Jičín in northeast Bohemia has been named Czech historical town of 2016. The award – which comes with CZK 1 million for further preservation work – was presented by the minister of regional development, Karla Šlechtová, in a ceremony at Prague Castle on Tuesday. Jičín, which has a population of around 16,500, boasts Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture. It is connected with the nobleman Albrecht von Wallenstein and the popular fairytale character Rumcajs.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says he would like to see the minimum wage rise to 40 percent of the average wage from next year. Mr. Sobotka made the comment after talks with union leaders on Tuesday. The average monthly wage in the Czech Republic was CZK 29,300 in the final quarter of last year. The head of the congress of trade unions, Josef Středula, said his organisation was advocating for the minimum wage to increase to at least CZK 12,500 a month from 2018. At present the figure is CZK 11,000.
Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller wrote to the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to object to Czech European Commissioner Věra Jourová’s treatment of the company’s “dieselgate” affair, the news site Politico reported. Ms. Jourová, who holds the justice and consumers portfolio, has been calling on VW to compensate customers affected by the emissions cheating affair. However, Mr. Juncker rejected the suggestion that Brussels had, through Commissioner Jourová, overstepped its powers, Politico said. Instead, he urged Mr. Müller to continue his dialogue with her.
Two Czech football internationals have become caught up in a police investigation into an alleged drug dealer, the Czech Radio station Radiožurnál reported on Tuesday. Former Viktoria Plzeň player Ondřej Vaněk is suspected of acquiring narcotics from Vítězslav Meišner, who has been charged with selling ecstasy and cocaine. Current Plzeň player Jan Kopic is suspected of loaning Meišner CZK 500,000. The two players are due to appear as witnesses when the case comes to court soon, Czech Radio said. The station has police evidence that appears to show Vaněk, who now plays in the Russian league, asking Meišner to find him some "pills". Kopic is said to have made the substantial loan to Meišner just a month after their first meeting.
The Brno Regional Court has banned Uber from offering taxi services in the city under the company’s present operating conditions. The court said Uber breached several provisions in the law governing the operation of taxis. The firm may not offer services if drivers don’t possess a permit and if their car is not marked as a taxi and does not feature the name of a company or taximeter. The ruling, which Uber may contest, followed a complaint from a taxi firm in the Moravian capital.
The Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has entered the draw for next month’s French Open, four months after sustaining serious hand injuries. The two-time Wimbledon winner required complicated surgery on her left hand after being attacked by a knife-wielding intruder in her home in December. Kvitová wrote on social media that said she may not be ready to play in Paris. However, she is doing everything possible to reach the Grand Slam tournament, she said. Kvitová, who is 27, reached world number two in 2011, the year of her first Wimbledon triumph.
The Ostrava-based company Vítkovice Power Engineering which is undergoing reorganization under forced administration, is having to lay off around 300 employees. Most of them are currently employed at the VPE Hard daughter company which is being sold off. Vitkovice Power Engeneering had close to 1,500 employees when it came under forced administration in 2016 and is now down to just over 800 with further lay-offs in the pipeline. The company narrowly avoided bankruptcy at the end of 2015 after admitting it had over 700 creditors to whom it owed hundreds of millions of crowns.
A new coalition government is emerging in the South Bohemian region following the resignation of South Bohemian governor Jiří Zimola and the collapse of the regional government last week. Representatives of the Social Democratic Party, Christian Democrats, the South Bohemian 2012 movement and the For South Bohemia grouping on Tuesday signed a letter-of-intent on future cooperation. The agreement still needs to be sanctioned by the regional council. The former coalition headed by Jiří Zimola from the Social Democratic party fell apart following allegations of corruption in the management of the regional hospital.
Czech golf player Klára Spilková became the first Czech player to win a Ladies European Tour event with a one stroke victory over Suzann Pettersen at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on Sunday. The 22-year-old fired a final round of 66 on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam and came from four strokes back to claim her first win with a 72-hole total of eight-under-par 280. It was her first start on the LET in 2017.
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