24,300 foreigners came to the Czech Republic to work during the first six months of this year, according to a statistics published by the Czech labour ministry. At the end of June, more than 200,000 foreign nationals were holding Czech work permits. Most foreigners working legally in the Czech Republic come from Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland. Compared to 2004, there has been an increase of over 100,000 foreign labourers.
The growth of the Czech economy reached 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2007, according to a European Commission forecast. This differs slightly from an estimate by the Czech Statistics Office, which puts growth at 6.1 percent in the same period. This growth rate places the Czech Republic eighth of all 25 member states. The list is topped by Latvia and Estonia with 11.2 and 9.8 percent of growth respectively.
No bird flu has been detected at three large chicken farms situated close to epicentre of the disease in the Pardubice region in East Bohemia where the H5N1 strain of the flu had been confirmed at five different farms last month. The fact that no infection has been found at these farms will not affect an earlier decision by veterinary officials and the Czech agriculture ministry to exterminate all of the 68,000 birds located at the farms.
More than 80 artists from several countries have sent in their projects so far for a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty monument which will be erected at the Radio's new seat in Prague-Hagibor. Since 1995, the radio station was based in the former federal parliament building in the centre of Prague, but is now relocating. The monument is to be unveiled in May 2008 and according to the RFE, it should represent the fundamental values of the Prague-based radio station such as freedom, openness and solidarity.
The Czech Republic is filing a lawsuit against the European Union over a fine of CZK 350,000,000 (just over USD 17,000,000). The EU penalized the Czech Republic for having too large supplies of some foodstuffs before joining the Union in 2004. The European Commission holds that some of the new member countries, for speculative reasons, accumulated great supplies of food under lower customs duty than was valid within the European Union at the time. In the Czech Republic, this refers to excessive reserves of tangerines, pineapples, tinned mushrooms, rice and chicken.
Fifty Czech public figures including the singer and former dissident Marta Kubisova and film director Vera Chytilova sent an open letter to President Vaclav Klaus requesting that a referendum be held to decide about the building of an U.S. radar base in the Czech Republic. The signatories also complained about the lack of information concerning health risks associated with the radar. In a reply, Mr Klaus said the demands were "legitimate", but warned of underestimating security risks.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has condemned damage done to the graves of Soviet soldiers at Prague's Olsany graveyard. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged a protest earlier this week after it emerged that bronze reliefs had been removed from the headstones of Russian soldiers who were killed in Prague during World War II. Prague reiterated its commitment to treaties with Moscow on the mutual maintenance of war graves.
The Czech women's tennis number one Nicole Vaidisova has contracted a mild form of glandular fever and has been ordered to rest for up to three weeks. That means Vaidisova, ranked ninth in the world, will miss the Czech Republic's Fed Cup clash with Spain next weekend; the winner of the tie will qualify for the Fed Cup's elite World Group.
Czech citizens' approval of European Union membership fell in the first half of this year, suggests a new national survey prepared for Eurobarometer. In the second half of 2006, 51 percent of respondents in the twice-annual poll said EU membership was a good thing; however, that figure fell to 46 percent this year - the first time that rating has dropped below the 50 percent mark in a Eurobarometer poll. As for what worries Czechs, the health service was regarded as the biggest problem - almost 40 percent said it was a concern, twice as many as the EU average.
The Czech Under-20 football team have reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup in Canada, after knocking out Japan in a penalty shootout. The Czech Republic have never gone past the last eight stage in the competition - the country's youngsters will have a chance to do just that when they face Spain on Sunday.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
Study: Demand for new flats in Prague set to keep outstripping supply
“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
‘The fat lady sings’: Prague’s State Opera marks restoration to former glory with gala concert