go forward. The latest twist in developments around the mother Eva Michaláková was made public by the Czech Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs on Wednesday. It said the Norwegian move was at odds with the assurances which they had previously given Prague. Czech minister Michaela Marksová described the latest step as surprising and said she would take steps to oppose it. The brothers are current living in Norway with separate foster parents and access by their mother severely restricted.

Škoda Praha wins near 9 billion crown contract in Montenegro

Czech engineering company Škoda Praha on Wednesday said it had won a more than 9 billion crown contract to deliver a 250 MW turbine for a coal-fired power plant in Montenegro. The Czech company won the contract in competition with nine other companies. Škoda Praha’s long term involvement in the Balkans and the terms of its offer were cited as among the main reasons for landing the contract for Pljevlja in the north of the country. Part of the work will be sub-contracted to Slovak and local companies.

Respected deputy foreign minister to quit post

Deputy foreign minister Rudolf Jindrák is to quit his post in a few weeks, Czech media report. According to the daily Lidové Noviny he is being lined up to replace Livia Klausová as the Czech ambassador to Bratislava. Jindrák was formerly ambassador in Berlin. Klausová faces a problem because the recently passed civil service law means that she is to old to continue in the position. When the issue was first raised, it was suggested that a way would be found to circumvent the new law.

Prague court stiffens sentence on HIV man who had unprotected sex with partners

Prague’s High Court on Wednesday imposed a six year jail sentence on a man who knowing had unprotected sex with six other men without telling them he had HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS. The original sentence from a Liberec court on 37 year old Rudolf Novák was a conditional sentence of three years. The Prague court was told that Novák knew of his condition since 2001 and had previously been given a jail sentence for having unprotected sex with men.

ANO minister Babiš dismisses Social Democrat deputy Pros

The ANO minister of finance, Andrej Babiš, has dismissed the Social Democrat deputy minister for international relations, Martin Pros. Mr. Pros held the post as part of an arrangement in which the coalition partners have deputies at ministries they do not head. The Ministry of Finance said in a new release on Wednesday that Mr. Babiš had lost trust in Mr. Pros, who previously called on the Czech National Bank to investigate whether an important banking rate was rigged, making the move without the minister of finance's knowledge.

Mystery still surrounds Czech Eurojackpot winner

The Czech winner of a record 2.5 billion crown lottery jackpot has still to come forward four days after the winning number was announced. The winning ticket was bought in the Pardubice region only one day ahead of the Eurojackpot draw. The prospective billionaire still has 30 days to come forward and claim the prize. The biggest Eurojackpot winner until now was a Finn who pocketed the equivalent of 1.7 billion crowns in the Europe-wide lottery.

Vladimír Růžíčka signs deal to coach Chomutov Pirates

Czech national ice hockey coach, Vladimír Růžíčka has signed a 10 year contract with the Czech team the Chomutov Pirates to be their head coach. Růžíčka will still retain his position with the national team. Růžíčka had been stressing for some time that he was seeking a more hands on daily post with a league team. Jobs with Czech teams Litvínov and Slavia Prague had been mooted, as had previously a move to Russian team Omsk. The Pirates were promoted to the top ice hockey league at the end of the last season. Betislav Kopřiva who helped the team to promotion will be one of Růžíčka’s assistants.

Calgary Flames sign Czech defenceman Nakládal

In ice hockey, the Canadian club the Calgary Flames announced they had signed Czech defenceman Jakub Nakládal on a one year contract. Nakládal last season played for Finnish club Turku. The 27 year old Czech was rated one of the best Czech defencemen in the recent world championships with five assists in 10 games. Other NHL club, Chicago and Carolina, were also reported to be interested in signing Nakládal.