Czechs begin going to the polls on Friday in elections to decide who will
represent them in the European Parliament for the next five years. More
than 14,000 ballot boxes across the Czech Republic open at 2 pm on Friday
and close at 10 pm, before opening again from 8am to 2pm on Saturday.
Czechs and other EU citizens who are voting in the Czech Republic can choose from no less than 841 candidates from 40 parties vying for 21 seats in the European Parliament. The Czech Republic is the only country where voting is possible over two days. Turnout out at the last such elections five years ago was just over 18 percent.
The Czech ice hockey team beat Germany 5:1 in the quarterfinal of the Ice
Hockey World Championships in Bratislava on Thursday evening. Despite the
final score, the game was close until the third period when a goal from
attacker Jakub Voráček broke the deadlock.
The Czech team is now set to face Canada in the semi-finals on Saturday. The winner will play against either Russia or Finland who are the other semi-finalists.
Social Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček met with
President Miloš Zeman at Prague Castle on Thursday to discuss the
resignation of fellow party member and Culture Minister Antonín Staněk.
Mr. Hamáček has insisted that his replacement should be a political
minister from his own ranks and that he already has a replacement. However,
following the half-hour discussion he told the Czech News Agency that the
president will only decide once he has met with Mr. Staněk on Tuesday.
Culture Minister Staněk resigned last Wednesday following pressure from the Czech cultural scene and his own party. However, he says the decision was not made by his own will, but as a result of the demand of his party leader. Prime Minister Andrej Babis called the nature of his resignation “unusual” on Monday, but told the news server iDNES that if the president does not accept he will ask for Staněk to go himself.
A new production factory for multiple Škoda car models, as well as other
Volkswagen vehicles, will be created in either Turkey or Bulgaria, the
weekly magazine Škodovácký odborář reports. Škoda trade union boss
Jaroslav Povšík told the outlet that Turkey is seen as having solid
infrastructure, but Bulgaria is another option due to it being a more
politically stable location and an EU member.
The trade unions have said they will demand an answer from the company leadership about whether the project will impact employment in the Czech Republic and how it will benefit the company’s business plan.
Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a burial site that houses
tombs from the Neolithic era all the way to the early Iron Age period near
the town of Slaný in Central Bohemia. Items include pre-historic tombs,
ceramics, stone arrowheads, copper daggers and dozens of skeletons.
The discoveries were made during one of the largest archaeological excavations conducted in Bohemia, which started in August 2018 and ended in May 2019. The dig took place ahead of the construction of a highway bypass near Slaný.
The famous Czech cartoon figure Krteček, known in English as Little Mole,
is set to appear on Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team race cars driven by pilots
Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi. Team director Frédéric Vasseur
told journalists at a press conference that the character could help bring
a new audience to the sport, particularly hundreds of thousands of
Krteček has achieved global popularity since the character was created by cartoonist Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Czech President Miloš Zeman famously took a Little Mole soft toy figure during his visit to China in 2014 and another Little Mole toy also made it to space in 2011, as part of the mission of space shuttle Endeavour.
Business conditions in the Czech Republic have gotten worse since the last
meeting of the Czech Chamber of Commerce in May 2018, the chamber’s
president Vladimír Dlouhý told delegates gathered at its annual meeting
He criticised trade unions for raising their demands in areas such as increases in minimum wages. He also slammed the government for accepting those demands and said that left-wing political parties that were unsuccessful in the last parliamentary elections have too much influence on the country’s economic and social policies.
The meeting was attended by over 250 delegates including Czech President Miloš Zeman, ministers and representatives from parliamentary parties. However, Mr. Dlouhý pointed out that the Social Democrats, who are in government, sent no representative.
Home Credit Group is set to undergo an initial public offering on the Hong
Kong stock exchange after the summer. The Czech-based consumer lender has
appointed Citigroup, HSBC Holdings and Morgan Stanley to lead the IPO,
Reuters reported on Thursday citing three people with direct knowledge of
the matter. The sources said that Home Credit is looking to raise at least
USD 1 billion, but cautioned that the final figure could change depending
on the valuation.
Home Credit Group’s majority shareholder is PPF group, controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner. The company currently operates in 10 countries and has assets amounting of around EUR 23.6 worldwide. China is its largest country of operation.
Water levels at several dozen points across the Czech Republic have risen
to flood level or near to it after two weeks above-average rainfall,
meteorologists have warned.
The greatest threats are along the Smědá River in the Liberec region of northern Bohemia and the Bečva River cutting through the town of Přerov, north Moravia, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
Heavy rainfall warnings are in place in the north-eastern tip of the Pardubice Region, the North of the Olomouc Region, and the western part of the Moravian-Silesian Region.
Overall, this has been a dry winter and spring. Czech authorities are more concerned in the long term about drought.