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.
Czechoslovak RAF veteran Col Emil Boček took to the skies in a Spitfire on Thursday more than seven decades after his last flight in the iconic plane. The 93-year-old veteran, one of the country’s few remaining war heroes, spend thirty minutes up in the air, taking off from Biggin Hill and piloting the aircraft himself for a short while when it was airborne. He told reporters later it was an incredible experience. Boček voiced the dream to go up in a Spitfire once more a year ago and a number of organizations including the Czech Spitfire Club and the Czech Armed Forces got together to make it come true. Before the flight Boček attended a mass celebrated in remembrance of Czechoslovak RAF pilots at St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill. Cardinal Dominik Duka, who celebrated the mass, gave the chapel a copy of the Infant Jesus of Prague as a gift.
The western world should fight against the growing number of terrorist attacks by expelling radicalized religious leaders who recruit Muslims to the ranks of Islamic State or inspire them to lone suicide terrorist acts, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in an interview for the tabloid daily Blesk. Mr. Sobotka said that while it was difficult to prevent acts by lone wolf radicals, the authorities could address the problem by stopping those who are actively working to radicalize them, by focussing on their support networks and infrastructure.
Traffic along a stretch of Prague Metro’s C line was disrupted by an accident at midday on Thursday. One of the trains ploughed into a cart lying on the tracks in the station which got stuck under the carriage. Traffic between Kačerov and Háje was discontinued for over an hour and passengers were asked to use replacement busses.
The bark-beetle infestation of forests in South Bohemia has one again worsened and the Šumava National Park is once again logging infested trees, Czech Television reported. According to the report around twenty trees a day are being cut down to prevent further infestation. The fight against bark beetle is complicated by the fact that private owners of forests neglect their duty to fell infested trees or refuse to do so because of the low price of wood, Czech Television said. Foresters in south Moravia have also reported growing problems with bark beetle infestation.
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