The Czech Republic’s foreign debt increased by CZK 133 billion in the second quarter of this year to reach CZK 3.353 trillion, according to figures just released by the Czech National Bank. The country’s foreign debt is equivalent to 72 percent of its gross domestic product. The Czech Republic’s foreign debt exceeded the CZK 3 trillion mark for the first time last year. It crossed the CZK 2 trillion line in 2010, six years after reaching CZK 1 trillion for the first time.
The Czech cyclist Leopold König has announced that he will return to Germany’s Bora, for which he will be team leader in the 2017 Tour de France, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. There had been speculation during this year’s Tour de France that the Czech would rejoin Bora (formerly known as NetApp-Endura), which has also made other significant reinforcements ahead of next season. König, who is 28, signed on with the world’s wealthiest cycling stable Team Sky in 2015.
The Czech national hockey team lost their second-straight game at the World Cup of Hockey, outplayed by Team Europe who won 3-2 in overtime. A brave effort by goalie Petr Mrázek, who stopped 38 shots, saw the team at least salvage a point. The Czechs, with a single point, will need favorable results from other teams to have a chance at a tie-breaker to advance. They play the United States on Thursday.
Members of the Russian dissident art group Voina (War) Oleg Vorotnikov, his wife Natalya Sokol and their daughter were detained in Prague on September 18, the Russian service of Radio Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday. According to RFE/RL, Ms Sokol and her daughter were released but Mr Vorotnikov remains in custody and could reportedly face extradition to Russia. The Czech authorities did not immediately comment. Mr Vorotnikov and his wife left Russia in 2011 and have applied, but failed to receive, political asylum in a number of European countries. Both are reportedly wanted by the Russian authorities for apparent 'hooliganism'. The highly political Voina street-art group became famous internationally for statements like painting a giant phallus on a drawbridge facing the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Service or, in another event, for overturning a police car on the pretense of "searching" for a child's lost ball.
The Finance Minister, Andrej Babiš, has called a request for an additional 1.1 billion crowns from the state budget by his colleague Interior Minister Milan Chovanec “unrealistic”. Mr Chovanec is seeking 600 million crowns of the amount for the police in the fight against terrorism. The funds should go towards arms, defense equipment and other technology. The additional funds would also go towards the renovation of ministry property. The interior minister made clear he expected to still raise the topic with his government counterpart ahead of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.
Five youths, between the ages of 19 and 22, have been charged by the police in connection with vandalism targetting a number of cafes and shops in Prague which were part of the Hate Free Campaign. The sites were sprayed with written threats and Nazi symbols in April. If found guilty of the acts of vandalism and of hate crime, the suspects could spend up to three years in prison. The incident was widely condemned by the public and politicians, including Prague’s mayor and the minister of culture.
The Czech Republic has not recognised the election results to the State Duma in the Russian Federation with regards to Crimea, as either valid or lawful, the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the ministry reiterated, was in violation of international law. The Czech Republic’s positon is in line with the rest of the European Union which likewise does not recognize Crimea's separation from Ukraine. EU officials and members of the OBSE took part in monitoring of the election in Russia on Sunday in significant voting areas with the exception of occupied Crimea.
Deputy police president Zdeněk Laube is stepping down for health reasons, the police presidium revealed on Monday, saying that he would continue on as an aide to Interior Minister Milan Chovanec. His successor is to be chosen in a tender and will take up the post on January 1, 2017. In a press release, Police President Tomáš Tuhý said he had been aware of the situation for several months and thanked the official for delaying his decision until after reform within the country’s police force which led to the creation of a new National Centre against Organized Crime. The move to create the centre generated considerable controversy and a temporary rift within the current coalition government.
A five-year-old boy died on Sunday after being attacked by a dog in the village of Lužec nad Cidlinou in the Hradec Králové region, police spokesperson Jan Čížkovský told the Czech News Agency. The boy succumbed to serious injuries sustained in the attack, said Mr.Čížkovský, who added that the police were at the start of their investigation into the matter. The police later revealed that in fact more than one canine was involved. The last case of a dog killing a child in the Czech Republic occurred in Prague in 2012.
The Czech Dental Chamber says it is launching a campaign to address the lack of financing in dentistry, saying it had informed politicians, health insurers, as well as the public for years about underfunding for certain services. The president of the chamber, Pavel Chrz, told journalists that dentists themselves would choose how to take part in the campaign, possibly be refusing some services or by not taking new patients. Mr Chrz said other sectors in the health sector had been given priority by the government, arguing that some dentist services were so poorly funded, they could no longer be offered in good faith.
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