Czech Railways’ new board of directors on Friday elected Daniel Kurucz new CEO of the state-owned firm. Mr Kurucz, who has served as Czech Railways’ deputy director for economics, was elected at the board’s first meeting. The new CEO told reporters he was planning to reduce the number of employees and cut the firm’s expenditures by 200 million crowns. In 2012, Czech Railways posted a loss of 1.6 billion crowns. Daniel Kurucz joined Czech Railways last year after heading a chemical firm, part of Agrofert Group owned by ANO leader and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. The party also holds the Transport Ministry.
The police are searching for a motorist who managed to elude officers during a chase outside Prague on Monday, the spokesman for the force Tomáš Hulan has revealed. The driver was stopped by police at the northeast edge of the capital shortly after 1 PM. Instead of heeding the warning, he sped off in an oncoming lane, at points up to 200 kilometres per hour, the police said. The motorist then drove onto the R10 in the direction of Mladá Boleslav, managing to lose the police in pursuit. A police helicopter found the suspect vehicle abandoned near a forest two kiometres on. Police, complete with search dogs, were sent out but without success.
A bus carrying fifty people crashed in the Klatovy region, west of Prague, early on Sunday morning. According to police sources the bus collided with a road maintenance truck and turned on its side. Seven people were reported injured, two of them children who suffered lighter injuries. Two adults were airlifted to hospital. The cause of the accident is being investigated. The police have reportedly ruled out the influence of alcohol.
The Road and Motorway Directorate says it has saved 280 million crowns on road maintenance so far thanks to the mild winter. For instance the amount of technical salt used on roads dropped from 16,000 tons last year to 5,700 tons this winter. The money saved is to be used for road repairs in the spring.
The police on Thursday arrested controversial Prague businessman Ivo Rittig and three other people, including his attorney. They have been charged with money laundering, Prague High Attorney Lenka Bradáčová said. The case is related to the alleged siphoning of funds from Prague’s city public transport company, the news website idnes.cz wrote. The firm is reported to have bought tickets from anonymously owned companies whose beneficiary is Mr Rittig. He allegedly received a cut from each ticket sold. The controversial businessman also figured in a police operation that led to the fall of the government last June.
Heavy snow in the east of the Czech Republic blocked roads and caused accidents on Wednesday. The worst affected areas were the Moravia- Silesia and the Zlín regions. Weather forecasters have warned of a further 10 centimeters of snow and up to 25 centimeters on high ground and say that icy conditions will persist until at least Thursday.
Czech Airlines has dropped a plan to have its new uniforms designed by the local fashion designer Blanka Matragi. A spokesperson said the reason for the rethink was a disagreement between the designer and CSA over the contract for the uniforms. For her part, Matragi said the deal on the table would not have allowed her to express her artistic vision. The airline will now either hire a different designer or stick with its current outfits.
Transport Minister Antonin Prachař has said linking up the country’s highways to the European network is a top priority. The minister said he wanted to push ahead with work on the D3 highway to Linz and the R52 motorway to Vienna. The minister has announced a shakeup at the Road and Highway Directorate where he ordered a financial audit. A new management is to be installed within two months.
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