In football, Czech club Mladá Boleslav has taken a first step towards taking part in the Europa League with an away win in the second pre-qualifying round against Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers on Thursday night. The visitors won 3 -2 with a brace of goals for the Czech side from Australian Golgol Mebrahtu. The return leg takes place in a week.
Prague was ranked fifth in Europe for the number of foreign visitors’ overnight stays and seventh in the total number of overnight stays, according to the results of the European Cities Benchmarking Report by European Cities Marketing. For the first time in recent years, the increase in overnight stays of domestic tourists (6%) was higher than the increase in the number of overnight stays by foreign visitors. With the total number of 16.7 million overnight stays, Prague came out ahead of such cities as Vienna and Amsterdam.
Morning temperatures dropped below zero on Thursday night in some parts of the Czech Republic. The lowest temperature, minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, was recorded at the measuring station in Kvilda in the Šumava mountains in the south west of the country. Freezing temperatures were also recorded in Jizerské hory in north Bohemia. According to meteorologists, the spell of colder weather will last until the end of the week, with daytime highs hovering around 20 degrees Celsius.
The 26th edition of the Český Krumlov International Music Festival is due to get underway on Friday evening. The stars of the gala opening will be the Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu and the Mexican tenor Ramon Vargas. The pair, who are both based at the Vienna State Opera, will be accompanied by the Prague Philharmonia. Nineteen concerts will take place at six venues in the South Bohemian town during the festival, which concludes on August 5.
The German carmaker BMW wants to build a test centre for new models in the Czech Republic, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Friday, citing the Czech minister of finance, Ivan Pilný. The test circuit would be based in either the Ústí nad Labem or Karlovy Vary region and would be used to test autonomous cars, the newspaper said, adding that executives at BMW were seriously considering investing CZK 1 billion in the project. Auto manufacture is the leading industry in the Czech Republic.
The police in Prague dealt with over 1,200 violations of the smoking ban in pubs and restaurants in the first month after it was introduced at the end of May, a spokesperson said on Thursday. In over 1,000 cases the smokers agreed to stop on the spot, while fines were levied in around 200 cases. The average fine amounted to CZK 370.
The right-wing TOP 09 party will field representatives of the Liberal Ecological Party on its candidate lists in October’s general elections, representatives of both groupings said on Thursday. The latter’s Martin Bursík, a former minister of the environment, said TOP 09 shared his party’s outlook on the environment, foreign policy and human rights. Among the other Liberal Ecological Party members due to stand for TOP 09 are Džamila Stehlíková, a one-time human rights minister, and Olga Sommerová, a documentary maker.
Special measures are to come into force on Friday in the Zlín region and other parts of Moravia in response to the first outbreak of African swine fever in the Czech Republic. Hunters will be allowed to shoot all wild boar throughout the country and to hunt them using night vision goggles in designated areas in an effort to contain the spread of the disease, which does not normally affect humans. Meanwhile all pig breeders in the Zlín area will have to slaughter their animals by the end of July unless they have followed special hygiene guidelines.
The Czech government has sent the European Commission a statement explaining why it has not taken in any refugees under an EU compulsory relocation scheme, a spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Thursday was the deadline for the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to explain why they had not fulfilled compulsory quotas for accepting refugees. The Czech interior minister, Milan Chovanec, says Prague firmly rejects such admonitions. He said there was at present nobody in Italy or Greece who fulfilled conditions for relocation, making any Czech offer meaningless. The three states in question could ultimately be fined by the EU for non-compliance with the system.
This June was the second hottest in the Czech Republic since 1961, according to preliminary data published by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Thursday. The average temperature last month was 18.2 degrees Celsius, a value only exceeded in the period since 1961 by the 19.4 degrees Celsius recorded in 2003. It was hotter in Moravia and Silesia than in Bohemia in June.
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