The Supreme Audit Office has criticised the Czech military forest and
estate management company (VLS), which is owned by the Ministry of Defence,
for paying too much to build a house for a division director. Auditors said
the CZK 7.3 million construction cost was disproportionately high and
exceeded normal employee benefits.
For its part, the Ministry of Defence said that the decision to build the house was made in September 2012 and, after being finished in 2015, the building was offered for lease to the Karlovy Vary division director, who offered the highest price.
Last year over 570,000 Czech consumers changed their electricity supplier,
a record number, the Czech electricity and gas market operator OTE reported
on Monday. The figure was 60 higher than in 2017. The numbers of Czechs
switching to a different gas supplier also saw a year-on-year increase of
Analysts told the Czech News Agency that the main reason behind the trend has been the marked increase in wholesale energy prices, which are affecting the total consumer price.
Over 10,000 people took part in the first ever bird census in the Czech
Republic at the weekend. The participants sent information about the birds
they had observed in their gardens and elsewhere to the website of the
Czech Ornithological Society. Volunteers registered almost a quarter of a
million birds of dozens of species.
According to preliminary results, the most reported bird was the great tit, which finished far ahead of the tree sparrow and house sparrow.
Eleven people were hospitalised following a carbon monoxide leak at the ice
hockey arena at Prague’s Výstaviště exhibition grounds on Sunday
evening. Sixteen people inhaled the poisonous gas during a training session
for amateur hockey players. Fire officers said the carbon monoxide had
escaped from an ice resurfacing machine.
The Malá sportovní hala (Small Sports Hall) dates from the early 1960s. As well as sports events it is used as a concert venue and has hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones, Neil Young and REM.
The Chinese ambassador to Prague, Zhang Jianmin, lied about a meeting he
had with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš just before Christmas, the
latter says. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Mr. Babiš said both
the Czech government and state had behaved correctly with regard to a
warning from the National Bureau for Cyber Security and Information that
products made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE presented a security
After the PM met Mr. Zhang the Chinese Embassy issued a statement saying that the warning was unfounded and that it took cognizance of the fact the Czech side was striving to make amends for its errors in this regard. This was subsequently interpreted as an apology from the head of the Czech government.
Mr. Babiš on Sunday described this suggestion as “nonsense and a lie”. He told Czech TV that the Czech Republic was a sovereign state and had nothing to apologise about, adding that Mr. Zhang’s actions were highly unorthodox.
The Czech minister of foreign affairs, Tomáš Petříček, is due to meet the Chinese ambassador to discuss the matter, the PM said.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the minister of transport, Dan Ťok, has
been unable to sell the results he has attained. Speaking in a Czech
Television interview on Sunday, Mr. Babiš said that there had been
unprecedented investment and motorway construction since he had been in
However, the prime minister conceded that his cabinet had not handled ongoing repair of the country’s biggest motorway, the D1, well.
Mr. Babiš had previously said that Mr. Ťok needed to get tough with subordinates in order to get results. He has not ruled out a cabinet reshuffle this year.
Temperatures could fall to as low as minus 13 degrees Celsius in the east
of the Czech Republic on Sunday night, according to a warning issued by the
Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
People in some parts of the Moravian Silesian and Zlín regions have been advised to dress appropriately, while forecasters say that children, the elderly and the sick should spend as little time as possible outdoors.
The Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková has won tennis’s Brisbane
International in Australia. The one-time world number one, who is 26,
overcame Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 4-6 7-5 6-2 in Sunday’s final for the
12th title of her career. Tsurenko twisted her ankle in the deciding set.
Plíšková also began 2017 with victory in Brisbane. Her latest win means she will now climb above compatriot Petra Kvitová to seventh in the world rankings.
Prague City Hall has opened negotiations aimed at buying the building where
Jan Palach died with a view to it being turned into a museum of
totalitarianism, the news website deník.cz reported. The now rundown
former Borůvka Sanatorium on Legerová St. is also where priest Josef
Toufar died after being tortured by the communist-era secret police.
The current owners of the building, which is a short walk from the National Museum, received permission last year to convert it into a luxury hotel.
Prague’s mayor, Zdeněk Hřib of the Pirate Party, told deník.cz that the city would abandon its plan if the owners demanded an excessive sum for the property. The Prague 2 authorities say the location, where traffic is very heavy, would be inappropriate.
Up to now a space beneath where a statue of Stalin stood on Letná Plain has been in the frame to house a new museum of totalitarianism.
A lack of certain medicines is impacting patients and doctors in the Czech
Republic, Czech Television reported. In response the Ministry of Health
aims to introduce stiff financial penalties for pharmaceutical suppliers
who make deliveries two or more days late.
However, the Pharmacy Chamber says such measures would be unnecessary. Its leaders argue that it would be sufficient to bar the export of specific drugs from the Czech Republic more frequently.
At present there is a shortage of the heart medicine Digoxin, though it is expected to appear in Czech pharmacies next week after the distributor decided to import it from Slovakia. Standard supplies will resume at the start of February.
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