Slavia Prague has secured a spot in the group stage of the Champions League
after beating Romanian side Cluj 1:0 in the second leg of the play-offs.
Slavia’s opponents will be decided at a draw on Thursday evening in
Monaco. The team has also secured a CZK 393 million for making it into the
Slavia won the previous leg in Cluj 1:0 and although the first half-hour of the game saw chances on both sides, the Czech team eventually became more dominant in the second half. The only goal of the game was then scored in the 66 minute when Slavia defender Jan Bořil scored with a hard shot in the penalty area.
It is only the second time in history that the Prague team has managed to advance into the group stages of Europe’s most prestigious tournament.
The amount of Lynx sightings has substantially decreased, zoologist Jiří
Flousek from the Krkonoše Mountains National Park told the Czech News
Agency on Wednesday. He says that, based on the single unconfirmed sighting
of a Lynx so far this year, he cannot confirm there are currently any such
predators in the North Bohemian mountain range.
Lynx sightings were steadily growing since park authorities started recording the events in 2000. However, sometime between 2011 and 2013 there was a change in the trend when the amount of sightings started going down. Mr. Flousek did not deny that poaching could be the reason for the change in data.
President Miloš Zeman called on Czech ambassadors to focus on economic
diplomacy during a meeting with the country’s representatives abroad at
Prague Castle on Wednesday. In his opinion, the country’s small, export
focused economy needs to succeed in foreign markets, while at the same
time, foreign investment need to be brought into the Czech Republic.
The president also said that he does not like reproaching foreign officials for human rights abuses, because this can cause unnecessary damages in areas such as tourism. Rather, he said that concrete help in the area of human rights is more effective. The country’s ambassadors have gathered for their annual meeting in the Czech capital this week to debate foreign policy, economic diplomacy, security and consular topics. Meeting the president is a traditional part of the annual meeting.
Javelin thrower Nikola Ogrodníková is the only Czech selected into the
European team which will compete with US athletes at September’s highly
anticipated intercontinental duel in Minsk. Called, The Match, the contest
will see four European and four US athletes compete in various athletic
Ms. Ogrodníková, a silver medal holder from the 2018 European Championships, is currently leading Europe’s rankings in javelin throwing. Her teammates on the European team will be Tatyana Chaladovich from Belarus, Līna Mūze of Lithuania and Alexie Alaïs of France.
Miloslava Vostrá, the negotiator for the Communist Party, which is
currently supporting Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s minority government,
will recommend her party supports Finance Minister Alena Šchillerová’s
2020 budget plan. The plan, which will be presented by the finance minister
to the government before it is sent to the Chamber of Deputies in
September, counts on a budget deficit of CZK 40 billion crowns in 2020.
The Communists originally wanted the government to reduce the planned deficit to CZK 30 billion crowns. However, following her meeting with the finance minister on Wednesday morning, Ms. Vostrá, who also chairs the Budget Committee in the lower house, agreed with Mrs. Šchillerová’s plan.
Communist Party Chairman Vojtěch Filip told the Czech News Agency that the party will decide on whether to support the budget after he meets with Ms. Vostrá.
The major South Korean manufacturer Nexen Tire opened its new factory, the
first in Europe, near the Czech city of Žatec this Wednesday. The CZK 22
billion factory, which will eventually employ 1,300 workers, is the third
largest investment project in the country that was mediated by CzechInvest.
The company plans to export three million tires by the end of the year and will have a total production capacity of 11 million when construction fully complete.
Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Petr Očko highlighted the fact that the facility also includes a research centre aimed at testing new technologies.
The state enterprise Lesy České republiky, which administers nearly a
half of the country’s forests, has reported a 90 percent fall in gross
profits during the first half of 2019. The decrease in profits is largely
due to the ongoing bark beetle infestation, company spokeswoman Eva
Jouklová told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday.
The company increased felling of bark beetle infested trees by 112 percent compared to the same period last year. However, according to Ms. Jouklová, the resulting excessive amount of wood on the market has in turn brought down the price of the commodity.
This phenomenon has been negatively affecting the company’s profits already for some time. Last year the result was that Lesy České republiky’s net profits plummeted down to CZK 70 million compared to the CZK 3.08 billion it made in 2017.
The Czech and Polish governments are holding a joint session in Warsaw on
Wednesday. The talks are centred around EU topics and climate protection,
but will also include more focused discussions between the two states’
Speaking to journalists ahead of his flight, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš described Poland as one of the Czech Republic’s most important partners, with whom his country has above standard relations. He said that he would propose that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and representatives from Western Balkan states are invited to the September summit of the Visegrad Four.
While in Warsaw, Czech Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar is expected to sign an agreement on military aviation cooperation with his Polish counterpart Mariusz Błaszczak.
Regional Development Minister Klára Dostálová has said that her
department will send the much anticipated reply the European Commission’s
preliminary audit on the suspected conflict of interests of Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš, on Wednesday. In an interview with Czech newspaper Deník N,
Mrs. Dostálová said the reply contains contradictions to every sentence
on every page of the audit.
According to the preliminary audit report, Mr. Babiš still has influence on his former company Agrofert, which is drawing money from European funds, and is therefore in a conflict of interest. As a result, the Czech Republic may be forced to return about CZK 450 million to the EU budget.
The reply is being sent to the Czech Republic’s Permanent Representation at the European Union in Brussels, which subsequently has to supply it to the European Commission by Monday, when the deadline runs out.