Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen is in Prague on a two-day state visit. On Monday evening he met with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka for talks covering bilateral relations, business and the development of transport infrastructure between the two countries. On Tuesday morning, the Austrian president will be received with military honours at Prague Castle by his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. He is also expected to attend a Czech-Austrian business forum in Prague.
The police have charged two people at the government agency CzechTourism with mismanagement of public funds. The police investigation into the agency’s financing was launched at the request of the Supreme Audit Office which reported irregularities in tenders and squandering of large sums of money on wellness stays and social events. If convicted the suspects could face up to two years in prison. CzechTourism was set up by the government to promote the country as an attractive tourist destination.
With the start of the summer holidays the police will launch a nation-wide operation aimed at reducing alcohol and drug abuse among minors, a police spokeswoman said on Monday. Over 1,500 police officers are to take part in the operation checking on pubs and restaurants to make sure minors are not served alcohol or allowed into game bars. One of the reasons for the wide-ranging measures is that Czech youngsters top the European ladder in the consumption of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. In 2015 a similar operation detected 660 children who had been drinking, in 2016 it was 395. Music festivals where alcohol and drugs are also widely available will also be targeted.
Former education minister and the country’s first school ombudsman Eduard Zeman has died at the age of 69. Mr. Zeman died in hospital on Sunday, where he was being treated for cancer. In the 1990s he served as a deputy for the Social Democratic Party and between 1998 and 2002 he was education minister in the cabinet of Miloš Zeman.
The Czech Republic should support primarily the kind of foreign investments that help modernize the country and increase its competitiveness, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said at a conference of Czech economic envoys on Monday. Mr. Sobotka said the it was important to steer the country from being just a production base for the European market to a place of technological innovation and in this respect it was essential to support the kind of investments that would not only create jobs but highly qualified jobs. The prime minister also stressed the need to fight protectionism on the EU market. The meeting of Czech economic envoys deployed at Czech embassies abroad was organized by the Foreign Ministry.
Fire-fighters were called to deal with an isocyanide leak at the Grenier aerospace company in Nyrsko, south-western Bohemia in the early hours of Monday. Several units of firefighters fought to contain the spill of the highly toxic, flammable substance. Four of the company’s employees were taken to hospital for observation after breathing in the substance. Preliminary reports say the leak occurred due to a faulty pipe. The accident is being investigated
Hundreds of astrophysicists from around the world have descended on Prague for the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, which gets underway on Monday. The annual event, which is organised by the European Astronomical Society in cooperation with the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, presents the latest findings in the astronomical research. The event offers a number of events for the public, including various exhibitions and lectures.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová won the Aegon Classic tournament in Birmingham, just six months after sustaining a career-threatening injury. The two-time Wimbledon champion defeated Australia's Ashleigh Barty 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in only her second tournament since the start of her comeback. Kvitová was sidelined for five months after she was hurt during an attack at her apartment, sustaining injuries to her left, playing hand. She returned at last month's French Open, where she lost in the second round.
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