Czech transport engineering group Škoda Transportation announced that it almost tripled its net profit in 2016 to 1.571 billion crowns compared with the result in the previous year. The increase came in the face of a 14 percent drop in turnover to 15.7 billion crowns. The group, with around 5,300 employees based in Plzeň, is the biggest producer of trams, locomotives, carriages, trolley buses, and electric buses in Central and Eastern Europe.
The British foreign ministry has promised further details concerning the case of the Czech killed in London last year whose alleged attacker was allowed to walk free from court. The Czech foreign ministry said British authorities have offered a meeting with the prosecutor and Ministry of Justice officials as well as a full note of the court proceedings. They also offered further information in the near future. The jury’s decision to free the alleged attacker of both murder and manslaughter charges following after the incident in the East End of London last September prompted a formal diplomatic note to London from Prague seeking explanations and clarifications as well as a meeting between Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek and the British ambassador in Prague, Jan Thompson, and with British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.
In football, Slavia Prague kept their hopes of a double league and cup win alive after booking their place in the MOL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday night. They beat Karviná 5:2. Slavia now go into the draw on Thursday with fellow qualifiers Mladá Boleslav, Zlín, and second division Opava. The Prague club were drawn against Zlín. Slavia are currently second in the top Czech league.
Cross country skier Lukáš Bauer, 39, confirmed on Thursday that he has definitely retired and will no longer represent the Czech Republic at a top competitive level. The winner of three Olympic medals, including one silver, and two times world championship runner up said that his appearance in March’s world championship event in Lahti, Finland, was his last for his country. He will continue to take part in long distance events only for the team he created three years ago.
Czechs perceive the biggest likely source of tension in the country as between locals and foreigners, according to a survey carried out by the STEM agency. Sixty-six percent of Czechs questioned identified Czech-foreigner relations as a significant source of tension, one percentage point lower than the figure given during a similar survey in 2016. The second highest source of tension was between workers and bosses, 59 percent in the latest survey, and between rich and poor, 57 percent. The last figures are almost unchanged from 2016.
The Czech competition office has cleared the buy- out of one of the country’s biggest commercial television stations, TV Prima. The Brno-based office said that the buy- out by Czech businessmen Ivan Zach and Vladimír Komár would not have a damaging effect on the market. The duo previously owned half of the broadcaster along with major Swedish media group, Media Times Group, which is now selling up. Prima has five channels in the Czech Republic and one in Slovakia. It has over recent years caught up with the audience figures of the leading commercial broadcaster, Nova, though also been tarnished over a scandal over instructions to journalists to report negatively on immigrants. The Swedes bought their stake in 2005.
Health minister Miloslav Ludvík has warned of an ‘explosion’ of costs in the health sector connected with the arrival of a new generation of effective but high cost drugs. Future governments will have to deal with the question and try to find new sources of income, he said in an interview with public broadcaster Czech Television. An extra 3.5 billion is earmarked for the health sector in 2018 as a result of higher revenues for health insurance companies. Ludvík explained that some of the new drugs that will be coming on line are tailor made genetic drugs which are highly effective in targeting specific conditions but extremely expensive to produce.
Coal miner Czech Coal has made a 10 billion crown bid for state power company ČEZ’s biggest coal-fired power plant, Počerady, according to the business daily Hospodářské Noviny. ČEZ is weighing up its options, the paper said. The power company previously declined to sell the power plant under a previous deal with Czech Coal linked to a new coal supply agreement. The paper said senior government figures, including prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, are opposed to the sale because the new owners might attempt to extend the life of the power plant and fail to meet targets for cutting pollution.
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Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
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Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott