President Miloš Zeman who is on an official visit to China aimed at
further boosting trade and investment between the two countries on Thursday
attended the signing of a memorandum on investments between the Czech
Republic and the Bank of China and the company CITIC.
The agreement envisages investments into the Czech economy to the tune of one billion dollars over the next two years. Bank of China representatives also signed an agreement with the Czech Chamber of Commerce regarding loans for Czech businesses to the tune of two billion dollars.
The Czech president is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart and attend the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Friday.
A number of EU member states including the Czech Republic have suspended
imports of Russian crude oil via the Druzba pipeline, citing contamination,
the Reuters news agency reported on Thursday.
Reuters said Poland and Germany had stopped accepting deliveries and the Czech Republic had also halted purchases, although the Belarusian pipeline company said customers along the southern leg were still receiving oil.
The quality problem arose last week when an unknown Russian producer contaminated the oil with high levels of organic chloride. The Russian energy ministry said Transneft was trying to fix the problem as soon as possible, giving no timeframe.
An international expert conference on the security of 5G networks due to be
held in Prague next week is not aimed against any given country or company,
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said on Thursday.
He said the aim of the meeting was to reach consensual, non-binding recommendations on how to proceed safely with the introduction of 5G networks. The recommendations should also contribute to discussions within the EU and NATO on a common approach to cyber threats.
The conference will take place at the Czech Foreign Ministry headquarters on May 2 -3 and will be attended by EU, NATO and OECD representatives.
Organisers say this year’s Metronome music festival in Prague will
feature 40 different artists while the city’s planetarium will become a
venue for the first time. Appearing at the event on June 21 and 22 will be
international acts Kraftwerk, Primal Scream, Liam Gallagher and Morcheeba,
alongside a host of well-known local artists.
This years will be the fourth edition of Metronome, which takes place at the Výstaviště exhibition grounds. Attendance last year was 18,000.
Meteorologists have issued fire warnings in the Czech Republic in response
to the unusually dry and warm weather the country has recently been
experiencing. People have been told not to light fires in wooded areas or
parks, not to drop cigarette butts and not to cook or barbeque in the
Rain is expected in most of the country on Friday night or Saturday, after which temperatures will fall markedly. Forecasters recently said that this month looked set to be the driest April on record. The Czech Republic has experienced major droughts in recent years.
Labour inspectors last year uncovered almost 4,600 people working illegally
in the Czech Republic. This was considerably higher than the figure for
2017, an official said on Wednesday. Employers were fined a total of over
CZK 151 million for hiring undocumented workers last year.
Some 80 percent of those caught working illegally in 2018 were from outside the European Union. Of those from inside the EU, the majority were Czech citizens, with the others mainly coming from Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.
The taxation of financial compensation paid to churches in lieu of
properties not returned in restitution could have dire consequences for
faith groups, religious leaders have said. In a statement on Wednesday, the
chairs of the Czech Bishops’ Conference, the Ecumenical Council of
Churches and the Federation of Jewish Communities said the move could cause
churches serious financial problems or even result in their demise.
The church leaders said the bill mandating such taxation was immoral and unconstitutional.
MPs on Tuesday overrode a Senate veto on the legislation. A tax on compensation was a condition of the Communists for supporting a minority cabinet of ANO and the Social Democrats.
Rescue workers have removed the body of a miner who died in an explosion at
a mine in Karviná in the Moravian-Silesian Region in December. The remains
of four others are expected to be exhumed by the end of the month, a
spokesperson for the district state prosecutor’s office said.
Thirteen miners were killed when a methane explosion took place 800 metres below the ground at the ČSM-Sever mine. Most of the victims were Polish.
A government bill on electronic communications aimed at reducing the cost
of mobile data in the Czech Republic has been approved by the lower house
in a first reading. Among other things the legislation would allow
customers to give only two days’ notice if they wish to end a contract
with an operator.
The minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, said the amendment should boost competition on the Czech market.
The issue of mobile data prices made the headlines after a gaff from the outgoing minister of industry and trade, Marta Nováková. She implied Czech consumers were responsible for the relative high cost of data in this country as they didn’t use the service enough.
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