The Ministry of the Interior has decided to lower its funding for NGOs
focused on combating corruption, Czech Radio reported on Friday. A total of
CZK 4 million is set to be moved from the ministry’s programme for
preventing corruption into other areas, such as transport security and
drink driving prevention. The ministry has justified its decision on the
basis of a change in priorities. However, a report by Czech Radio
highlights that the government’s anti-corruption strategy for the years
2018–2022 promised to increase funding on anti-corruption projects by 20
NGOs offering free judicial advice are expected to be affected the most. The director of the Czech branch of Transparency International, David Ondráčka, said he believed the move could be the consequence of his organisation’s exposure of politicians’ conflicts of interest and affairs within government parties.
The Finále Plzeň film festival, devoted to Czech and Slovak film
production, got underway in the west Bohemian town on Thursday evening with
a screening of a documentary called ‘A Journey Like no Other’,
following the footsteps of famous Czech travellers Hanzelka and Zikmund.
The 32nd edition of the festival will offer 124 screenings. Thirty-five films will be competing for the main prize, the Golden Kingfisher, in five different categories. The festival will continue until April 16.
Czech photographer Michal Hanke has placed second in the sports category of
the prestigious World Press Photo Exhibition. He entered the contest with a
photo called ‘Never Saw Him Cry’, capturing the captain of the Czech
Republic Para Ice Hockey team, who has been in a wheelchair since 2003.
The top prize went to U.S. photographer Getty Images photojournalist John Moore for a photo showing a 2-year-old child crying while her mother, a Honduran asylum-seeker, is detained by U.S. border agents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Czech Republic will reinforce its police presence in Serbia by another
five men, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček said after meeting his
Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic in Belgrade on Thursday.
Czech police have been assisting Serbia in guarding its border with Bulgaria since 2016 as part of an ongoing operation to fight illegal migration. As of this June, there will be 20 Czech policemen helping to secure Serbia’s border.
Czech foreign police detained a truck in the Vysočina region carrying 13
migrants, including several small children, spokesman for the Police
Presidium told the Czech News Agency on Thursday. The nationality of the
migrants has not been revealed.
The truck with a British car license plate was driven by a Lithuanian national. According to the police he has been arrested and faces charges of smuggling. The operation was carried out through a combined international effort.
Czech car maker Škoda Auto sold 307,600 cars in the first quarter of 2019,
which is 2.9 percent less than in the same period last year. The drop in
sales is mainly caused by a decline in demand on the Chinese market.
At the same time, the company increased its global market share by 3.3 percent over the same period, recording particularly strong growth in Western Europe and Russia. Škoda expects to increase sales again with its latest model Scala ready to hit the market later this month.
The number of visitors to Czech ski resorts increased by three percent this
year compared to the last winter season, according to data released by the
Association of Czech Ski Resorts and Czech Tourism on Thursday. The
revenues of Czech ski centres rose by around five percent.
This year’s winter season was four days shorter than the last one, lasting on average 109 days. According to the head of the Association of Czech Ski Resorts, Libor Knot, the last three winter seasons were among of the most successful in recent history. Ahead of the next winter season, operators plan to invest up to 800 million crowns.
The country’s special anti-corruption police unit, known as Kobra,
prevented tax evasion worth 2.5 billion crowns last year, a spokeswoman of
the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
The team, operating under the anti-corruption police, consists of experts from the police and the financial and customs authorities. It was established in June 2014 and has since prevented tax evasion amounting to over 11.5 billion crowns.
Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston of the Court of Justice of the European
Union has recommended dismissing a lawsuit filed by the Czech Republic
against the EU directive restricting possession of firearms, the court’s
press department said on Thursday.
The Czech Republic filed the complaint in 2017, arguing that the set of restrictions damages responsible arms holders and puts more guns on the black market.
Mrs Sharpston said the new EU directive didn’t infringe on the right to property, adding that EU legislation did not guarantee any fundamental right to gun ownership. The recommendation of the advocate general is not legally binding, but it is usually taken into account.