Former post Velvet Revolution Czechoslovak interior minister Richard Sacher has died. Sacher was elected to the federal assembly in 1990 as a Christian Democrat. He was best known for his short stint as interior minister between December 1989 and June 1990, during which time the Communist era secret police, the StB, was broken up. But Sacher was later involved in controversy over the claims that he allowed many of the secret police documents to be destroyed or go missing.
Czech and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech has been ‘Simpsonized’ as part of a marketing deal between the company behind the hit animated series, The Simpsons, and the London football club. Merchandize showing Čech as a Simpsons-style character will be sold as part of a tie-up with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products. Four other Chelsea players have so far been given the same treatment. The iconic animated tv series is entering its 26th season.
The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition has approved the acquisition of the Ringier Axel Springer media group by businessmen Daniel Křetínký and Patrik Tkáč, office’s director Peter Rafaj said on Friday. The anti-monopoly agency said the acquisition would not substantially distort economic competition. The transaction, which was announced last December, was estimated at 4.7 billion crowns. Ringier Axel Springer CZ publishes the Czech Republic’s biggest selling daily, the tabloid Blesk, along with several other publications. In 2012
The Czech power utility ČEZ’s net profit dropped by 12.3 percent year-on-year last year to 35.2 billion crowns, the state-run firm said on Thursday. The company’s revenues in 2013 increased by one percent to 217.3 billion. ČEZ’s operating profit before depreciation and amortization, meanwhile, dropped by 4.4 percent to 82.1 billion crowns. The company quoted low wholesale electricity prices, economic stagnation in Europe and an uncertain regulatory outlook as the main reasons behind the drop in its profit. This year, ČEZ expects its net profit to further decrease to around 27.5 billion crowns.
Brno City Hall on Wednesday approved a deal with a construction firm to build a distribution centre for the US-based online retailer on the outskirts of the city. The project was halted two weeks over disputes concerning the site of the planned building; negotiations only moved ahead after the construction company CTP Invest agreed to buy the land and hand it over the city. The agreement is yet to be approved by Brno municipal assembly which is scheduled to discuss it on March 18.
Ex-boss of lottery firm Sazka accused of attempted embezzlement
The police have charged former CEO of the Czech betting and lottery firm Sazka, Aleš Hušák, with attempted fraud. Investigators believe Mr Hušák attempted to cash a promissory note worth 50 million crowns allegedly issued by two of his former business partners. however, a court said last year the origin of the document was unclear, and rejected Mr Hušák’s claim. If convicted, the former Sazka boss could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
The Czech government on Wednesday rejected bills on referendum and the legalization of prostitution. The minister for human rights and equal opportunities, Jiří Dienstbier said the proposal to legalize prostitution, as put forth by Prague City Hall, contradicted the country’s international obligations. The bill on referendum, proposed by the opposition Dawn party, meanwhile, was rejected as it could undermine the Czech constitutional system, Mr Dienstbier said.
The Czech Ice Hockey Association has appointed Vladimír Růžička new coach of the national team. Růžička, who also coaches the first team of Slavia Prague, returns to the national team after four years. During his previous tenures, he coached the national team to two world championship titles. Vladimír Růžička replaces Alois Hadamczik who quit earlier this week in the wake of the team’s poor performance at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has quit a European network of similar organizations, a spokesman for the institute said on Wednesday. The Czech agency, which among other things administers the files of the former communist secret police, left the Platform of European Memory and Conscience over a dispute about whether or not it employs former communist officials. The European platform in January suspended the membership of the Czech institute which was one of its founding members.
The Czech government will provide treatment to 23 Ukrainians injured during the bloody anti-government protests in Kiev, a spokesman for the Czech Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. Czech authorities will on Thursday dispatch to airplanes to bring the injured protesters to Prague. The costs of the programme have been estimated at 10 million crowns. The Ukrainian citizens, who mostly suffered gunshot wounds, will be treated in Prague’s Motol and General University hospitals.
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