Slovenia has asked the Czech government to prolong the mission of Czech police officers, who help guard the Schengen border with Croatia with regards to the EU’s migrant crisis, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Thursday during a visit of an asylum facility in Kostelec nad Orlicí. Twenty Czech policemen have been serving in the country since November. The government in December has also approved sending 25 police officers to Macedonia. Minister Chovanec also said that the capacity of the Czech Republic’s asylum centres is sufficient at the moment and there is no need for further facilities.
Hundreds of children are taken away from their families every year because of abuse and neglect and the number keeps increasing, according to an annual report on child protection by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The number of cases involving social workers has doubled in the past ten years. While in 2005, social workers were involved in 4000 cases, in 2014 the figures stood at nearly 8,500. Over 1200 children had to move to their relatives, children’s homes or foster parents in 2014.
Communist MEP Miloslav Ransdof held a press conference on Thursday to explain his arrest by Swiss police at the end of last year. Mr. Ransdorf and three Slovak acquaintances were detained in a Zurich bank on December 3 on suspicion of fraud. Mr Ransdorf previously confirmed that he was acting on behalf of Vladimír Huněk, a man who has been on police files for over 12 years, who allegedly had an inheritance to the tune of one million euro on the Swiss account. Peter Guzmický, one of the detained Slovaks, told the journalists on Thursday that the documents concerning Mr Huněk’s inheritance, allegedly issued by a Czech court, were genuine.
Car production in the Czech Republic grew by 4.5 percent last year, reaching an all-time record for the year. Close to 1.3 million cars were manufactured in the country in 2015, which is about 50,000 more than in the previous year, the head of the Czech Automotive Industry Association, Antonín Šípek, announced on Thursday. Bus production grew by 30 percent last year, reaching a record of 4,200 vehicles. Škoda Auto remained the biggest car producer with nearly 700,000 cars, followed by Toyota, Peugeot, and Citroen plant, which recorded the biggest year-on-year growth of 9.7 percent.
A court in Ostrava has sentenced Petr Kramný to 28 years in prison for murdering his wife and ten-year-old daughter while on holiday in Egypt in 2013. He also has to pay out close to nine million crowns in damages to his wife’s relatives. Medical experts who examined the bodies concluded that they were killed by a strong electric charge, rather than having been poisoned as was originally assumed by the Egyptian authorities. Kramný, who denied the charges, has already spent two years in custody.
The first group of Christian refugees from Iraq could arrive in the Czech Republic at the end of January, Martin Frýdl of the foundation Generace 21, which is financing most of the relocation project, told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. Upon their arrival, the refugees will undergo asylum procedures in the detention centre in Zastávka u Brna. They will spend another six or more months in Jihlava, where they will attend Czech language courses. A total of 153 people who have fled Islamic State aggression and are currently living in refugee camps in Kurdistan and Lebanon, are due to arrive in the country in 2016.
A new film by one of the country’s leading documentary makers, Helena Třeštíková about the Czech interwar actress Lída Baarová, who was the mistress of Nazi propaganda chief Josef Goebbels, will hit the country’s cinemas on Thursday. Called Zkáza krásou, or Doomed Beauty, the documentary probes the life of one of the country’s biggest film stars, whose life was shaped by the dramatic events of the 20th century. A feature film biography about Baarová, by director Filip Renč and starring Táňa Pauhofová, will be shown in Czech cinemas in the spring.
Squatters left the abandoned estate Šatovka in Prague’s Divoká Šárka valley on Thursday. They were instructed to do so by the local town hall, which claims that the building, abandoned since 2011, is structurally unsound. The group of squatters, who call themselves Resurp Crew, previously failed to reach a deal with the local authorities to use the place as a non-commercial cultural centre and a centre for people in need, before it undergoes reconstruction.
Foreign exchange reserves of the Czech National Bank increased last year by 14.6 billion euros, several times more than in the previous year. The exchange reserves at the end of last year stood at 59.5 billion euros or 1.608 trillion crowns. According to data released on Thursday, the Czech National Bank in November again intervened on the forex market against the firming crown. The bank launched interventions in November 2013 with the aim to keep the crown's rate below 27 crowns to the euro.
Pyrotechnics experts will start surveying the site of a damaged munitions depot in Vrbětice, eastern Moravia, on Monday Zlín police spokeswoman Monika Kozumplíková has told the Czech News Agency. Army and police experts will probe the ground into the depth of 50 centimetres and collect all fragments of the exploded munitions. The depot near Zlín was partially destroyed by a massive blast in October which killed two employees and led to further uncontrolled explosions, putting local communities at risk. The operation is expected to take from several months to a year.
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