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03-09-2019

OLAF chief: Outcome of investigation into Babiš in Czech hands

The head of the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, says it is necessary to await more detailed information on why the Prague municipal state prosecutor halted the prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš over alleged corruption. OLAF chief Ville Itälä said there were could be many reasons the Czech prosecutor had decided not to charge Mr. Babiš and several other people with unlawfully acquiring CZK 50 million in EU subsidies in connection with the Stork’s Nest complex near Prague.

The official said OLAF had achieved a positive result in ensuring EU money was not in the end used to build the recreation centre. The funding came from Czech sources and the conclusions of the Czech inquiry will be completely in domestic hands, he said.

In 2017 OLAF said after an investigation that there were suspicions the Agrofert group started by Mr. Babiš had wrongly acquired EU grants to construct Stork’s Nest.

Prague authorities considering toll on cars

The Prague authorities are considering a toll on cars using some roads in the city. The capital’s leaders want to discuss the matter with Ministry of Transport officials within the coming weeks as the move would require a change in the law, Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček and Tomáš Voříšek from the council’s sustainable energy and emissions committee said on Tuesday.

The new toll would likely cost motorists tens of Czech crowns a day. An earlier idea of creating an emissions-free zone in the centre of Prague was dropped.

Around 5,500 cameras would be used, alongside monitoring vehicles currently used to oversee parking zones, would be employed in the enforcement of the new system.

Prague 6 authorities order scaffolding around Konev statue to be dismantled

The Prague 6 authorities have ordered that the scaffolding and tarpaulin around the controversial statue of Soviet Marshall Ivan Konev be taken down after around 200 people gathered at the site to protest against the decision to cover up the statue on Monday evening.

The protest followed a week of isolated incidents in which the tarpaulin was torn down and replaced.

The local administration had the monument, which has repeatedly been vandalised, covered up saying it was the cheapest and easiest way to protect it.

Activists who opposed the move said it was an insult to the Red Army which liberated the country in 1945.

Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. Although he helped liberate the country from Nazi oppression, he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

The Prague 6 authorities have been pushing for the statue to be moved to the grounds of the Russian embassy.

Average wage up by 7.2 percent in Q2

The average gross monthly wage in the Czech Republic increased by 7.2 percent to CZK 34,105 in the Q2 of this year, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office. In real terms, taking into account inflation, wages increased by 4.3 percent.

However, two-thirds of employees earn less than the average wage.

The median wage in the Czech Republic was CZK 29,127, up 6.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Some 80 percent of employees earned wages between CZK 14,955 and CZK 55,259.

Average wage up by 7.2 percent in Q2

The average gross monthly wage in the Czech Republic increased by 7.2 percent to CZK 34,105 in the Q2 of this year, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office. In real terms, taking into account inflation, wages increased by 4.3 percent.

However, two-thirds of employees earn less than the average wage.

The median wage in the Czech Republic was CZK 29,127, up 6.9 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. Some 80 percent of employees earned wages between CZK 14,955 and CZK 55,259.

Czechs beat Japan for first win at Basketball World Cup

The Czech national basketball team have achieved their first win at the sport’s World Cup in Shanghai, beating Japan 89:76 on Tuesday. Though the Japanese remained in contention for the first half of the game, the Czechs began to build up an unassailable lead from the third quarter on. Blake Schlib, who was born in Illinois, produced a strong performance for the Czechs, scoring 22 points.

The result keeps alive the Czech Republic’s chances of advancing to the knock-out stage of the competition, which they are participating in for the first time in 37 years.

Prague 6 authorities order scaffolding around Konev statue to be dismantled

The Prague 6 authorities have ordered that the scaffolding and tarpaulin around the controversial statue of Soviet Marshall Ivan Konev be taken down after around 200 people gathered at the site to protest against the decision to cover up the statue on Monday evening.

The protest followed a week of isolated incidents in which the tarpaulin was torn down and replaced.

The local administration had the monument, which has repeatedly been vandalised, covered up saying it was the cheapest and easiest way to protect it.

Activists who opposed the move said it was an insult to the Red Army which liberated the country in 1945.

Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. Although he helped liberate the country from Nazi oppression, he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.

The Prague 6 authorities have been pushing for the statue to be moved to the grounds of the Russian embassy.

OLAF chief: Outcome of investigation into Babiš in Czech hands

The head of the European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, says it is necessary to await more detailed information on why the Prague municipal state prosecutor halted the prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš over alleged corruption. OLAF chief Ville Itälä said there were could be many reasons the Czech prosecutor had decided not to charge Mr. Babiš and several other people with unlawfully acquiring CZK 50 million in EU subsidies in connection with the Stork’s Nest complex near Prague.

The official said OLAF had achieved a positive result in ensuring EU money was not in the end used to build the recreation centre. The funding came from Czech sources and the conclusions of the Czech inquiry will be completely in domestic hands, he said.

In 2017 OLAF said after an investigation that there were suspicions the Agrofert group started by Mr. Babiš had wrongly acquired EU grants to construct Stork’s Nest.

03-09-2019