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15-02-2018

Czech archives cited in reports of Labour leader’s meeting with ‘spy’

Czech communist era secret police archives have been cited in British press reports about reported meetings between Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and a Czechoslovak spy during the 1980s.

The tabloid The Sun said Corbyn met with a spy using diplomatic cover at least three times, twice at the House of Commons. Archive documents published by the paper appear to show he was sounded out about his views on National Liberation Movements, the Middle East and Persian Gulf and British and US attitudes towards the Soviet bloc. Corbyn’s comments were described as too general to be useful.

The StB officer used the codename Jan Dymič, which according to Slovak archives was the name for Jan Sarkocy, a Slovak StB agent who started working in London in May 1986 but returned to Czechoslovakia in 1989. A Labour party spokesman said that Corbyn did not knowingly meet with any spy and that no sensitive information had been given.

Russian mother appeals to Czech president over imprisoned son

The mother of an alleged Russian hacker being kept in a Prague prison has appealed for his release to Czech president Miloš Zeman.

Russian paper Isvestia said the mother of 30-year old Yevgeny Nikulin wrote last week highlighting the illegal actions of Czech police and the fact that one of her older sons had already died.

Nikulin was detained in October 2016 and is suspected of hacking major US corporations. Both Russia and the U.S. have requested his extradition with the final decision resting with the Czech Ministry of Justice.

Successful worldwide launch seen for Czech computer game Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Czech interactive computer game ʺKingdom Come: Deliveranceʺ has already notched up encouraging sales within days of its release on the market.

Prague-based Warhorse Studios, which created the game based on a storyline from medieval Bohemia, says pre-sales total around 100,000 with another around 350,000 copies of the game going on general sale.

The game is one of the most expensive and ambitious to have ever been created in the Czech Republic with an eye on the multi-billion dollar world games market. Sales of the game were launched on Tuesday.

Czech PM says fiscal pact move could improve country’s EU image

Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš has said that the country’s adherence to the European Union’s so-called fiscal pact will have no real impact on the Czech Republic.

The government approved membership of the fiscal pact, which sets broad guidelines for budgets, deficits, and economic policy, on Wednesday.

Babiš said that ratification of the treaty behind the pact could improve Czech standing within the EU and pointed out that the country could not take a negative stance on everything. He was speaking to members of the upper house, the Senate.

The outgoing prime minister said the fiscal pact had nothing to do with joining the euro, adding that the government did not want to do that at the moment because it is not advantageous.

Czech minister seeks to exclude transport workers from EU ‘posted workers’ rules

The Czech Republic would like to exclude transport services from the general EU rules applied to so-called posted workers.

Transport minister Dan Ťok made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday. The minister added that applying the rules, which demand that foreign workers sent to work abroad are guaranteed local minimum wages and conditions, would be disastrous for haulage companies.

A revision of the framework for posted workers is aimed for by the middle of this year by the end of the current Bulgarian presidency of the Council of Ministers.

Some west European countries, such as France and Germany, have maintained that the minimum wages and conditions rule are applied to lorry drivers transporting goods in their countries.

Bill of around 27 billion crowns seen for Prague airport underground extension

An extension of Prague’s underground to Václav Havel airport from the current station at the Motol Hospital would cost 26.8 billion crowns with preparations and construction taking 11 years.

That is the estimate of an analysis carried out for the city’s public transport company by the company Metroprojekt. The extension of the current A line would add five new stations on the new stretch of line totalling almost 7 kilometres.

Prague City Council is also considering whether to extend its current C line eastwards for around 3 kilometres towards the suburb of Čakovice.

Temperatures of as low as -28.4 recorded on coldest night of year

Wednesday night was the coldest night of the year so far in the Czech Republic, according to data from the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. The lowest temperature, -28.4 degrees Celsius, was recorded at Jezerní Slať in the Šumava Mountains in the southwest of the country. Lows of under -20 degrees Celsius were experienced in many other parts of Šumava.

According to meteorologists, the coming days should see slightly higher temperatures and could also bring snow to the mountain regions of the country.

Viktoria Plzeň to face Partizan Belgrade in Europa League knock-out phase

Czech football club Viktoria Plzeň is set to appear in the knock-out stage of the Europa League after a four year-break. The Czechs will face Partisan Belgrade in the Serbian capital on Thursday night.

The leaders of the Czech football league won the group stage in autumn ahead of FCSB Bucharest, Lugano and Beer-Sheva. Viktoria Plzeň reached Europa League semi-finals twice in the seasons 2012/13 and 2013/14.

Weather

Friday should be cloudy with sunny intervals in the north and centre of the country but rain could fall in the south. Top daytime temperatures will range between three and six degrees Celsius.

15-02-2018