Police have called for fraud charges to be pressed against former national ice hockey coach, Vladimír Rúžička, according to the ČTK news agency citing police sources. The charges relate to his period as trainer at the Prague Slavia club when he is alleged to have received half a million crowns from a wealthy businessman in order that his son would play for the club. The sum never found its way onto the books of the hockey club. The allegations came to light ahead of last year’s ice hockey world championships with Rúžička later resigning his post. He is currently the trainer at Chomutov.
More than a fifth of vines in Southern Moravia have been affected by early morning frosts over the last week according to the Association of Vineyard Owners. There will be a clear impact on the future grape crop but the association has so far been unable to put a figure on the estimated damage. Temperatures dropped to below zero on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The worst affected vines are expected to be those in valley locations. Severe frosts last affected vineyards in the region four years ago.
An agreement between three political parties, ANO, the Social Democrats, and the three-way coalition (composed of the Christian Democrats, Greens, and party of mayors, STAN) has been signed aimed at the future running of Prague City Hall. The deal brings together the same three groups who fell out in October last year leaving the Czech capital rudderless. The agreement has the backing of 34 of the 65 members of the council. An new council executive does not feature the Green leader Matěj Stropnický, who previously clashed frequently with mayor Adriana Krnáčová.
In ice hockey, the Czech Republic team suffered a crushing 2:7 defeat at the hands of Sweden in a warm up match for the upcoming World Championships which was held in Znojmo on Wednesday night. The Czechs were leading 2:1 in the first period but the visitors went on to score a further six goals without reply before the final buzzer. The game was held as part of the Euro Hockey Tour. The Swedes assured first place in the competition. The World Championships take place in Russia in the first week of May.
Czech company Škoda Transportation has announced a contract to deliver 20 trams to the Latvian capital Riga. The contract is worth around 62.6 million euros. Advantageous financial terms for the contract have been offered by a local Latvian bank with repayments over 15 years from the delivery of the first tram. There are already 26 Škoda trams in service in the city. The deliveries of the new trams will be completed by the end of September next year, according to the company.
The government on Wednesday condemned the acts of vandalism against several cafes and shops in Prague over the weekend. A number of coffee bars and shops which are part of the Hate-free project were sprayed with Nazi symbols and threats. Culture Minister Daniel Herman said it was important to take a firm stand against any expression of extremism. Several hundred people gathered on Monday in Prague to condemn the acts of vandalism, which is being investigated by police as hate-related crime.
If the Rio de Janeiro Olympics were held today, the Czech Republic would win 10 medals, four of them gold, suggests an analysis carried out by the US-based Gracenote sports data provider released exactly 100 days before the start of the Olympics. According to their forecast, the Czech Republic would finish in the medals table in 20th place, one place lower than four years ago. According to Gracenote, the gold medallists will include javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková, hurdler Zuzana Hejnová, rower Ondřej Synek and Judo Wrestler Lukáš Krpálek.
The first four refugees from Syria, accepted in the Czech Republic under a quota system approved by the European Union, arrived in the Czech Republic on Monday, the spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry, Hana Malá, told the Czech News Agency. The four-member family is staying at a ministry facility waiting to be granted asylum. The Czech government has decided to take in the first seven Syrian refugees under the quota system approved by the European Union, but three of them escaped from a Greek facility in order to avoid being relocated to the country. The Czech Republic is due to take in just under 2,700 refugees by the end of next year.
Parliamentary representatives from the Visegrad Four countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, attended a meeting at the Štiřín chateau outside Prague on Thursday. After the meeting they again criticised the idea of compulsory refugee quotas for European Union states. According to the Hungarian parliament leader, László Kövér, it is an attempt to federalise Europe, while the head of the Czech Parliament, Milan Štěch, said it was an excess, which will hopefully not be repeated in the future.
The Czech producer of ultralight aircraft Direct Flight will manufacture their aircraft in China, the company’s co-owner, Ivo Lederer, told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. Company representatives signed an agreement on transfer of technologies with the Chinese company Wanfeng Aviation. The company will launch large-scale production in China, initially producing about 100 to 150 aircraft a year. The Chinese company will invest about four million crowns into cooperation with the Czech partner.
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