The Czech Republic will no longer seek to use the opt out from EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights that was won by former president Václav Klaus in 2009, the government decided on Wednesday. The opt out was no longer relevant and its withdrawal would help improve Prague’s position with regard to other EU international agreements, prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said. Klaus won the exemption as a condition for his signing the EU reforming Lisbon Treaty.
The first Bitcoin ATM in the Czech Republic has been launched in Prague’s Holešovice district, allowing users with accounts access to the virtual currency, financial website iHned reports. Other Bitcoin ATMs already exist, for example, in the Slovak capital Bratislava, and in Vancouver, Canada. In the Czech Republic the virtual currency is accepted by around 40 companies. While it is possible to conduct transactions at the Prague facility, there is no option, for example, to withdraw a Bitcoin equivalent in hard currency ie. Czech crowns, nor is such a possibility in the works, iHned writes.
President Miloš Zeman has condemned the escalation of violence in Ukraine. If the situation continues Zeman will cancel the invitation of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych to visit Prague, the president’s chief foreign policy advisor Hynek Kmoníček said on Wednesday. Ukraine’s ambassador to the Czech Republic was invited to Prague castle so that Zeman’s comments could be passed on. Violence erupted in the centre of Kiev on Tuesday between protesters and police with up to 25 people dead according to some reports. Yanukovych is scheduled to visit Prague in April.
The Czech Republic won a silver medal in the 6 kilometer women’s and 7.5 kolometer men’s mixed biathlon relay. The team came in around 33 seconds after the gold medal winning Norwegians and around 25 seconds ahead of the bronze winning Italians. The Czech team was composed of Ondřej Moravec, Jaroslav Soukup. Gabriela Soukalová, and Veronika Vítková. Wednesday’s medal haul makes the Sochi Olympics the most successful ever for the Czech Republic.
President Miloš Zeman has signalled that he will give a speech on bureaucratic red tape in the European Union at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in a week’s time. The head of state made the remarks in a visit to the largest dairy products manufacturer in the country, Madeta. Madeta employees presented Zeman with a last example of their butter spread. The long standing description has now been banned because the spread did not meet European criteria for the fat content in the final product. Zeman added that there are many other example where European institutions intervened where they were not needed but added that the Czech Republic is likely to gain more funding from the EU than it puts in until at least 2020.
Police in the Moravia-Silesia Region have charged a man with the murder of his wife and eight-year-old daughter at the Egyptian holiday resort of Hurghada last July. Petr Kramný, who is 36, is accused of poisoning the two and had been held on suspicion by police in Egypt until the end of October. He himself reported the deaths, saying that all three had come down with intestinal and stomach problems. The state attorney has requested that Mr. Kramný be remanded in custody.
A debate is underway in the Chamber of Deputies ahead of a vote of confidence in the recently appointed centre-left government headed by Bohuslav Sobotka. His Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats have 111 votes between them in the 200-seat lower house and the vote is seen as a formality. Before the session began, Mr. Sobotka told journalists that he hoped his government would deliver stability to the Czech Republic and serve out its four-year term.
Striker Martin Fenin has left Slavia Prague after both parties agreed to the dissolution of his contract. The 26-year-old was part of the Czech Under 20 team that came second in their age category’s World Cup in 2007. However, he has failed to make much of an impact at Eintracht Frankfurt, Energie Cottbus or Slavia, for whom he failed to score even once in a dozen games. Fenin has made 17 appearances for the Czech senior team, finding the net three times.
The Homo Homini prize for human rights advocacy, which is presented by the NGO People in Need during the One World documentary film festival, will go to Sapiyat Magomedova, a lawyer in Dagestan who represents victims of human rights abuse. She is set to receive the award in person at the official opening of this year’s One World at Prague Crossroads on March 3.
Current and former ministers of finance Andrej Babiš and Miroslav Kalousek were involved in a war of words in Tuesday’s debate. Mr. Kalousek said the fact the finance portfolio was held by the owner of food giant Agrofert meant a conflict of interest would not arise only in exceptional cases. The TOP 09 politician also said the ANO boss would have access to secret central bank information. Mr. Babiš replied by calling Mr. Kalousek a symbol of corruption and listing questionable contracts he was linked to, including in his time at the Ministry of Defence.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”