Czech presidential candidate Vladimír Dlouhý said on Monday he would be
terminating his position at the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs by the
end of October and he would also give up his seat on the Telefónica Czech
Republic supervisory board. Mr Dlouhý, 59, who served as industry and
trade minister in the 1990s, has already launched his presidential
undertaking a marathon run from Moravia to western Bohemia for daily
informal meetings with members of the public. Sponsors have already
contributed more than four million crowns to his campaign.
Some 15 people have so far announced their intention to run for president, most of them are still in the process of collecting the 50.000 signatures needed to enter the race. Former caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer and former Social Democrat prime minister Miloš Zeman have topped opinion polls so far.
In related news, Czech exports in June rose by 5.6 percent annually while imports increased by 0.9 percent, the Czech statistical office said on Monday. In total, the country’s foreign trade in that month registered a surplus of 29 billion crowns. Trade balance with EU countries showed a surplus of 58.9 billion crowns while that with non-EU states registered a deficit of 29.5 billion crowns, 11 billion lower than last June. Analysts say the latest figures signal a slowing down of the Czech economy as higher exports show a drop of domestic demand.
Czech mountaineer Zuzana Hofmanová was on Monday reported missing after she reached the summit of Broad Peak in the Pakistani Himalayas. The website of her expedition said the 53-year-old mountaineer reached the top of the 8,047 metre-high mountain on July 31 but never returned to the base camp. Ms Hofmanová became the fist Czech woman to reach the summit of Broad Peak, the world’s 12th tallest mountain.
Czech President Václav Klaus is among few active politicians listed by international agencies as prominent motivational speakers, the news website aktualne.cz reported on Monday. Lectures by Mr Klaus are offered by agencies such as the London Speaker Bureau, All American Speakers, and others. The agencies refused to reveal Mr Klaus’ speaking fees while a spokesman for the Czech president declined to comment on the issue. Václav Klaus is offering lectures on a variety of topics including politics, EU affairs, globalization, and others.
The Czech Republic’s industrial output in June slowed down by 2.2 percent annually, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Monday, following a decrease of 2.4 percent registered in May. After seasonal adjustment, however, the country’s industrial production rose by 0.3 percent year-on-year. Analysts expect industrial output to keep slowing down in the rest of the year as the Czech economy is going through a protracted period of recession.
Czech meteorologists on Monday warned against strong storms that will hit most of the country later in the day. Heavy rainfall could swell local rivers, and the authorities in the Vysočina and Olomouc regions are considering declaring flood alert. Daytime highs in Moravia could reach up to 35 degrees Celsius.
Only around one third of Czechs leave work behind while on vacation, according to a new survey by the website onlineprace.cz released on Monday. Some 40 percent of those polled said they were available for their colleagues in emergency situations while on holiday; 16 percent said they wanted to follow developments at work no matter what.
Nearly 190 million crowns, or more than 9.2 millions US dollars, from two EU operational programmes, was between 2007 and 2011 paid in breach of the rules, according to a report by the Czech Supreme Auditing Office released on Monday. The audit found the Jihozápad and Moravskoslesko programmes frequently breached public procurement legislation and lacked sufficient control of the funds, the auditing authority said. In some cases, money was paid for projects that were never completed. Representatives of the two programmes in question said did not agree with the results of the audit.
Some 140 Czech Roma, to be evicted over poor technical and sanitary conditions of the buildings in the Přednádraží slum in Ostrava in the north-east of the country, have refused to leaver their homes. The houses are now being reviewed by the authorities; the inhabitants were given until Saturday night to leave. The municipality has offered alternative housing to the Roma who however complain that the accommodation is overpriced. The Czech branch of the human rights watchdog Amnesty International, along with several Czech NGOs, has called on the authorities to immediately find a solution to the problem.
Veronika Fenclová on Monday finished ninth in women’s Laser Radial sailing event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The 31-year-old Czech started off eight with no chance of winning a medal, the news agency ČTK reported. In other Olympic news, trap shooter Miroslav Kostelecký, who won gold at the previous games in Beijing, failed on Monday to qualify for the finals of the event.
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