The Austrian president, Alexander Van der Bellen, says his country is very keen to see symmetry in trade and financial relations between it and the Czech Republic. Mr. Van der Bellen made the comment after talks in Prague with his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. He pointed out that the Czechs export more to Austria than they import from the country and that the situation was the other way around with regard to direct investment. Mr. Van der Bellen also said that transport infrastructure between the two states had got better but there was still room for more improvement.
The Czech Republic and Japan have signed a deal allowing for a working holiday visa programme. Under the agreement, the two states’ citizens aged 18 to 30 can work in the other country for one year without a permit. It was signed by Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and his Czech counterpart, Bohuslav Sobotka, on the first day of the latter’s four-day visit to Japan on Tuesday. Mr. Sobotka’s stay is set to also include a Czech-Japanese business forum and a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. He is the first Czech head of government to visit Japan since 2005.
The Czech Republic’s fruit harvest this year is set to be 26 percent lower than the average for the last five years due to frosts in spring, the head of the country’s fruit growers association told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday. Moravian crops were hardest hit by the adverse weather conditions and the yield of apricots and peaches, which are grown there, is likely to be a full 70 percent below the five-year average. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka says he will call on the government to compensate the farmers affected, as also happened last year.
It will be possible from next year to buy Prague public transport tickets and passes online and via a mobile application, the Czech News Agency reported. The move was approved by city councilors on Tuesday. It will also be possible to register a bank payment card and to use it to prove one has bought a ticket for public transport, a function today fulfilled by the Lítačka electronic card. The system is set to go fully live from March 2018.
The Czech authorities have registered the first ever cases of African swine fever in the country. The disease, which does not affect humans, was found in two dead wild boars that may have crossed the border into the Zlín region. Special monitoring of the wild boar population has been introduced, officials said on Tuesday. If domesticated pigs catch the disease they have to be put down and cordons placed around the farms in question.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová has pulled out of the Eastbourne tournament due to an abdominal injury. The Czech won the Aegon Classic in Birmingham on Sunday, her second tournament since she was stabbed by an intruder at her home in December. The victory at Birmingham moved her to 12th place in the world rankings. She is one of the favourites for Wimbledon, where she won the title in 2011 and 2014.
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.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’