The northwest Bohemian town of Jácyhmov is celebrating its 500th birthday this year. Events are being prepared throughout the year but should culminate on 19-21 August. The town was created as a result of rich local seams of silver and by 1534 ws the second biggest town in Bohemia with around 18,000 inhabitants. It was also the first town where uranium was exploited and the sole supplier during the early decades of the 20th century. The first radium spa was created there in 1906.
The Czech Banking Association has revised slightly down its economic growth prediction for this year to 2.4 percent from November’s 2.5 percent. It has, however, upped its forecast for 2015 to 4.2 percent. The association sees growth in 2017 rising to 2.7 percent. Inflation, however, will only rise to something near the level of the central bank’s expectations in 2017 when it is expected to average around 2.2 percent.
Czech women’s tennis doubles duo Andrea Hlavácková and Lucie Hradecká have played their way through to the finals of the Australian Open. The pair beat the Chinese partnership of Xu and Zeng 3:6, 6:3, 6:1. The Czech pairing was seeded seventh in the first Grand Slam event of the year. The Czech doubles pairing have already won French and US Open finals.
A court in Nový Jičín has begun hearing the case of a Polish truck driver accused of causing a fatal train crash. Three people died and dozens were injured when a high-speed train collided with the trailer of the lorry at a closed level crossing in the Moravian town of Studénka in July last year. Driver Slawomir Wojciech Sondaj could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
The Czech Republic has climbed from 53rd to 37th in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index published by watchdog Transparency International. Radim Bureš of the Czech branch of the organisation told Czech Radio that the country’s placing in the 2015 survey represented a dramatic improvement; he said this was down to increased efforts to deal with largescale corruption dating back to the government of Petr Nečas. Denmark placed best in the report, followed by Finland and Sweden.
The Czech Republic is the only country in the civilised world where the president can publicly call for the killing of the prime minister, the Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka said on Tuesday. He was reacting to reports that President Miloš Zeman had said there were two options as regards getting rid of the head of government: a democratic one in the form of free elections, and an undemocratic one in the form of a Kalashnikov. Mr. Sobotka said he could handle the president’s “stupid” comments but that they had frightened his children, entire family and friends.
Politicians have reacted angrily to a statement by President Miloš Zeman regarding Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Asked at a public meeting on Monday how his rival could be got rid of, Mr. Zeman said: “There is just one democratic option, free elections; the undemocratic option is a Kalashnikov.” Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, a member of Mr. Sobotka’s Social Democrats, tweeted that tasteless jokes about using weapons against state representatives merely poured oil on the fire. Another Social Democrat, Jiří Dienstbier, asked whether there were any limits to what the president would do. For his part, TOP 09 chief Miroslav Kalousek stated ironically that it had been statesman-like advice, particularly in a period of hysterical commando groups playing at being “patriotic militias”.
The Czech Republic has called a special summit of the Visegrad Four in connection with the migration crisis, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced on Twitter on Tuesday. He and his counterparts from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary are likely to discuss efforts to boost the protection of the Schengen Zone when they meet on February 15. Mr. Sobotka has said that if deals on safeguarding Turkish and Greek borders do not start working by the time a European Council meeting takes place in mid-February the Visegrad states had prepared a variant under which Schengen’s borders could be moved to the southern frontiers of Bulgaria and Macedonia.
Dozens of road construction projects in the Czech Republic could be held up due to European Union regulations, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said after a meeting of economic ministers on Tuesday. Sixty-four construction projects are concerned; they have been in the process of acquiring authorization for so long – up to 15 years – that they are required by EU law to get fresh environmental impact assessments. Mr. Sobotka said this process could take years and could impact efforts to draw CZK 90 billion from EU funds.
Two policemen have received eight-year jail terms for the killing of a homeless man in 2013. Jan Pergl and Lukáš Zahradník were found guilty by the Regional Court in Plzeň of beating and kicking the 57-year-old man, causing injuries of which he died a few days later. The two had been freed for lack of evidence by the same court in December 2014 before the Supreme Court ordered that the case be reheard.
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Iconic Czech brands that survived competition from the West after the fall of communism
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Cold War “king of Šumava” story brought to life in new film by Irish director
Unions: Strike Wednesday will hit most Czech schools