The Czech Academy of Sciences has protested against a recent statement made by Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok who said the academy received adequate funding but squandered money due to a poor system of assessing research results. The Science Council of the Academy rejected the claim saying it was not only unfair but it undermined the position of the Czech Academy of Sciences and belittled the value of thousands of successful projects undertaken.
Czech industrial output increased by 1.6 percent year-on-year in August after an annual rise of 2.1 percent in July, the Czech Statistics Office said on Monday. In month-on-month terms, seasonally adjusted industrial output was 4.7 percent higher and the value of new contracts grew by 12.3 percent year-on-year. Industrial output in August followed July´s growth that came after a two-month fall. The biggest annual growth was registered in manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers at 26.1 percent.
Arcelor Mittal Ostrava is to invest one billion crowns into the modernization of its steelworks. The investment should increase the quality of its products, expand the steelworks production capacity and boost its competitiveness. According to the company’s general director Tapas Rajderkara Mittal wants to increase its exports outside of the European Union. Together with its daughter companies Arcelor Mittal employs 7500 people.
The police are pressing criminal charges against a number of firms involved in the corruption case around David Rath, former governor of central Bohemia. According to the internet news site ihned the police have charged eight firms and 9 managers who were involved in manipulated public tenders. The police have not released the names of the firms implicated in the scandal. Companies convicted of breaking the law could be dissolved.
A bailiff has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for abuse of office and theft of some 80 million crowns. The bailiff misappropriated money paid by a debtor over several months, sending it to his own private account and investing it in his own business. He also received a five year ban on working in his profession or any other which would entail financial responsibility.
Primator has been named the World’s Best Wheat Beer in 2013. The brew won not only in its category but was deemed the best beer among 600 brews tasted by an international jury at this year’s World Beer Awards in London. Josef Hlavatý, the head of the Primator brewery, said he was delighted with the success of the Primator brew, in particular since wheat beer was traditionally the domain of Bavarian breweries.
President Miloš Zeman begins a state visit to Israel on Sunday. The Czech head of state is due to meet with Israeli counterpart Simon Perez and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu and is expected to deliver a keynote speech in Jerusalem. Speaking ahead of the visit, Mr. Zeman said the Czech Republic was Israel’s strongest ally in the EU and suggested moving the Czech Republic’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The idea caused outrage among Palestinian leaders and evoked widespread criticism of the president on the home front. The Czech Foreign Ministry promptly issued a public statement reiterating its support for the Middle-East peace process.
Over 100 Romanies joined a Roma Pride march through the centre of Prague on Sunday afternoon. The event was intended to address widespread prejudice against the Roma minority and draw attention to the problems they face. Prague is also hosting an exhibition documenting Romany history and culture, a seminar on hip hop and Roma Pride day should culminate with a mass and concert. Similar events are taking place in 13 other European cities.
The last remaining 38 Czech soldiers serving at the training base in Wardak province, Afghanistan returned home on Saturday. The Military Advisory Team of the Czech Task Force served in Wardak Province for six months - from April to October 2013. Its primary mission was to train and assist a battalion of the Afghan National Army in operational planning and combat use of its units. The effort was focused on improving the unit’s combat capabilities and ability to lead professional operations without support from the coalition forces. In the course of those six months the team faced over 500 insurgent attacks and breaches of security.
The ANO party of business tycoon Andřej Babiš is forging ahead of its rivals in popularity polls just three weeks before the country’s general elections. According to a poll conducted by TNS Aisa for Czech Television ANO would come in second with 13 percent of the vote after the Social Democrats who look set to gain 29 percent. The Communist Party would place third with 11 percent, and the centre-right TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats would get 9.5 and 8.5 percent respectively. The Christian Democrats also stand a chance of winning seats with 6.5 percent of the vote.