The Czech ministry of finance has lodged a new demand that customs officers
are allowed to investigate and pursue a much wider range of tax related
At the moment, they only have full competence with regard to Valued Added Tax and customs duties. Other tax related cases must be handed over to the police.
A similar attempt to widen the competences of the customs administration was made in 2016 by the then finance minister Andrej Babiš. It failed to win support from other government parties. Babiš is now prime minister and head of the biggest party, ANO.
Czech ice skating duo Anna Dusková and Martin Bidař have announced they
will go their separate ways.
Bidař says he wants to take opportunities to train abroad with a view to the next Olympics and preparations for them. Dusková though wants to stay in the Czech capital and finish her studies.
The duo won the world junior ice skating championships in 2016 and were regarded as the big hope for Czech ice skating. In last year’s European championships they were seventh.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International has sounded the alarm over
what it describes as undue haste by Prague City Council’s municipal
transport company to push through a joint venture deal with development
company Penta for part of a new metro line in the capital.
A final decision to clear the joint venture for developing stations and surroundings on the new D line should be cleared by the transport company board on Wednesday.
Transparency says many key questions about the venture and its ramifications have not been answered. Taking a few more months to iron out issues in a project likely to last 15-20 years and valued around 60 billion crowns would not cost anything, Transparency says.
A Czech held in custody in Ukraine for illegally selling devices for
bugging phone calls is a former officer with the special police unit for
combating organised crime, the server of Czech public radio has revealed.
It identified the man as Luděk Vokal, drawing on information given by a local court.
Vokal was detained in custody on Wednesday with bail set at around 4,500 euros. He must stay in Ukraine to help police with the investigation and could face a jail sentence of four to seven years if found guilty.
Some Czech media reported that a Czech diplomat was also detained but later released in connection with the case. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no information.
Dealings between leaders of ANO, the Social Democrats and the Communists on
forming a government coalition are set to continue next week.
The newly elected chief of the Social Democratic Party, Jan Hamáček, announced the news on Thursday evening after the first joint meeting of the three party leaders. He refused to give any further details about the negotiations.
The coalition talks restarted on Wednesday after being broken off when ANO refused to allow a Social Democrat minister of the interior. Both parties have previously said that the Communist Party was acceptable if the Communists agreed to the government’s pro-European course.
A joint Czech-Slovak exhibition marking 100th anniversary of the foundation
of Czechoslovakia was launched in Bratislava on Thursday. The event at
Bratislava castle was attended by Slovak and Czech Prime Ministers, Petr
Pellegrini and Andrej Babiš, and Slovak President Andrej Kiska.
After a stint in Bratislava the show will move to the Czech National Museum in October, which by then will have reopened after major renovations.
Albatros publishing house is set to re-publish all the major works by the
late writer and youth movement activist Jaroslav Foglar. The new edition of
his work, prepared in cooperation with the Scout Foundation of Jaroslav
Foglar, will also include previously unreleased texts.
Besides more than 15 novels for children, Jaroslav Foglar also authored the legendary comics Rychlé šípy, or “Rapid Arrows”, that has earned a following with generations of Czech readers. The writer, who was persecuted by the Nazis and the communists, has also founded his own youth organization which attracted tens of thousands of members across the country in its heyday.
The Czech Republic’s public finances should stay in the black through to
2021, albeit at a reduced level compared with 2017, according to a report
to be put to the government on Monday. The updated convergence report sees
the overall budget surplus sliding to 1.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product
in 2018 from 1.6 percent last year. The surplus should continue until 2021
when it will have narrowed to 0.9 percent of GDP.
The EU target is for member countries annual deficits not to exceed 3.0 percent of GDP. The overall Czech debt to GDP ratio is set to slide over the period from an expected 32.9 percent this year to 29.9 percent in 2021.