The REICO investment company, owned by one of the Czech Republic’s biggest banks Česká Spořitelna, is poised to buy the tallest office block in Prague, the City Tower. The pending purchase, with an estimated value of around 4.9 billion crowns, is being examined by the country’s competition office. The current owner is the PPF company of the country’s richest man, Petr Kellner. City Tower, at 109 metres, is the second tallest building in the country.
Dubai-owned company Alcor Holdings has launched an international arbitration proceeding against the Czech Republic. The company is claiming 483 million crowns connected with its claimed failure to get compensation for the use of around 23,000 m2 of land dotted around Prague. Most of the land has been built on for key highways around the capital. The proceedings were announced by the Czech Ministry of Finance.
Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek has called for the Czech government to take a stand over the clean out of schools and universities being undertaken in Turkey following the failed coup last weekend. The leader of the Christian Democrats said he wanted the issue discussed at the next Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday. According to reports out of Turkey around 22,000 teachers have been sacked from their jobs in the state sector and around the same had had their teaching permits withdrawn in the private sector. The Czech University Council on Friday expressed its solidarity with higher education institutions in Turkey and compared the clean out to events which took place under Communism in former Czechoslovakia.
Three times more Czechs have been poisoned this year from mushroom picking compared with last year. So far 52 instances of poisoning have been reported by hospitals, half of the cases concerned children. The sharp rise is explained by the drought conditions over the same period last year resulting in a mushroom scarcity and the fact that many varieties of poisonous mushrooms appeared to have prospered so far this year.
The Czech Republic failed to pump 6.8 billion crowns in European funds earmarked for the county according to figures from the Ministry of Finance. The latest figure is an improvement on the 10 billion crown shortfall estimated by the Ministry for Regional Development at the start of this year and the 36 billion crown figure given in the middle of 2015. The Czech Republic is looking to use up 620 billion crowns earmarked for it under the latest spending period between 2014 and 2020.
In football, Slavia Prague has progressed to the next qualifying round of the Europa League with a 2:0 win at home on Thursday night against Levadia Tallinn. The goals were scored by new Dutch signing Gino Van Kessel and Milan Škoda. The win meant Slavia proceeded on away goals after a 1:3 defeat in the first leg.
Czech politicians have reacted to US Republican nominee Donald Trump’s words regarding conditional US support for NATO allies in time of need. Speaking at a press conference in Warsaw, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said NATO was the basis for European security and expressed the hope that the US would remain a solid NATO partner no matter who wins the presidential elections. I am glad that the UK has confirmed it wants to stay part of NATO although it is leaving the EU, Mr. Sobotka said. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, who is currently on a working visit to the US, said that questioning the principle of mutual military aid was dangerous.
Czech police have arrested one of the bosses of the Calabrian mafia, Francesco Bonavita, commercial TV Nova reported. According to the tv report Bonavita had lived in the Czech Republic for several months under a false name. In Italy he faces charges of criminal conspiracy for which he could receive 26 years in jail. The suspect was reportedly arrested a few days ago in Prague’s north-western Dejvice district and is now awaiting a decision on extradition.
A meeting of Visegrad Four prime ministers in Warsaw on Thursday ended with calls for speedy EU reform. Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlova, who hosted the meeting, said the EU must return to its roots and reflect the needs of its citizens. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the European Council should lead the debate on EU reform. He said the EU member states needed to improve cooperation in the field of security, in protecting the union’s outer borders and in the fight against terrorism. The V4 debate also focussed on Brexit and the current situation in Turkey. It is the Visegrad Four’s first session since Poland took over the V4 presidency from the Czech Republic on July 1st.
A Prague court has upheld a seven year jail sentence handed to a young man who neglected care for his bedridden grandmother, letting her go without food and drink for what doctors said appeared to have been weeks. The woman, who weighed less than 30 kilograms, died two days after being taken to hospital. Her grandson had moved her in with him in order to use her pension to buy drugs. The verdict is binding.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur