Last year 565 people died on Czech roads, which was 63 more than the
previous year and the highest figure in three years. Numbers presented by
the police on Tuesday morning also showed that the deaths of motorcyclists
increased by over 40 percent in 2018.
Transport police were called out to over 100,000 traffic accidents last year, the division’s chief, Tomáš Lerch, told journalists.
Almost 2,500 people were left with serious injuries after collisions in 2018. Over 25,000 suffered minor injuries.
The Ministry of Education has fined six foreign universities or branches of
them on Czech territory, Czech Radio’s iRozhlas news site reported on
Tuesday. The universities lack the required licenses to teach in this
country. The ministry is not permitted to reveal their names.
Officials have also filed criminal complaints against two third-level institutions for failing to return admission fees paid by people who never started courses. Administrative proceedings are also being conducted with five schools.
Sixteen foreign universities have fulfilled all legal requirements to offer services in the Czech Republic and passed Ministry of Education checks.
An internal audit within the state-owned agency CzechTourism has revealed
dozens of suspicious contracts, Czech Television reports. The audit was
triggered by a police raid in November at the Ministry of Regional
Development, which had numerous contracts with the agency.
It found that over 50 percent of funds were invested into just three regions of the country, and a fifth of the tenders were carried out by just four firms. Police are investigating Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová and CzechTourism head Aleš Pangrác for possible fraud in this regard.
The Czech government has agreed on special legislation in the event of a
“hard Brexit” to treat Britons living here as if they were EU nationals
up until December 31, 2020.
That date mirrors one for a similar policy which the British government has
announced for EU nationals living within the UK. The Czechs government
hopes to get the legislation passed as soon as possible.
The draft special legislation was prepared primarily by the Interior Ministry and is to be put into action if a hard Brexit were to take place in March 2019.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček will meet with Chinese
Ambassador Zhang Jianmin on Thursday to discuss a dispute relating to
Huawei and ZTE products, a spokesperson for the Czech Foreign Ministry
said. Mr. Zhang had met personally with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in
December after the Czech National Bureau for Cyber Security said the
Chinese-made products posed a security threat.
However, the two do not agree about what was said at the meeting. On Sunday, Mr. Babiš said that a Chinese Embassy statement – seeming to suggest that the Czech leader had apologised over the matter – was “nonsense and a lie”.
President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has been trying to influence decisions at key courts in the country, Respekt reported on Monday. Among the courts that Mr. Mynář attempted to influence were the Constitutional and Supreme Administrative courts, the news weekly said. These activities have been going on for several years and range from the president’s right hand man gathering information about important cases to telling courts how to decide, Respekt alleged. Prague Castle spokesman Jiří Ovčáček reacted to the report by saying that Mr. Mynář had been speaking to the judges in order to inform them about the viewpoints of the president.
Czech pensioner Jaromír Balda has confessed to cutting down trees that
landed on railroad tracks, causing two train accidents in 2017. Mr. Balda,
who is 71, told the Prague Municipal Court on Monday that he had left
leaflets at the scene bearing fake “jihadist” slogans in order to
discredit migrants, who he referred to as a “horror”.
The pensioner said that he has recovered his wits since being in jail for nearly a year and that he had not intended to hurt anyone. The case is being prosecuted as a terrorist attack and the perpetrator faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Prague, Yevhen Perebyjnis, has hit back at a
statement by former Czech president Václav Klaus, who said on Sunday that
Ukraine was being goaded by Western political elites, including that of the
Czech Republic, to provoke Russia. Mr. Perebyjnis asked on Twitter whether
Czechoslovakia had provoked Nazi Germany to action in 1938.
Mr. Klaus said on TV Prima that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behaving cautiously and soberly and not reacting to each provocation, adding that this was fortunate. Mr. Perebyjnis asked whether Hitler too had been cautious and sober.
The Ukrainian ambassador’s comments received support from Czech MEP Jaromír Štětina and former TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek.
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“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future