President Miloš Zeman has appointed Stanislav Štech as Czech minister of education, youth and sports. Mr. Štech, who is 62, is a Charles University psychology professor and a former deputy minister of education. He replaces the Social Democratic Party’s Kateřina Valachová, who announced her resignation after one of her deputies was charged with large-scale corruption involving sports subsidies.
The Czech Republic will set up a consulate in Manchester in order to improve services for the public and handle a growing number of requests for Czech citizenship in the wake of Brexit, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek told journalists on Wednesday. The proposal has been approved by the government and the consulate should begin operating at the start of next year. There are presently some 100,000 Czechs living in Great Britain and approximately 300,000 Czechs visit the country every year. At present consular services are only provided by the Czech Embassy in London.
The Czech police force is going on social networks to improve communication with the public, Police President Tomas Tuhy confirmed on Wednesday. The force is setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube where they will post information regarding security measures, traffic and recruitment videos. The police force needs to increase its ranks by 4,000 men and women to an overall 44,000 by 2022 and the recruitment process is not going as fast as expected.
Prague’s main railway station was closed for close to two hours on Wednesday due to a security alert. Police evacuated the premises due to suspect abandoned luggage. The ensuing security operation disrupted traffic on Prague metro’s C-line, with trains merely passing through the station. The station reopened shortly after midday. Due to the fact that trains were stopped Czech Railways is reporting hour-long delays on some routes.
The Czech Republic could attract a record number of foreign tourists this year and has a chance of crossing the ten million mark, according to the government agency CzechTourism. In the first quarter the number of tourists reached 3.6 million, an 11 percent increase year on year. The growing tourist numbers are driven by renewed interest from Russian tourists and a sharp increase in the number of visitors from China, South Korea and Israel. CzechTourism says that, despite its optimism, the end-year figure will depend on the security situation, the weather and the strength of the crown.
The police have arrested three people on suspicion of manipulating public tenders for work on the premises of the president’s summer residence Lany Chateau. The three are employees of Lesní správa Lány, an organization administering close to six hectares of land and forests which belong to the Office of the President. They are said to have manipulated public tenders worth 60 million crowns. The police allegedly raided the office of the organization and employees' private homes. The Office of the President has not so far commented on the development.
The Czech economy is now prepared to adopt the euro and would have no significant problem in joining the single currency market, according to the governor of the Czech National Bank, Jiří Rusnok. Mr. Rusnok noted however that there were still huge disparities in prices and salaries between the Czech Republic and members of the Eurozone which should be bridged before the country made the move. He said that, barring unexpected circumstances, this could be achieved within five years. Czech governments have so far refrained from setting a time frame for euro adoption, and Andrej Babiš, whose ANO party is widely expected to win the autumn general elections, has said he is against the country joining the single currency.
The Boston Bruins’ David Pastrňák has become the youngest player ever to win the Golden Hockey Stick for best Czech ice hockey player of the year. Speaking at the award ceremony in Prague on Tuesday night, the 21-year-old forward said he had dreamed of winning the poll when he was picked up the junior Golden Hockey Stick two years ago. Twelve-time winner Jaromír Jágr, who is 45, came eighth this year.
The Czech Republic experienced the hottest day of the year so far on Tuesday. The highest temperature – 34.9 degrees Celsius – was recorded at Dobřichovice near Prague. Temperature records for the day were broken at most of the country’s meteorological stations. Forecasters say even higher temperatures are expected on Thursday.
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