• 08/18/2022

    Miloslav Stašek, who is currently state secretary at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is to become the country’s ambassador to the United States on September 1. The appointment was announced by Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský on Thursday.

    The country’s present ambassador to Washington, Hynek Kmoníček, is to become Czechia’s envoy to Vietnam.

    A former deputy Czech ambassador to NATO, Petr Chalupecký, will take over at the country’s new embassy in Qatar.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    Prime Minister Petr Fiala says that the head of the civilian intelligence service, Petr Mlejnek, helped to shed light on a criminal case centred on Prague’s transport authority before an investigation was launched and outside that investigation. He made the comment on Thursday. Mr. Fiala also said the minister of the interior, Vít Rakušan, who gave Mr. Mlejnek the post, still had his trust.

    Opposition leader Andrej Babis has called for Mr. Rakušan’s dismissal for appointing Mr. Mlejnek, who has been linked to a businessman named Michael Redl accused of being the ringleader in the corruption case.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    Czech President Miloš Zeman made a planned visit to Prague’s Central Military Hospital on Thursday, a spokesperson for the head of state said. How long Mr. Zeman will remain at the facility has not been made public but a hospital representative said it would be a short-term stay.

    Last year Mr. Zeman spent 48 days at the hospital after being admitted with complications to a chronic illness which doctors said was a liver condition.

    Following a medical report that he was unable to fully carry out his duties as president some politicians said he should be temporarily stripped of his powers.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    Opposition leader Andrej Babiš of ANO has sent a letter to the prime minister, Petr Fiala, calling for the removal of the interior minister, Vít Rakušan. Mr. Babiš says that Mr. Rakušan must go because he appointed Petr Mlejnek head of the civilian intelligence service, despite his connections to Michael Redl – the influential businessman is suspecting of involvement in a criminal case centred on Prague’s transport authority.

    Seznam Zprávy reported that the police’s internal affairs unit were looking into whether Mr. Mlejnek had supplied sensitive information to Mr. Redl.

    Interior Minister Rakušan says he sees no reason to remove Mr. Mlejnek.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    In the first seven months of this year most electricity was generated in Czechia using brown coal, which accounted for 38.4 percent of production. This was followed closely by nuclear power, which was used in the production of 36.7 percent of electricity, according to the website oEnergetice.cz, cited by the Czech News Agency on Thursday.

    Gas was used to generate 7.4 of the electricity created, while the next most important source was solar power, with 3.7 percent.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    It should be mainly overcast in Czechia on Friday, with an average high temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. More cloudy weather is expected at the weekend.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    Czechia caused an upset at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Edmonton by beating the United States 4:2 in the quarter finals on Wednesday night. The Americans were strong favourites and had not lost any of their previous games in the competition.

    Forward Jiří Kulich notched up one goal and two assists for the Czechs, while goaltender Tomáš Suchánek made 28 saves to help the team into the semi-finals, where they will face Canada on Friday.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 08/18/2022

    Former prime minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš would win the first round of Czechia’s presidential elections with 25.5 percent of the vote, according to a Median poll published on Wednesday.

    Mr Babiš was followed by retired general and former chairman of the NATO Military Committee Petr Pavel, who won 21 percent of the hypothetical vote. However, General Pavel would beat Mr Babiš if the two faced each other off in a second round of the elections, with Pavel being preferred by 59.5 percent of respondents and the ANO chairman by 40.5 percent. Nevertheless, a quarter of the people who were surveyed said that they were still unsure about who they would vote for in the second round.

    Polling in joint third place are Senator Marek Hilšer and economist Danuše Nerudova, who both received 7.5 percent of the hypothetical vote.

    Median conducted the poll at the turn of July and August.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 08/18/2022

    The Czech government has decided not file an action at the EU Court of Justice against the European Commission (EC) in response to the EC’s issuing of a EUR 3.2 million fine for Czechia in response to errors that were made in agricultural subsidies, the country’s agriculture minister, Zdeněk Nekula, announced on Tuesday.

    Part of the fine is a EUR 30,606 sanction for Andrej Babiš’s conflict of interest, as a Commission audit from 2019 found him to still be able to influence the agricultural holding Agrofert that he once owned while he was prime minister.

    Agrofert spokeswoman Lucie Bukovanská reacted to the decision by saying that the company was surprised that the Czech government is willing to sacrifice the interests of Czechia for the sake of agreeing to a sanction on its political opponent worth around 1 percent of the total fine.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 08/17/2022

    The Czech school system is still having difficulties with sufficiently developing its brightest students, representatives of the Czech School Inspectorate said at a press conference on Wednesday. While elementary and high schools officially register around 42,000 gifted and 1,000 exceptionally gifted students, inspectors believe that this number is closer to 180,000.

    Teachers often do not know how to recognise talent in their students or do not know how to support it, according to the inspectorate.

    The conclusions are based upon a survey conducted among 3,300 elementary and 1,020 high schools, as well as upon more than 1,000 school visits conducted by the agency.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe

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