Czech Roma who survived the holocaust during WWII will be entitled to a payment of 2500 euros according to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A spokeswoman for the ministry said that the payment would affect between 10 and 15 people. The payment follows long negotiations between the foreign ministries of the Czech Republic and Germany and has been welcomed by the Czech committee for the compensation of Roma holocaust victims. Roma were subject to persecution by the Nazi regime occupying Bohemia and Moravia. Around 5,000 were taken to concentration camps and forced to work in camps in Bohemia and Moravia. Only around 580 survived the camps and returned home after the war
A record 54,000 home loans totalling around 102 billion crowns were awarded in the first half of the year according to figures from the Ministry of Regional Development. That compares with 50,000 loans amounting to 88 billion crowns given out in the same period of 2015. In June alone loans worth 23.8 billion were agreed, a record monthly figure for the last 21 years.
A financial police squad will be created from the start of 2017 as part of a wider police reorganisation, Minister of Interior Milan Chovanec announced on Thursday. Negotiations will take place with the Customs Administration about the division of responsibilities, he added. Terrorism, cybernetic crime, and the fight against corruption were picked out as the priorities for the new centralised police unit for combatting organised crime which started operations at the beginning of August. The minister added that only five police had left the service over the controversial reorganisation, which merged previous specialised units, with two or three more saying that they would leave. The reorganisation sparked a major row between government parties.
The Czech National Bank has upped its forecast for growth this year but dropped its expectations for 2017. Growth this year is expected to reach 2.4 percent, a slight advance on May’s previous figure 2.3 percent. But GDP growth has been shrunk in the latest prediction to 3.0 percent from the previous 3.4 percent. That 3.0 percent growth rate is now seen continuing into 2018. The bank board added that it does not expect its current low crown policy backed up by foreign exchange interventions to end before mid-2017 but that term could be stretched further if the 2.0 target annual inflation figure is not reached.
A fresh clash between the Czech state operated postal service Czech Post and workers has erupted over demands from management that workers deliver advertising material for free as well as the usual round of letters and parcels, Czech Radio reported. A spokesman for the post office said such deliveries were normal. Workers say preparing the material and delivering adds up to extra work. The post office has been seeking for several years to expand into new areas and sell more products over the counter, such as insurance and banking service, often against opposition from staff who argue that they are not qualified to offer such services. Some post office branches are also being transformed into franchises.
A regional court in Plzeň has given a ruling on Thursday into the appeal by a Czech against being held in custody over suspicion that he tried to join Islamic State. The ruling has not been made public before its delivery to all those concerned. The man has been in custody since July 20. He is charged with trying to take part in a terrorist attack for which he could face up to 15 years in prison. Czech newspapers say the man as the first Czech accused of trying to join Islamic State. He is described as having been detained at a Turkish airport in January and later admitting that he was trying to join IS in Syria.
Director, producer and script writer Petr Jákl is behind a project to produce a feature film focusing on the life of Hussite War leader Jan Žižka which could turn out to be the most expensive film ever produced in the Czech Republic, the ČTK agency reported. Filming will start at the beginning of 2017. Jákl previous produced the thriller Ghoul and Kajínek, which told the story of the infamous Czech criminal. Jan Žižka has been the subject of a series of films, the most famous perhaps being the 1955 film by Otakar Vávra.
The 21st International Festival of Organ Music starts in Prague on Thursday,. The opening performance at St. James’ Basilica in Prague will be given by world famous Polish organist Julian Gembalski, who founded the first organ museum in Europe, who will play a repertoire including Bach and Franck. The festival continues until September 22 with performances from organists from France, Japan, Estonia, and other countries.
A journalist from the Czech business daily has been refused a visa to Russia in what the paper said is apparently a retaliation for the Czech foreign ministry’s refusal of accreditation for two Russian reporters, the paper said Thursday. Journalist Ondřej Soukup was refused a visa the day before he was due to fly out. No official reason was given. Accreditation for two Russian reporters was refused in April after a report from the domestic security service BIS that they had been spying for Russian secret services. Their permits to stay in the Czech Republic run till the end of the year and can be renewed.
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Čech tops the rankings of the best paid Czech sportsmen and women even after his earnings reducing transfer from Chelsea last season. Čech’s annual earnings, combining his club wage and sponsor deals, is estimated at around 260 million crowns a year, according to the Forbes magazine. That puts him well ahead of second placed Czech Jaromir Jágr, whose annual income is estimated at 154 million crowns. Jágr jumped tennis player Petra Kvitova who previously occupied the second spot.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott