The government has approved an Education Ministry plan to try and increase the number of nursery and elementary schools. Beginning in 2015, existing or planned facilities should be able to draw from a national subsidy fund overseeing 1.5 billion crowns; 12 billion crowns will be made available from European funding. The new framework proposed by the ministry should broaden the number of schools, or renovate existing ones, in areas based on demographics and demand. Prague itself has too few facilities for young children: thousands last year were not able to register at nursery schools, leaving parents little choice but to pay for private daycare or to look for other options.
The Czech government approved an investment agreement worth 22.8 billion crowns with South Korean tire maker Nexen on Monday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka revealed. In the first years of the investment project, Nexen will create at least 1,000 jobs in the Žatec industrial zone in the Ústí region. In the future, Nexen could invest up to 40 billion in the zone, which would be the largest investment a foreign company has ever made in the Czech Republic. The prime minister said the government had given a clear signal that the Czech Republic was keen in drawing new investors for projects. The Czech Republic won the contract in competition with strong international rivals, he added. Nexen could launch production in the zone within roughly two years.
Prague police revealed on Monday they caught two thieves red-handed at the weekend with items worth roughly half a million crowns in their car. Police originally wanted to stop the driver for a traffic misdemeanor only, but the suspect sped up and tried to evade pursuit. The driver and his female accomplice then abandoned their car and tried to escape on foot. The two were caught with expensive items including a high-end cell phone and several watches on their persons. Additional items were found in the vehicle. The two – who both have criminal records and bans for driving under the influence of pervetin or other drugs – reportedly admitted to numerous recent car thefts and break-ins in, or just outside of, Prague.
Car production in the Czech Republic increased by 8.5 percent between January and May this year, according to fresh figures by the country’s Automotive Industry Association released on Monday. In total, nearly 520,000 cars were made in the first five months of the year. Škoda Auto annually increased its production by 22 percent to over 322,000 cars, followed by Hyundai with some 132,000 vehicles. The output of the car maker TPCA, meanwhile, decreased by 24 percent to 65,000 cars.
The Czech branch of the Russian-based oil firm Lukoil has received a fine of 27 million crowns over a deal with State Administration of Material Reserves, the daily Lidové noviny said on Monday. The case goes back to 2009 when the firm reportedly failed to replace part of 30,000 cubic metres of aviation fuel. The firm is headed by chief advisor of President Miloš Zeman, Martin Nejedlý; Mr Zeman said earlier he would consider firing him depending on the court verdict.
Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek has met for talks with Norway’s State Secretary Bard Glad Pedersen over the situation of two Czech children removed from the family by Norwegian social services, the news agency ČTK reported. The children were taken away in 2011 over suspicions of sexual abuse; a year later, the children were place in foster families despite the fact that a police investigation found no evidence of abuse. Mr Zaorálek said he discussed the case with Secretary Pedersen, and recommended the family raise a complaint at the European Court of Human Rights, and file a petition for a revision of the case with Norwegian courts.
A court in Plzeň on Sunday sent to custody a 53-year-old who was arrested on Friday for having shot dead his 51-year-old landlord. The suspect reportedly shot his victim in the head several times with a legally-held firearm before turning himself in to the police. He had owed several months of rent, and the attacked the victim after having been asked to move out, according to media reports. The man faces up to 18 years in prison.
The country’s state-owned rail operator Czech Railways introduces slight changes to its timetable on Sunday. The only major alteration concerns the Ostravan express between Prague and Bohumín via Ostrava which now terminates in Olomouc and runs under the name Moravan. Other, minor changes only apply to regional and local connections, a Czech Railways spokeswoman said. The operator will also launch new Austrian-made Railjet trains on the Prague-Vienna route.
Every other Czech believes they will be able to take care of themselves in retirement, according to a survey by the Sodexho firm carried out in May and released on Sunday. Meanwhile, some 45 percent of those polled said they believed their children would take care of them; some 10 percent also said they were planning to rely on specialized institutional care. A mere one percent of people who took party in the survey said they were going to depend on state assistance.
A 17-year-old girl from Slovakia won the Miss Roma 2014 beauty pageant held in the eastern Czech town Hodonín on Saturday night, the news website novinky.cz reported. Romany girls from Slovakia also finished on second and third place. The contest included a czardas dance which the jury said played a big role in evaluating the finalists. Organizers believe the beauty contest is a way of fostering Romany girls’ self-confidence.