In football, Slavia won the traditional city derby against Sparta Prague 1:0. The sole goal of the encounter was scored by Jaromír Zmrhal in the 45th minute. It is the first time since the end of 2012 that Slavia have won a league game against Sparta. The previous five matches had all been defeats. Slavia’s win ends Sparta’s unbeaten record in the top Synot league so far this season.
Former Constitutional Court judge and current member of the Czech upper house, the Senate, Eliška Wagnerová, warned on Sunday that the Czech Republic could face proceedings in the European Court of Justice for keeping the children of refugees in detention centres. Minister of Interior Milan Chovanc, however, has insisted that the country is respecting all EU rules. It would be much worse to split families than keep them together in detention centres, he added. Chovanc said that half of the 3,000 immigrants who have been detained since June on Czech soil have been returned to Austria. At the current rate, the Czech Republic should be able to deal with the immigrant crisis without more detention centres, he added.
Czech Minister for Industry and Trade Jan Mládek warned Sunday that a drop in Volkswagen exports could have an impact on Czech sub-contractors to the German manufacturer. Volkswagen exports, especially to the US, could be impacted by the scandal over manipulated emissions measurements for diesel cars which erupted last week. Also speaking on Czech Television’s flagship current affairs programme, TOP 09 MEP Luděk Nidermeyer said that the manipulated measures were an open secret. Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto is part of the Volkswagen group.
Deputy prime minister in charge of innovation and research, Pavel Bělobrádek, has opened an incubator for Czech companies in New York. The MeoHub has been backed by US optics company Meopta, whose founders have Czech roots, in cooperation with the Czech Association for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses. So far, five Czech companies are taking advantage of the opportunity to get a foothold in the US market. Bělobrádek said he appreciated the fact that this was a ‘bottom up’ initiative. Czech exports to the US are currently growing at twice the rate of most other markets.
Damage from the stunt raising a large pair of red underpants over Prague castle by the guerrilla art group, Ztohoven, totalled 100,000 crowns, presidential spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Saturday. The spokesman gave the news on Twitter without giving further details. The artists, posing as chimney sweeps, got past security to climb onto the roof of the castle, lower the presidential standard and raise the underpants last week. They said the stunt was aimed at putting the spotlight on head of state Miloš Zeman’s alleged lack of values and attempts to cultivate links with Russia and China.
President Miloš Zeman flew to New York on Saturday night. The highlight of his trip will be an address to the United Nations general assembly on Tuesday in which he is set to make a call for a united stand against Islamic radicalism. Zeman was due on Sunday to meet with members of the Czech community in New York and speak with company bosses with Czech roots. The Czech head of state is due to fly back to Prague on Wednesday.
Czech company Touax, which produces modular containers used for housing immigrants, says it cannot keep up with current demand and could look to employ immigrants because of the difficulties hiring qualified Czechs. The company says it is currently working at around 90 percent capacity with orders from Germany, Sweden, Hungary, and possible contracts from Austria. The firm employs around 250 and is looking to hire another 30 but cannot find Czechs qualified as electricians or for assembly work. It says it will look to hire in nearby Poland or then look at hiring immigrants.
Around 200 students protested outside the Ministry of Education in Prague on Saturday against a decision by the university Accreditation Committee. The committee has demanded the closure of the advanced pedagogical studies offered by the Jan Amos Komenský University. Many of the students are teachers who have only eight months to complete the obligatory course. The ministry is seeking to place them with other education facilities after finding failings with the course offered. Minister of Education Kateřina Valachová said there was no way to go back on the committee decision.
Police and firemen were called to a fire at a flat in Prague’s Dejvice district on Saturday morning which was apparently started deliberately. According to the Novinky.cz news server, the flat is occupied by Sparta Prague’s Congo-born striker Francis Litsingi. Police were unwilling to comment on the possible racist motivation of the attack. Sparta Prague are due to play city rivals Slavia Prague on Sunday.
Attacks targeted against Moslems in the Czech Republic have increased to 23 this year compared to 10 in 2014, the legal organisation In Iustitia has reported. Most of the recent attacks have taken place since the start of the immigrant crisis in June. Many of the attacks have been verbal or physical attacks on women wearing shawls over their heads. The organisation said there were three anti-Semitic attacks so far this year, the same as throughout the whole of 2014.
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