Revised figures confirm that the Czech Republic’s longest ever recession has come to an end. The second quarter of this year saw growth of 0.6 percent in gross domestic product, the Czech Statistics Office said on Tuesday, revising a previous estimate downwards by 0.1 percent. The country’s economy had contracted for the previous six quarters in a row, the longest such downturn on record. The growth has been driven by exports.
Prague City Hall has cancelled a contract to renovate the Šlechtovka restaurant in Stromovka park. Councillors said that the project was over-ambitious and that its CZK 250,000 price tag was beyond the city’s budget. Tuesday’s decision means the long-discussed reconstruction of the protected landmark will now be put back even longer. The once grand building was completed in the middle of the 19th century. It was hit by fire twice at the end of the 1970s and has been in great disrepair ever since.
Czechs attach least value to jobs such as MP, cleaner, priest, secretary and journalist, suggests an annual survey conducted by the CVVM agency. By contrast, they have most respect for doctors, scientists, nurses, and university and elementary school teachers, the poll indicates. The survey asks respondents to rate 26 professions on a scale of one to 100 in terms of importance. MPs this year replaced cleaners in bottom spot.
Two Czechs are in the running for the title of European Athlete of the Year. Vítězslav Veselý, who recently became world champion in the men’s javelin, and Zuzana Hejnová, who holds the same title in the women’s 400m hurdles, are among 12 names to appear on a shortlist released on Tuesday by the European Athletics Association. Fans will be able to vote for the winner on its Facebook page from Saturday.
The Czech striker Libor Kozák has joined the English Premier League club Aston Villa from Italy’s Lazio. Kozák, who is 24, was the highest scorer in the Europa League last season with 10 goals. The transfer fee in the four-year deal is believed to have reached six or seven million pounds. The 1.92-metre tall forward has appeared four times for the Czech national team, finding the net once.
Ukrainian porn-star Anastazia Hagen has won her fight for asylum in the Czech Republic. A mother of three boys, Hagen says she fears returning to her homeland where she could be persecuted for acting in porn-movies and might even lose custody of her children. She was previously refused asylum several times, and even had an appeal turned down by a court. On Monday the Czech Interior Ministry unexpectedly made a U-turn on the issue and granted Hagen permanent residence in the country.
The European Commission has launched proceedings before court action against the Czech Republic over Visapoint, the Foreign Ministry´s system for foreigners´ registration. The move comes following a complaint from Czech Ombudsman Pavel Varvařovský who alerted the EC to problems with the system’s operation and claimed that there were no legal grounds for making such a system compulsory to applicants for long-term residence. The EC is expecting a response from the Czech authorities within ten weeks. After that it will decide whether or not to launch proceedings over breach of EU law.
A draft of the state budget for 2014 recons with a deficit of 110 billion crowns, the daily Lidové noviny reported on Monday. The budget cuts funding for the transport and education portfolios while increases expenditures for the ministries of agriculture and industry. The deficit is 5 billion higher than that planned by the previous centre-right government of Petr Nečas; however, the expected deficit should remain under the target of 3 percent of GDP. The government is to send the draft budget to the lower house by the end of September; however, MPs will only be able to debate it two months later, after the early general election.
Civic Democrat deputy chairwoman Miroslava Němcová has said she wants to head the party’s Prague ballot in the upcoming general elections. The ballot is to be finalized by the party’s Prague leadership on Tuesday night. Ms. Nemcova would thus run against TOP 09 leader Karel Schwarzenberg, the Social Democrat’s choice for Prague leader former TU head Jaroslav Zavadil and Green Party leader Ondřej Liška.
The Czech Photovoltaic Industry Association has rejected accusations of data manipulation made by the Energy Regulatory Office. The ERO claimed that the association of solar power producers had doctored energy production figures in order to get more money from the state. The office said that the production hours stated far exceeded the amount of sunlight the Czech Republic gets annually, which are 1,000 hours of sunlight on average, and were closer to the climatic conditions of California. The Czech Photovoltaic Industry Association on Monday sharply denied the allegations, saying the average amount of sunlight in this part of the world was between 1,200 and 1,800 hours a year and moreover stressed that it was possible to produce solar energy in overcast conditions as well.
First ever Indo-European settlement discovered on Czech Territory
How can foreigners travel to Czech Republic at present – and what may future hold?
Czech women might finally be allowed to drop the suffix -ová
iRozhlas: Landlords abandoning Airbnb as service faces closer oversight
Czechs, Germans, Austrians and Poles meet at closed borders