The energy giant CEZ has struck a huge deal with Czech Coal under which the latter will supply it with fuel for its Počerady power station. The contract, which follows lengthy negotiations, is valued at around CZK 200 billion and will run until 2060. The deal also includes an option for Czech Coal to buy Počerady in the future, though the price has not been revealed. It is one of the biggest transactions ever seen on the Czech market.
Heavy snow falls have caused problems on roads and railway lines around the Czech Republic, such as at the Tanavld border crossing with Poland, and relatively high numbers of accidents have been reported. In some parts of the country, 40cm of snow fell between Monday and Tuesday. With temperatures above zero, the snow is expected to thaw quickly and there have been warnings of icy surfaces on Wednesday morning.
People in the north Bohemian village of Roudníky have been angered by an advertisement from a real estate agency offering for sale the local church, complete with a mortuary and a cemetery containing around 50 graves, the website Tyden.cz reported. The parish went bankrupt two years ago after an investment in a sawmill proved unsuccessful. One man told Tyden.cz that his great-grandparents, parents and parents-in-law were buried there; he said he could understand the sale of the church, but not the graveyard.
The Czech Mint in Jablonec nad Nisou is to issue a collection of four gold and silver medals in tribute to the late graphic artist Oldřich Kulhánek, who designed the country’s banknotes, the news site iDnes.cz reported. In recent years, Kulhánek – who died earlier this year at the age of 72 – had been working with the national mint on large gold medals bearing motifs from banknotes; the same motifs will appear on the miniatures currently being produced.
The English Premier League club Arsenal are interested in buying Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech from their London rivals Chelsea, the Daily Mail reported. Čech, who is currently in Prague with the Czech squad ahead of a pair of World Cup qualifiers, has won virtually every trophy possible in nine years at Chelsea. Meanwhile, his international teammate Tomáš Rosický has said he will consider his situation at Arsenal in the summer; the 32-year-old midfielder has not been a regular starter for the club this season.
Intensive efforts are underway to try to secure the release of two Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan last week. No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction. The two women, both in their mid-20s were kidnapped in Balochistan province when unknown assailants stopped their van. The guard traveling with them was later released. The Czech Foreign Ministry has so far been unable to trace their whereabouts and is communicating with the local authorities. It has warned Czechs against making trips to the region. President Zeman met with the Pakistani ambassador to Prague on Monday and handed over a letter to the Pakistani president asking for assistance in the matter. There is speculation the two women could have been abducted to Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has asked the president to appoint army general Vlastimil Picek defense minister. Mr. Nečas said that the general’s extensive experience in the field made him an ideal candidate for the position. The post of defense minister has been vacant since last December when the prime minister sacked LIDEM leader Karolina Peake from the post after just eight days in office. She was dismissed for making extensive personnel changes, which included sacking general Picek from the post of deputy defense minister on the grounds that she wanted civilians only in the ministry’s top posts. President Zeman said earlier that he considered Vlastimil Picek an excellent choice for defense minister.
The new owner of the truck maker Tatra, Truck Development, officially took charge of the company on Monday, after purchasing it for 176 million crowns at an auction last week. The head of Truck Development, Marek Galvas, said he had no plans to cut the number of employees or limit production, though he is planning to introduce a completely new management team.
France’s Areva has filed a protest against the decision made by the
Czech Anti-Monopoly Office confirming its exclusion from the 10 billion
dollar tender for the completion of the Temelin nuclear power plant in
southern Bohemia. A spokeswoman for the company said Areva was convinced
that the Anti-Monopoly Office had failed to comply with a number of
requirements for tender review proceedings set by Czech and European law.
It believes the office made the decision surprisingly swiftly and did not
take into account 95 percent of the evidence Areva produced in its own
Areva was rejected from the tender for allegedly failing to meet legislative and commercial requirements. Westinghouse Electric Corp. and a Russian-Czech group led by Rosatom Corp.’s unit ZAO Atomstroyexport are still competing for the deal. ČEZ should choose the winner in mid- 2013 and sign a final contract with the respective company by the year’s end.
The former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences Václav Pačes is to get a seat on the supervisory board of the power giant ČEZ. According to Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek he will replace outgoing deputy chair Ivo Foltyn on Tuesday. The 71-year-old scientist has considerable experience in the field, having headed a government commission whose task it was to contribute to formulating a long-term energy strategy under the former prime minister Mirek Topolánek.