Czech President Miloš Zeman told a German regional daily Passauer Neue Presse in an interview published on Saturday that he imagined the Czech Republic could adopt the European currency and join the euro zone within the next five years. The position is a departure from that of his predecessor Václav Klaus. In the interview, the president also said he was against Turkey’s joining the EU; by contrast, he suggested that Russia could join over the next 20 years. Discussing EU foreign policy priorities, Mr Zeman stressed the importance of combating terrorism (including Islamic terrorism), an area where he would like to see the Czech Republic play a greater part.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas will travel to Russia in late May to meet
with his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. The prime minister, his spokesman
said, would be accompanied by a delegation of Czech business leaders and
representatives. Mr Medvedev, then-president of Russia, met Mr Nečas in
Prague in December 2011. Topics they discussed included the planned
expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant, south Bohemia. One of the
bidders in the giant Temelín tender, launched by the plant’s operator,
the state-owned ČEZ energy utility, is a Russian-Czech consortium led by
During Medvedev’s Prague visit in late 2011, contracts worth 2.15 billion euros were signed, including a contract for the construction of a railway route in the Urals and a contract with the Alvel company for supplies of nuclear fuel to the Czech Republic. Czech-Russian trade turnover has increased in the past years. According to estimates from September 2012, it exceeded six billion US dollars last year for the first time.
The US State Department, in its annual human rights report, criticised the Czech Republic for poor conditions suffered by ethnic Romanies, often socially-excluded and pushed to the periphery. The report maintains, similarly to previous years, that efforts by the government to try and improve the situation have been insufficient. Other problems highlighted in the report, concerning the Czech Republic, include corruption, prison overcrowding, domestic violence, and anti-Semitism.
Individuals and colleagues made every effort on Saturday afternoon to save the life of a friend who almost drowned as they were rafting on the Kamenice River. The man went under after their raft flipped in whitewater; he had to be pulled to shore where colleagues began resuscitation. Although they were able to restore his breathing, the rafter remained unconscious and had to be transported through difficult terrain to nearby train tracks where he was first taken by rail, then ambulance and finally by helicopter to hospital where he remains in intensive care.
Around two thousand cyclists gathered in Prague on Saturday afternoon to take part in a ride aimed at promoting biking in the city and emphasizing the need for improving infrastructure in the capital. Riders did an 11-kilometre circuit, beginning in Prague’s Vinohrady. Some riders sported costumes, others boasted unusual bikes, one of them rebuilt in the style of an American “chopper”.
Fans of classic and hard rock will have the opportunity to see several big names in the capital as well as south Moravia through the course of the spring and summer this year. Promoters revealed to the Czech news agency that acts coming to the Czech Republic included rock legends such as Alice Cooper, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep. Cooper, famous for stage makeup and horror elements in his shows, will perform at Brno’s Kajot Arena for the first time in five years.
The women’s tennis team, the defending champions from last year, trails
2:1 against Italy in the Fed Cup semifinal. On Saturday, Lucie
lost in straight sets to Sara Errani (4:6, 2:6) while the Czech women’s
No 1. Petra Kvitová came up short against Roberta Vinci (4:6, 1:6).
On Sunday, Kvitová faced Errani in a match that at first was delayed by rain. Kvitová won it in three sets 2:6, 6:2, 6:0. The rest of the semifinal will be played on Monday.
clubs Zlín and Plzeň will face-off on Sunday evening in a deciding seventh game in the Extraliga playoff finals. The match will begin shortly after 6pm local time. Zlín, who had their backs against the wall in the series, forced a game seven by winning their last encounter decisively by a score of 5:2.
As details emerged about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects on Friday, there was apparent confusion among some on the social networks about the wanted brothers’ origins. Some mistakenly suggested they had roots in the Czech Republic, in central Europe, as opposed to an area near Chechnya, in the north Caucasus, as had been reported. The suspects Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were described by family and law officials as “coming from a Russian region near Chechnya”. The Czech ambassador to the US, Petr Gandalovic, released a statement trying to clear up the matter; he called the mistake “unfortunate”.
An autopsy has confirmed that a 17-year-old youth who crashed his father’s vehicle at high speed during a car chase on the country’s D1 highway in March, was not on drugs or alcohol, tn.cz reports. The news was confirmed by the police spokeswoman for the Vysočina region, Dana Čírtková. The motorist, who had taken the car without telling his father, crashed into slower vehicles trying to evade the police. He caused a several car pile-up: two vehicles caught fire, nine people were injured – one of them seriously; while he himself did not survive. The police had stopped traffic ahead at Velký Beranov in order to try and get the driver to stop. The General Inspection of the Security Forces is investigating whether officers, in the incident, proceeded accordingly.