The former international ice hockey goaltender Adam Svoboda has died at the
age of 41. His death was confirmed by the club Pardubice, where he was a
coach. The news website iDnes.cz reported that he had committed suicide.
Svoboda made 32 appearances for the Czech national team and collected at World Champion’s medal in Vienna in 2005. He played for Pardubice and several other, mainly Czech, clubs.
The European Commission has revised its outlook for the growth of the Czech
economy this year downwards. It said on Tuesday that gross domestic product
was likely to expand by 2.6 percent in 2019, down from the 2.9 percent it
forecast in February.
The European Commission said it expected growth next year to reach 2.4 percent. Earlier this year it predicted a figure of 2.7 percent for 2020.
Officials also said they believed Czech unemployment would this year remain at 2.2 percent and would climb next year to 2.3 percent.
Last year the Czech Ministry of the Interior granted asylum to one in 10
applicants, iRozhlas.cz reported on Tuesday, citing data from Eurostat. The
chance of asylum being granted in this country is three times lower than
the EU average, the news site said.
The total number of people who received asylum or additional protection from the Czech authorities in 2018 was 155, equivalent to 15 per million inhabitants.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior said the Czech authorities received fewer applications from citizens of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq – who are considered most in danger – than states such as Germany and Greece.
The Czech Republic has a higher percentage of asylum seekers from countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Cuba and Armenia.
Two prisoners who went on the run turned themselves in to the police for
unlikely sounding reasons, iDnes.cz reported. One of the two said he was
unfamiliar with the South Moravia Region he had escaped to and moreover had
uncomfortable shoes. The other called a police helpline after being beaten
The pair, who were aged 23 and 33 and had been convicted of theft, fled from an unguarded workplace in Prague at the end of last month.
The Czech Republic is planning to spend billions in the coming decades on
fighting drought. Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting of the National
Coalition to Combat Drought, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said CZK 24
billion would be invested into connecting different water supply systems.
The state will also spend CZK 6 billion on renewing mains pipelines.
The minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, said further money could be drawn from EU funds and that a total of around CZK 50 billion would be invested.
Mr. Babiš said the prognosis was not good and this year could be the sixth in succession in which the country experiences drought. He said solving water shortages was the most pressing challenge facing his government.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey team travelled by train from Prague to
Bratislava on Tuesday, three days before this year’s World Championships
begin in Slovakia. Around 100 fans turned out to wish good luck to 15
members of the squad before they set off from the city’s Main Station on
the four-hour journey. Other players were due to get on board in Brno and
The Czechs’ first game at the World Championships is on Friday night against Sweden, who lifted the trophy the last two years.
President Miloš Zeman says Czech or other European politicians who regard
him as an agent of Russia’s Vladimir Putin are “absolute idiots”.
Speaking in an interview with Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, Mr Zeman
said he had also been accused of being an agent of China and Israel but was
in fact an agent of the Czech Republic.
The Czech head of state said that the European Union lacked a strong leader, by contrast with the US, Russia and China.
Mr. Zeman said he had nothing against a Russian company winning a tender to construct new units at the Czech Republic’s Dukovany nuclear power plant.
Pilsen’s annual Festival of Freedom marking the West Bohemian city’s
liberation by General Patton’s Army in May 1945 drew some 70,000 people
over the course of four days, organisers told news agency ČTK.
A dozen war veterans from the US and Belgium who helped to liberate the city attended this year’s event, which got underway on Friday. Among the highlights was the Convoy of Liberty with over 200 historical vehicles that crossed the town centre on Sunday.
It culminated on Monday at Pilsen’s memorial to the US army with an event called “Thank You, America!” Among the speakers was Senate chairman Jaroslav Kubera (Civic Democrats), who said that even an onslaught of lies and propaganda under Communism, the memory of the US and Allied liberators did not fade.
Meanwhile, members and supporters of the Night Wolves – a Russian nationalist biker gang close to President Vladimir Putin – rode across stretches of the country to commemorate the Soviet Army’s role in liberating Czechoslovakia.
Thousands again took to the streets of Prague, Brno and other cities on
Monday to protest against the appointment of a new justice minister shortly
after police proposed pressing charges of EU subsidy fraud against Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš.
It was the second street protest called by the group A Million Moments for Democracy, which believe Marie Benešová was named justice minister in an attempt to thwart justice.
Mr Babiš and several of his family members are suspected of having illegally tapped into a 50 million crown EU subsidy a decade ago in what has come to be known as the Stork’s Nest affair.
If stripped of his immunity, tried and found guilty, Mr Babiš could face a prison sentence of between five and 10 years.
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