News Amazon launches construction of distribution centre in Dobrovíz
The US online retailer Amazon officially launched the construction of its distribution centre in Dobrovíz near Prague on Friday. The centre, which should be completed by the end of June 2015, will create some 2,000 jobs. Amazon was originally also planning to build another distribution centre in a Brno industrial zone, but the plans have been rejected by Brno City Hall over zoning issues. The US Internet giant is now looking for other locality in Central and Eastern Europe.
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Jana Vildemutzováof the ANO party was elected the head of the influential national association of regional governors on Thursday. The newly elected governor of the Karlovy Vary region will replace Social Democrat Michal Hašek, who failed to defend his position as leader of the South Moravian region.
Jiří Lang has been put forward as the new head of the National Security Office. The former chief of the country’s counter-intelligence service is set to replace Dušan Navrátil, government’s spokesman Martin Ayrer told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. Mr Navrátil, who was in charge of the counter-intelligence service for the past 10 years, is set to become the government’s coordinator for cyber security. The government should debate the proposal by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Culture this week approved the loan of the Slav Epic series of paintings by Alfons Mucha to Japan, the ministry’s spokeswoman Simona Cigánková told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The cycle of canvases by the famous art nouveau painter is set to leave the Czech Republic in February and go on display in Tokyo in March 2017. The ministry has not decided yet whether the paintings will subsequently travel to China. The loan of the Slav Epic has been criticised by restorers, who worry that the paintings could be damaged by transport and local conditions. It has also been opposed by the grandson of the painter, John Mucha.
The weather Friday will be overcast with the chance of rain in places. Highest daytime temperatures will be between three and seven degrees Celsius.
Czech forward David Pastrňák has continued his scoring streak, racking up his 16th goal in the NHL this season for the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. The Bruins managed to earn a point from the match against the Washington Capitals, losing 4-3 in overtime. Pastrňák, 20, is currently third on the NHL scorers’ list behind Sidney Crosby and Patrik Laine.
Lawmakers in the Chamber of Chamber of Deputies passed the draft state budget for 2017 which will have a 60 billion crown deficit, 10 billion crowns fewer than the budget this year. MPs passed the proposal as put forward by Andrej Babiš, and downed proposals put forward by the opposition, which criticized the bill for the deficit at a time of economic prosperity. The bill counts on increases in social benefits, pay rises for academics and researchers and, for example, monument restoration. Expected next year are revenues of 1249.3 billion crowns and budget expenses of 1309.3 billion crowns.
Former president Václav Klaus has published stinging criticism on his website attacking the manner in which the head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, had – in his view – been targeted. The response came a day after the release of incriminating material which allegedly showed Mr Forejt snorting an illicit substance. Mr Klaus defended the official, whom he worked with for 10 years, by saying steps taken against him were “undeserved”. He also praised Mr Forejt's knowledge of protocol and suggested a replacement would not be found easily.
The State Prosecutors Office should investigate whether incriminating material (allegedly showing the head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, snorting an unidentified substance) could have been used to try and blackmail the official, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has said. According to the minister, the video should also be investigated by the National Security Authority. The minister stressed that key questions remained over whether the video was created for the purposes of blackmailing Mr Forejt or others in his circle, or for other criminal purposes. He added that the method by which the material had been offered for sale to media sites was also unusual. Following the publication of screenshots from the video online, Mr Forejt tendered his resignation, citing personal and health reasons.
In October, the Czech National Bank (ČNB) carried out its second biggest intervention on the currency markets since launching a policy to keep the Czech crown weak against the euro in November 2013. The central bank put some 107 billion crowns (around 6.3 billion euros) into ensuring the crown remained at around 27 to the common European currency, officials revealed. The Czech National Bank board has signalled that it will not abandon the policy, which benefits exporters, before the middle of 2017.
Thursday should be mostly cloudy. Temperatures during the day should reach highs of around 4 degrees Celsius.