The Prague Municipal Court has given Jana Nečasová, a former chief prime ministerial aide, an 18-month suspended sentence for abusing classified information from the BIS domestic intelligence agency. The court handed a nine-month suspended sentence to influential businessman Ivo Rittig, who was accused of receiving information that the BIS was looking into his activities from Mrs. Nečasová. Mr. Rittig’s lawyer David Michal received the same punishment as him while another defendant was found innocent. Jana Nečasová’s arrest in 2013 helped bring down the government of the PM Petr Nečas, whom she later married.
Miloš Zeman may announce his decision to run for a second term as Czech president in March, Parliamentilisty.cz has reported. Mr. Zeman’s spokesman, Jiří Ovčáček, told the website that his office was at present planning a major news conference for the president on March 10, two days after the fourth anniversary of his inauguration in 2013. Mr. Zeman has been hinting for some time that he would make an announcement and people around him have been suggesting in recent months that he would stand again, the news site Lidovky.cz said. The next two-round presidential elections are set to take place in January next year.
MP Pavlína Nytrová quit the Social Democrats in mid-December, she announced on Tuesday. The politician said she no longer wanted to be a member of a party that she categorised as being corrupt at all levels. Ms. Nytrová is known for suggesting during a lower house debate on registered partnerships that homosexuals would attempt to legalise sex with children. She will remain in the Chamber of Deputies until the end of its current term later this year.
Czechs borrowed a record amount in mortgage loans last year, iHned.cz reported on Tuesday. The news website said market leader Hypoteční banka had estimated the total volume of such borrowings for 2016 at CZK 225 billion – an increase of 22 percent on the previous year. Hypoteční banka attributed the growth to the healthy economy, long-term low interest rates and new legislation concerning consumer borrowing that took effect at the start of December.
Consumer prices in the Czech Republic grew by 0.7 percent in 2016, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Czech Statistics Office. That was the highest rate of inflation in three years. In 2015 consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent. In December they climbed by 2 percent year-on-year from the 1.5 percent seen in November; analysts say this confirms that the ending of the central bank’s weak crown policy will not prevent inflation this year.
There should be clear spells and snow in some parts of the country on Wednesday, with temperatures expected to reach a maximum of -5 degrees Celsius. A daytime high of 2 degrees Celsius and cloudy conditions are due on Thursday.
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Former US ambassador to Prague, William Luers, on what it was like to serve in Communist Czechoslovakia