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Czech police expected to help Bulgaria with immigration problems: president Zeman

Czech president Miloš Zeman has said that Czech police should be sent to Bulgaria to help safeguard the border with Turkey. Zeman said that specific talks about this help, similar to that already given to Macedonia, were underway. He said he expected them to lead to a result soon. The Czech president’s comments came during an official visit by Rosen Plevneliev. Discussions also dealt with the problems two Czech power companies with distribution assets in the country have been having in Bulgaria. Plevneliev is visiting the Czech Republic for two days and was later due to meet with prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Talks were expected to focus on bilateral economic relations.

Human rights minister says government seeking buyout of pig farm at site of Roma camp

Czech Minister for Human rights Jiří Dienstbier, said Monday that the government would prefer a buyout of a pig farm standing on the site of a camp at which Roma were interned during the second world war before hundreds were sent onto death camps in the east. Many also died at the camp due to illness and poor conditions. The farm owners also indicated their willingness to discuss a sale. Dienstbier’s comments came on the eve of a visit to the site at Lety, South Bohemia, by finance minister, Andrej Babiš. Babiš is due to visit the site on Tuesday to apologise for earlier remarks at which he was quoted as saying that only Roma unwilling to work were sent to the camp. The minister later said he would help in long running moves to buy out the pig farm and create a fitting memorial. The camp at Lety was originally created as a work camp by Czech authorities before being turned into an internment camp for Roma by the Nazis.

Škoda Auto seen rolling out four new models in 2017

The Czech Republic’s biggest car producer Škoda Auto will roll out four new models next year, including a new version of the Yeti, according to various sources within the company cited by the agency ČTK on Monday. Other new models should be updates of the small Citigo, Rapid, and mid-range Octavia. Škoda Auto should also unveil its first plug-in hybrid car in 2019, according to the report.

Tourists getting increasing ripped off at top Czech locations: trade inspectors

Tourists are getting ripped off even more in Czech tourist hotspots by retailers and restaurant owners, according to figures from the Czech Trade Inspectorate. It found around 40 percent of businesses were guilty of unfair practices in the second quarter such as overcharging with restaurants frequently selling short portions of food and drinks. This compares with around a third carrying out such practices in the same quarter of 2015. The office handed out fines in 148 cases with the total amount of fines coming to 300,000 crowns.

Richard Novák to be awarded 2016 Antonín Dvořak prize

The winner of this year’s Antonín Dvořak prize has been announced as Richard Novák. The opera singer, who will be 75 next month, has long been associated with the Brno Opera House. Novák will be given the award later this month by the Minister of Culture. The prize is awarded to those who have contributed to propagating Czech classical music at home and abroad. In 2001, Novák was awarded the Thálie prize for his lifetime contribution to culture.

Retail sales still strong in July

Retail sales in the Czech Republic rose 1.6 percent in July compared with the same month last year, according to the Czech Statistical Office. Adjusted for the number of working days, the increase in spending comes to 5.1 percent. Sales were especially strong in non-food goods, where they climbed by around 8 percent. Growth in food sales was just 2.1 percent. The trend of increasing sales through mail order or via the Internet continues, with those sales up by nearly 20 percent.

Average wages rise by 3.9 percent in second quarter

Average monthly wages in the Czech Republic rose in the second quarter by an average 3.9 percent year on year, according to the Czech Statistical Office on Monday. The average rise of just over 1,000 crowns boosts the average to 27,297 crowns. When inflation is factored in, the average percentage rise comes in at 3.7 percent. Compared to the first quarter, wages rose by 0.8 percent.

Bulgarian president expected in Prague for talks

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is expected to arrive in Prague on Monday for a two-day official visit. His talks with President Zeman and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka are expected to focus on European security, the migrant crisis and bilateral cooperation. The migrant crisis is a particularly sensitive issue in Bulgaria since the country borders on Turkey and would be strongly impacted in the event of an uncoordinated migrant exodus to Western Europe. President Plevneliev will also meet with the speakers of the upper and lower houses of Parliament and be given a tour of St. Vitus Cathedral. The last visit by a Bulgarian head of state to the Czech Republic was in 2009 by then president Georgi Parvanov.

Petra Kvitová knocked out of US Open by second seed

Petra Kvitová has been knocked out of the US Open in straight sets by second-seed Angelique Kerber of Germany. Kerber advanced to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows by defeating the Czech on Sunday night: the final score was 6-3, 7-5. Kvitova, who recent showed promising form with a bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio, made 43 unforced errors in the match, including seven double faults. The last double came on match point.

Czechs tie against Northern Ireland in FIFA World Cup UEFA qualifying tournament

The Czech Republic’s opening match against Northern Ireland in the 2018 FIFA World Cup UEFA qualifying tournament ended in a 0:0 draw on Sunday, with the Czechs picking up one point. The team played an offensive game under their new coach Karel Jarolim, but were unable to break Northern Ireland’s defense. The Czechs could have gone ahead in the fourth minute when a cross found right back Pavel Kadeřábek unmarked inside the six-yard box but it was at waist height and he only managed to put the ball over the bar with his thigh. The team’s next games are against Germany, Azerbaijan and Norway.