The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, says he is optimistic with regard to a Czech couple facing terrorism charges in Turkey. Speaking after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Ankara on Tuesday, he said he saw willingness on the part of the local authorities to be accommodating to the Czech Republic. Miroslav Farkas and Markéta Všelichová were arrested in Turkey last month. Both say they have been involved in Syria with Kurdish group YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organisation. Mr. Zaorálek said the Czech Embassy in Turkey was working every day on their behalf.
The authorities in Prague will have to go back to the drawing board over plans to build a fourth underground rail line in the city following a court decision, Czech Radio reported. The Supreme Administrative Court rejected a complaint lodged against an earlier verdict from the Prague Municipal Court that upheld objections to the project from land owners on the planned route. The city authorities say they will begin working on a new territorial plan in January, though a city official said the Metro line would be to the benefit of the land owners and compromise could still be reached. The “D” line should run from Náměstí Míru via Pankrác to Písnice in the south of the city.
The authorities in Prague 6 have closed a competition to design a monument to a fictional character created by the playwright, dissident and former president Václav Havel. Protagonist Ferdinand Vaněk, who appeared in four Havel plays, is being honoured in this way as part of events marking what would have been the 80th anniversary of his creator’s death. Twenty-three designs for a “Vaněk bench” were submitted and councillors are due to pick a winner on Thursday.
Police in North Bohemia have launched an investigation into 24 people accused of misusing European subsidies. The corruption is alleged to have occurred in connection with a regional cohesion council. A number of those arrested have been questioned in Prague by the police’s national organised crime unit. Several people have already been found guilty of corruption in connection with the Ústí nad Labem-based agency, which got into financial difficulties in 2010.
The number of tourists staying in Airbnb-style private accommodation in the Czech Republic grew by 40 percent year on year to 2.2 million in the first nine months of this year, suggests research conducted for CzechTourism. The state agency also said on Tuesday that the overall number of visitors had grown by 12.6 percent in the first three-quarters to reach 9.3 million. Hotels saw an upswing of 6.3 percent in overnight stays in the same period.
The Japanese company Asahi Group Holdings is to buy the Czech brewery Plzeňský Prazdroj from SABMiller, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Plzeňský Prazdroj, which makes the famous Pilsner Urquell lager, is changing hands as part of a EUR 7.3 billion deal that also includes a number of other breweries in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Asahi reportedly outbid PPF, the investment firm of Czech tycoon Petr Kellner, and other contenders. The European Commission made the sale a condition for agreeing to SABMiller’s acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, has travelled to Turkey for a one-day visit. The Czech foreign policy chief is due to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on a range of subjects, including Czech-Turkish and Turkish-European Union relations and other matter relating to foreign policy. Mr. Zaorálek is also set to meet the speaker of the Grand National Assembly, Ismail Kahraman, and other senior local officials.
A consignment of humanitarian aid has arrived in Syria from the Czech Republic, the Czech Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The delivery – jointly organised by the state and the Czech Red Cross – includes powdered milk, a dialysis machine, four defibrillators and children’s toys. It was brought to the war-torn state on a Czech Army plane and is the latest consignment within a long-term programme aimed at delivering aid to Syria in the 2016–2019 period. The materials will be distributed by the local Red Crescent, including to the besieged city of Aleppo. A group of five Czech MPs also travelled to Syria on the army plane; they were due to hold talks with senior local officials, including the foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem.
The Czech and Polish governments are to create a joint team to make part of the Oder River navigable. The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said after a meeting with his Polish counterpart, Beata Szydlo, in Wisla on Monday that a section of the Oder between Ostrava and Kozle in Poland should be made navigable in future. Mr. Sobotka also told the Polish leader that Prague aimed to speed up work on a motorway between Hradec Králové in East Bohemia and the Polish border.
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