Sparta Prague’s lead at the top of the Czech soccer league is now 10 points after second-placed Viktoria Plzeň could only manage a 1:1 draw against Jihlava on Sunday. Hosts Plzeň, who are defending champions, struck through Michal Ďuriš at the start of the second half but lost their lead on 82 minutes thanks to a Muris Mešanovič strike. Sparta beat Slavia on Saturday in the 281st meeting of the Prague clubs. There are six rounds remaining this season.
CzechInvest has mediated investments of CZK 415 billion in the Czech Republic since the country joined the European Union in May 2004, according to figures released by the state agency quoted by the Czech News Agency. The investments have resulted in the creation of 145,000 new jobs. 2006, the year when Hyundai decided to build a plant in north Moravia, saw the biggest investments of CZK 94 billion.
The Czech police force has a new head after Interior Minister Milan Chovanec named Tomáš Tuhý police president on Saturday. Mr. Chovanec announced the appointment on a debate show on Czech Television on Sunday. Officer Tuhý, who had been deputy police chief, was selected by an expert commission and the minister had previously said he would abide by its decision. The post had been vacant since the removal of Martin Červíček, who briefly “shared” it with Petr Lessy after the latter had been dismissed but then reinstated.
Baník Ostrava, who are bottom of the table in Czech soccer’s top flight, have sacked manager František Komňacký. The move comes a day after the club were beaten 1:0 at home by Slovácko. Ostrava have 19 points, behind Bohemians 1905 on 22 and Slavia Prague on 23, with the bottom two set for relegation at the end of the season. Ostrava’s sporting director Radek Slončík will take over for the remaining six games. Komňacký led Ostrava to the league title in 2004.
A Czech man who was found suffering from amnesia in Norway has begun to gradually regain his memory, the Norwegian TV station NRK reported. The Czech news website iDnes.cz quoted the station as saying a three-hour telephone conversation the man had with his family in the Czech Republic on Saturday had helped this process. The man, who is referred to as John Smith, spoke Czech with his relatives; previously he had understood Czech but only spoke English. He was found in a snowdrift in Oslo in mid-December. There were signs that his hands had been bound for some time and he told the news agency AFP that he been robbed and sexually assaulted.
Sunday is the 20th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Hrušínský, one of the all-time greats of Czech acting. The hugely popular thespian is best remembered for a series of roles in films such as The Cremator, adaptations of The Good Soldier Švejk and – in collaboration with director Jiří Menzel – Capricious Summer, Cutting it Short and My Sweet Little Village. Hrušínský was a member of parliament for a brief period following the fall of communism.
The Czech president, Milos Zeman, has held discussions on foreign policy and economic diplomacy with advisors and cabinet members at his Lány retreat near Prague. Among those who attended Saturday’s meetings were the minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, his predecessor, diplomat Jan Kohout, and industry and trade minister Jan Mládek. Mr. Zaorálek and Mr. Mládek informed the president about planned changes aimed at boosting Czech exports and attracting foreign investors. On Wednesday Mr. Zeman said he was dissatisfied with Czech economic diplomacy, saying the country should do business with states accused of having poor human rights records. Mr. Zaorálek said the president’s criticism was justified as the previous government’s economic diplomacy had been “unreadable”.
The traditional Prague derby ended in 3:0 win for Sparta over Slavia at the former’s Letná stadium on Saturday. The goals came from Lafata, Hušbauer and Dočkal. The points gap between the two sides going into the game was a record 38, with Sparta topping the table and Slavia third from bottom. Around 80 of Slavia fans were detained for hooliganism ahead of the match, which was the 281st time the two clubs had met.
Two Prague taxi drivers were murdered on Thursday night, the police said on Saturday. The bodies of a man of 60 and a man of 26 were found at Uhříněves on the outskirts of Prague on Friday. There cars were also recovered. Police said the two had been killed on the job after picking up fares in the centre of the city. They have warned taxi drivers to exercise caution.
The Ministry of Health is planning to encourage the removal of vending machines offering crisps, chocolate and other unhealthy foods from Czech elementary schools, Czech Radio reported. The majority of the country’s elementary schools feature such machines. Health Minister Marcel Chládek said he would not ban them but rather provide schools with sufficient funding so as not to need the extra income they bring. However, a school director told Czech Radio that the vending machines generated a negligible amount and that parents wanted them to remain.