Meteorologists are warning of rainstorms with strong winds and possible hail in most of Bohemia and southern Moravia on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday will see heavy rain showers that could possibly raise the water level in rivers in the north and northwest of the country. Flood warnings have been issued for the Ústí nad Labem and Liberec regions.
Police in Jeseník, north Moravia have found a man who was missing for 20 years and had been pronounced dead, a spokesperson said. The man, who is 43, had been living under a false identity since disappearing in 1994 in order to avoid a prison term for theft. He apparently came forward in mid-January in the hope of qualifying for an amnesty declared by the former president at the beginning of the year.
The government unanimously approved draft legislation that streamlines the structure of public prosecution and introduces a new anti-corruption agency under the auspices of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office. The bill eliminates the High State Attorney offices in Prague and Olomouc, which should strengthen the position of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office, according to the Justice Ministry, which submitted the bill. The draft legislation also proposes the Supreme Public Prosecutor be nominated by the justice minister and approved by the president, not the government, for a single 10-year term.
The European Commission has criticized the Czech Republic for failing to pass a new law on civil servants and said that the country may lose most of the financing it receives from the EU structural funds starting next year. EU officials are concerned that civil servants, especially at Czech ministries, change together with the political leadership, which thwarts continuity and efficiency of policy implementation. The Czech Republic is the only EU country that has yet to pass a law that would prevent high fluctuation in the civil service. If the Czech Republic does not pass the bill by the end of the year, it could lose up to 500 billion crowns in European funding.
Seventh-seeded Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová defeated France’s Aravane Rezai in three sets at the Roland Garros French Open on Wednesday. Kvitová struggled during the match but finally beat Rezai 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in her first-round game in Paris. Four other Czech female players lost their first-round matches. On the other hand, Jan Hájek and Petra Cetkovská will be moving on to the second round together with Kvitová.
A Czech-made methamphetamine known as pervitin has in recent years spread to a number of other European states, the national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil said at the release of a European report on drugs in Prague. Pervitin addicts have been registered in the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Germany. German officials say dealers and users cross the border to buy the highly addictive drug at markets at Asian-run markets in the Czech Republic. However, Mr. Vobořil rejects a charge from politicians in Bavaria that the Czechs take an overly liberal approach to the matter.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has published a more pessimistic growth outlook for the Czech Republic. The OECD announced on Wednesday that it expects the country’s GDP to contract by 1 percent this year, even though in November it forecast growth of 0.8 percent. It also cut projected growth for next year from 2.4 to 1.3 percent. The organization suggested that the Czech central bank may want to ease monetary policy in order to improve the situation. Czech officials say they are prepared to weaken the crown if necessary.
During renovation works at the Clementinum complex in central Prague, archeologists uncovered four Jesuit classrooms from the 16th century and the remains of 11 graves from the early Middle Ages. The current buildings making up the Clementinum, which now houses the National Library, were built between the mid-17th and mid-18th centuries by the Jesuits as a dormitory and school. The order took over the location from the Dominicans in the 16th century. The graves that were found in two different parts of the complex come from the 9th or 10th centuries. Most of them, though, were partly damaged during building construction in later centuries. After documenting all the findings, archeologists will close up the site in order to preserve it as a part of the Clementinum national cultural landmark.
The authorities in Prague are to consider a plan to remove parking spaces from some of the city’s embankments and to make it easier to cycle or walk along the River Vltava in the city. The proposals are included in a document drawn up by the city’s public spaces and development offices. A final version of the plan for Prague’s embankments should be ready by the end of they year, though no possible start date for renovation work has been set.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said he regrets the EU’s failure to renew an arms embargo on Syria. Mr. Schwarzenberg told Czech Radio that since the EU had failed to achieve unity on the issue, responsibility would now rest with individual members. The Czech Republic, together with Austria, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, fought to extend the arms embargo; they argued that more weapons would only lead to further violence and that it would be hard to control where the arms ended up. Although Britain and France stood firmly against the embargo they have made a commitment not to deliver arms to Syria for the time being.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis