The European Commission is seeking the return of CZK 810 million from the Czech Republic due to oversights in the allocation of subsidies between 2010 and 2013, the minister of agriculture, Marian Jurečka, said on Tuesday. The money has already been paid out to Czech farmers and they would not be required to send it back, the minister said. EU auditors said that Czech inspectors had failed to check whether farmers had up-to-date livestock registers and had carried out other procedures.
The British prime minister, David Cameron, is due to visit Prague on January 22, iHned.cz reported on Tuesday. During his stay the UK leader will meet his Czech counterpart, Bohuslav Sobotka, and President Miloš Zeman, the news website said. Mr. Cameron is expected to discuss his country’s plans for a referendum on whether to remain in the European Union, the migration crisis and business and security cooperation during his visit.
Social services in Norway have removed a seriously ill nine-month-old baby from the care of its Czech mother and Norwegian father. They said the parents had not sufficiently bonded with the infant, who has a rare genetic condition and is in hospital awaiting a kidney transplant. The news was made public by Jitka Chalánková, who is on the Czech lower house’s Social Affairs Committee. She said the couple faced a tough court battle, as Czechs were aware from other cases. Last year a Norwegian court ruled that two boys removed from their Czech parents were to be put up for adoption.
Mountainous areas of the Czech Republic will see heavy snowfall in the coming days, with around 20 centimetres expected to fall by Wednesday morning and the same amount again likely to accumulate during the day. The Šumava should see the highest snowfall, the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute said. Strong winds are also expected on Wednesday morning.
The Czech economy grew more quickly in the third quarter of last year than a previous estimate had suggested. Gross domestic product expanded by 4.7 percent not 4.5 percent between the start of July and the end of September, according to revised figures released on Tuesday. Only five other OECD members saw faster growth in the third quarter of 2015.
Former ANO deputy head Radmila Kleslová is to stand down as mayor of Prague 10. She told the Czech News Agency that three other ANO councillors would also quit as the district’s coalition was non-functioning. Formerly highly influential, Ms. Kleslová last year stood down as deputy chair of ANO after media reports that she had been receiving hefty payments from Prague energy providers. Other companies, including CEZ, had previously discontinued their cooperation with the politician.
Miloš Forman and other leading directors have demanded the removal of the director of the National Film Archive, Michal Bregant, iDnes.cz reported. The filmmakers, including Jiří Menzel, Ivan Passer, Vojtěch Jasný and Jan Hřebejk, say in a letter to the Office of the Government that Mr. Bregant is responsible for damaging noteworthy Czech films by distributing “primitively digitised” versions at home and abroad. The appeal has been joined by cinematographers and others in the industry. Neither the National Film Archive nor the Ministry of Culture have commented on the matter.
The police have extended their investigation into the leaking of emails by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to take in possible blackmail, the news website Neovlivni.cz reported on Tuesday. The investigation was broadened after Mr. Sobotka made public a threat he received from the far right website White Media, which posted the emails online last week. The group said they would make public the complete contents of the prime minister’s email account if any of them were arrested. Neither the police nor the National Security Authority believe that the prime minister himself committed any wrongdoing in connection with the private account.
The past two years were the hottest on record, according to measurements taken at the Klementinum monitoring station in Prague. The oldest weather monitoring station in the country was set up in 1775. According to its data 2014 and 2015 tie for the hottest years on record with last years’ average temperature at 12.5 degrees Celsius which is 2.9 degrees higher than the long-term average. The coldest year on record was in 1871 with an average temperature of 7.2 degrees Celsius.
Facebook has blocked the page of the group Block Against Islam, the group's representatives said on Monday, protesting against what they call censorship and an attack on freedom of speech. The group has been accused of extremism and xenophobia. Its leader Martin Konvička was charged with hate speech late last year on the grounds of statements made on Facebook in 2011 and 2014. The Block Against Islam claims the charges are politically motivated.
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