The state-run forest management company Lesy ČR saw its gross profit fall to 2.9 billion crowns in the first half of this year, from 3.2 billion a year ago, a company spokesman told the ČTK news agency on Monday. The drop is being attributed to church restitutions, the stagnation of timber prices on the market and the lowering of the company’s financial assets due to a payment of 6 billion crowns to the state budget. Lesy ČR administers 1.3 million hectares of forests, which is one sixth of the total area of the Czech Republic and about one half of all forests in the country.
The Education Ministry has shortlisted 22 scientific projects, primarily in biotechnologies, mechanical engineering and sustainable development, among which it will divide 600 million crowns from EU funds, the ministry said in a press release published on Monday. Among the successful applicants are Charles University in Prague, the Technical University in Ostrava, Masaryk University in Brno and Palacky University in Olomouc. A total of 36 research institutions applied for subsidies requesting 1.3 billion crowns in total.
The English-language weekly The Prague Post has stopped printing its paper edition and will go all- digital after 22 years on the market. Its publisher Monroe Luther said the paper would continue to be available online, via Kindle, iPad and smart phones. The paper covers all aspects of life in the Czech Republic with a heavy focus on politics, culture and business.
Czech traffic police have been increasingly focusing on long-distance tourist busses in the heat-wave checking out the technical state of the vehicles, whether drivers are taking compulsory breaks and so forth. The driver of a Polish tourist bus on its way to Croatia was found to be intoxicated and had his driver’s license confiscated on the spot. According to a police spokeswoman, the majority of Czech bus drivers fail to take the required breaks, increasing the risk of accidents on the road.
Police in Croatia said on Monday that the mountain rescue service in Biokovo had recovered the body of a man believed to be a Czech mountaineer who has been missing since Thursday. The 47-year-old man presumably lost his way in low visibility and fell off a cliff. Fifty rescue workers with sniffer dogs and a helicopter with thermal vision had been out combing the Biokovo mountain side for the missing man over the weekend. The rescue service on Friday confirmed the death of another Czech tourist who appears to have died of a heart attack out trekking.
Forecasters say that the current extreme heat will continue in the eastern part of the Czech Republic until Monday evening, with a wave of storms bringing strong winds, hail and heavy rain showers expected to cross the country from west to east in the course of the day. Record temperatures for July 28 were seen at over 110 Czech weather stations on Sunday, which was the hottest day of the year so far. Among the places where records were broken was Prague’s Karlov, which registered 37.5 degrees Celsius. Dozens of people were treated in the capital after collapsing due to the heat. There were long queues at outdoor swimming pools around the country, with some pools registering record attendance, the Czech News Agency reported.
Meteorologists have ended smog alerts that they announced at the start of the weekend in Prague and the Ústí nad Labem Region. The smog was caused by a high concentration of tropospheric ozone linked to the current very hot weather. Those with chronic breathing problems, the elderly and small children were advised to avoid strenuous activities outdoors during the hottest parts of the day.
Record temperatures for July 28 were seen at over 110 weather stations around the Czech Republic on Sunday, which forecasters said could turn out to be the hottest day of the year. Among the places where records were broken was Prague’s Karlov, which registered 37.5 degrees Celsius. Some 15 people were treated in the capital after collapsing due to the heat. There were long queues at outdoor swimming pools around the country, with some pools registering record attendance, the Czech News Agency reported. Forecasters say the current extreme heat will continue in the eastern part of the Czech Republic until Monday evening. A wave of storms bringing strong winds, hail and heavy rain showers is expected to cross the country from west to east in the course of Monday.
The minister of finance, Jan Fischer, says he is considering removing former MPs from the supervisory boards of state-controlled companies. Speaking on a TV debate show on Sunday, Mr. Fischer said that ex-Civic Democrat deputies Marek Šnajdr, Ivan Fuksa, Alexandr Vondr and Zdeněk Zajíček were not, in his view, experts. Mr. Šnajdr and Mr. Fuksa were among three former Civic Democrat MPs who were offered lucrative positions at semi-state companies soon after quitting the Chamber of Deputies, so allowing the government to survive late last year. The state prosecutor asserted that the alleged exchange constituted bribery, an allegation that contributed to the fall of the cabinet of Petr Nečas in June; however, charges against the three have been dropped.
The number two man in the Social Democrats, Michal Hašek, is the MP who missed the most votes in the Czech lower house in the first six months of this year, according to research published by the group KohoVolit.eu. One Communist deputy made fewer votes, although she had a baby at the start of the year, while MPs Roman Pekárek and David Rath are in jail, with the latter on remand. KohoVolit.eu said Mr. Hašek has had a poor record of participation in votes for some time.