The Russian Finance Ministry announced on Monday that it has repaid the last part of its debt to the Czech Republic, which goes back to the time of the Soviet Union. Russia and the Czech Republic agreed on the repayment of the debt in 1994, and later the Czech government sold a large portion of 3.6 billion dollar total to a private company. Jiří Rusnok’s government approved the repayment of the remaining debt, of around 6.5 million dollars, this summer. The Russian ministry said it has paid it back through industrial production and monetary means.
Meteorologists have issued warnings of strong winds for northern and eastern Moravia and Silesia, as well as black ice in the Vysočina region from Monday evening until Tuesday afternoon. The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Office expects winds of up to 75 kilometers an hour in parts of Moravia, and around 125 kilometers an hour in the Beskydy and Jeseníky mountains. Otherwise daytime temperatures, especially in the west of the country, are expected to be quite high for Christmas, going up to 8 degrees Celsius.
A broken water hydrant caused a five-meter geyser to burst on Jungmannové square in the center of Prague on Monday. According to the water company Veolia, the breech of the hydrant was caused by carp sellers, who were using it to fill the containers with live fish. The water was quickly turned off and no serious damage was caused to the surroundings. In the advent weeks, carp, which is a traditional Christmas food in the Czech Republic, is sold live on the streets of Czech towns and cities from barrels full of water.
The Czech Academy of Sciences has breached the rules the distribution of grants, according to a report by the country’s Supreme Audit Office. The report says that grant applications were not processed transparently over the past six years, and in some cases, the academy could not show how they were processed at all. The institution also made errors in approving investments and purchases of scientific instruments.
The new civil code, which will come into effect in the Czech Republic starting in January, treats animals as living beings, contrary to previous legislature. As a result, harm inflicted on animals, for example, will be punishable by law. Owners of pets will also be able to sue those who were responsible for the death of their pet for emotional distress.
The police in Prague have arrested a man who was transporting some 500 marihuana plants in the trunk of a stolen car. The man was pulled over in the central Wilsonova street but said he only borrowed the car from a friend. However, the officers noted cannabis odour emanating from the trunk where they found hundreds of young cannabis plants, a spokeswoman for the force said. The man is facing five in prison.
Former High State Attorney in Prague, Vlastimil Rampula, former deputy
interior minister Michal Moroz and current MP for the Dawn party Radim
Fiala are among those implicated in a high-profile corruption case which
led to the fall of PM Petr Nečas’ government in June, the news agency
ČTK reported on Sunday citing Monday’s edition of the weekly Euro. The
magazine quotes a report by an supervising state attorney for the
Constitutional Court. The report says the former officials took part in
manipulating the selection process for positions within the police and
state prosecution. The weekly alleges that the former officials worked in
the pay of Ivo Ritting, a Prague entrepreneur who is in the centre of the
The case also implicated former PM Petr Nečas’ chief-of-staff, Jana Nagyová, who allegedly ordered officers of the country’s military intelligence to spy on Mr Nečas’ then wife. The scandal led to the fall of Petr Nečas’ government in June.
The New Jersey Devils’ Jaromír Jágr scored his 694th goal in the NHL on Saturday night, tying Marc Messier for seventh place in the league’s all-time goal list. The 41-year-old Czech player added two assists in the game, contributing to his team’s 5:4 overtime win against the Washington Capitals. Another Czech in the Devils’ line-up, Marek Židlický, scored two goals in the game while Patrik Eliáš had two assists.
Fog, snow drifts and icy roads are causing traffic problems in parts of the Czech Republic, mainly in the central Vysočina region and north Moravia. The area around Jihlava and Třebíč is particularly affected, with frost-covered trees falling onto roads. The major D1 motorway between Prague and Brno is kept clear but dense fog limits visibility. Drivers have been asked to exercise extra caution.
President Miloš Zeman on Sunday signed next year’s state budget into law. The budget projects a deficit of 112 billion crowns, 12 billion more than this year. Lawmakers however believe the deficit will not exceed 3 percent of the Czech GDP. The budget, put forth by the outgoing interim government, won backing of 119 MPs of the emerging coalition earlier this week. The centre-right Civic Democrat and TOP 09 parties, meanwhile, said it was neither an austerity nor pro-growth budget.
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