The property declaration of President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor has been made public. Vratislav Mynář presented the document to TOP 09 and Mayors MP Věřa Kovářová on Tuesday and she posted it on the web with his permission. However, there has been a surprised reaction to the lack of information in the declaration, which states that in 2013 Mr. Mynář did not buy property, have debts or receive any gifts. His move came days after the TOP 09 and Mayors parliamentary group criticized the president for his support for a government bill on the declaration of assets; it said Mr. Zeman’s move was hypocritical given that Mr. Mynář had failed to produce a property declaration after more than two years at Prague Castle.
The veteran Czech singer Karel Gott sang for the manager of the German Under 21 soccer team, Horst Hrubesch, in Prague on Monday. The coach and former German international, who is 64, said at a news conference that he had known Gott for 25 years and had welcomed the invitation to his home. The Czech Republic play Germany at the European Under 21 Championship in Prague on Tuesday evening in a game that the hosts need to win to ensure qualification for the semi-finals. Hrubesch said Gott had told him both teams had a place in his heart: the Czech Republic was home, but Germany, where he has sold millions of albums, meant a lot to him.
The US firm Amazon is hiring around 500 people, mainly IT and human resources specialists, for a corporate centre that it has just opened in Prague’s Dejvice district. The internet retailer is also continuing to recruit staff for a warehouse it has built at Dobrovíz in Central Bohemia. Dozens of managers for the Dobrovíz centre are currently undergoing training in the United States. The ceremonial opening of the Dejvice office building was attended by the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, and Amazon’s vice president for Europe, Roy Perticucci.
The Czech Republic will be able to access over CZK 11 billion of European Union funding for the protection and repair of historical landmarks in the next five years, the Czech News Agency reported. The money is available as part of an Integrated Regional Operational Programme approved by the European Commission at the start of June. The Czech Ministry of Culture has drawn up a list of monuments for which it hopes to acquire funding. A ministry spokesperson said the Czech Republic’s negotiations with the European Commission can be regarded as a great success because the latter had not identified cultural heritage as a priority in the budgetary period in question.
City councillors in the district of Prague 10 have killed a controversial plan by the previous administration for a new City Hall building which would cost the district 775 million crowns. In the autumn, councillors will look into new possibilities. The former plan for a new administrative building drew sharp protests from some locals, who held demonstrations and signed a petition. A local referendum was also held on the issue last year, but not enough residents took part for the results to be binding.
Unknown perpetrators held up the driver of a Škoda Fabia in Hradec Králové on Monday, tasked with the transfer of cash for a local firm, the police say. The vehicle was purposely struck by an assailant backing up a Mitsubishi; he and an accomplice then used a tear gas spray on their target to wrestle away a bag with money. They then made their escape. The Mitsubishi as well as the bag were later found and witnesses said the accomplices made off in another vehicle. The police have not revealed how much money was taken.
Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš has come under fire for coalition colleagues for suggesting that Greece should go bankrupt. At a conference of the country’s economic diplomats, Mr Babiš pointed out the country had gone bankrupt four times over 200 years. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was quick to react, saying a bankruptcy by Greece would have a negative impact on the whole of Europe. His statement was echoed by the smallest party in government, the Christian Democrats.
The police have seized some 300 tonnes of grenade launchers and munitions at a site in Bojkovice in the area of Uherské Hraďiště, Czech TV reports. According to the police, the weapons and munitions were improperly stored. The owner, a company named Pyro-Technology, denies the claim. The removal of the material secured will take place over the course of several days.
Chelsea defender and team captain John Terry has said goalkeeper Petr Čech could be worth between 12 - 15 points for Arsenal per season, if he ends up joining the London club. He made the statement in an interview for talksport.com. The media is speculating that the 33-year-old Čech will sign with the Gunners after getting the green light from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for his 11 years of service, which included helping secure a slew of titles including the Champions League. Last season Čech was bumped from the No.1 spot by Belgian Thibaut Courtois, ten years his junior. Terry told talksport that Chelsea would miss Čech, but that it was understandable that the goalkeeper wanted to play.
Foreign missions cost the Czech military 1.42 billion crowns in 2014, or
about 170 million crowns more than in 2013, according to a report for the
Chamber of Deputies. Originally, the military was to spend 1.2 billion. The
budget was later increased to 1.53 billion, but the not all of the sum was
not spent. The mission in Afghanistan has long been the most expensive,
costing about 816 million crowns last year.
In 2013, the Afghan mission cost 1.1 billion crowns. Protecting the Czech embassy in Kabul cost over 27 million in 2014.
The costs of the preparation of soldiers and equipment for foreign missions markedly increased last year, from 37 million in 2013 to 380 million in 2014.
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