Czech police are on high alert ahead of Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier
between England and the Czech Republic in Prague. Up to six thousand
British football fans are expected to arrive in the Czech capital for the
match, which is to be played at Slavia Prague’s Eden Arena.
The police will be out in force for the event, deploying mounted units and a special anti-riot squad.
England currently lead Group A, three points clear of the Czech Republic, who lost 5:0 to England in the first match at Wembley in March, suffering the heaviest defeat in the history of the international team.
US video streaming Netflix officially launched its Czech-language user
interface on Friday. An estimated 1,000 films, approximately 20 percent of
all content now streaming on the Czech version of Netflix, have received
additional Czech subtitles or dubbing. Netflix has also begun to license
and stream original Czech and Slovak-language films, which appear with
Netflix, which has been available in Czechia since 2016, is gearing up for increased competition on the Czech streaming market, with Apple TV+ set to launch in November at a significantly lower price.
The annual three-day fish harvest got underway on Friday morning at the
largest Czech fish pond Rožmberk, near Třeboň. The South Bohemian town
is the country’s most famous centre for the production of carp, which is
traditionally eaten by Czechs for Christmas dinner.
Overall, fishermen in Třeboň expect to harvest some 2,400 tonnes of fish from its 250 ponds this year. Last year, the traditional fish harvest attracted some 55,000 people.
Activists from the Extinction Rebellion environmental group briefly blocked
traffic in Prague’s Vršovice district on Friday morning. Later in the
day, they also held two protest gatherings in front of Czech Television and
The Czech branch of Extinction Rebellion has joined a wave of climate protests organised by the environmental group around the world, calling on the government to reduce emissions from fossil fuels an achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.
The series of events will culminate on Saturday with a demonstration and a traffic blockade on Wenceslas Square.
The Highest Constitutional Officials on Thursday rejected a proposal by
President Miloš Zeman to revoke recognition of Kosovo as an independent
state. He had promised during a visit to Serbia in early September to raise
the issue at the official's next meeting.
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognised by 100 members of the United Nations. Among those refusing to are Russia and China, with which Zeman has courted favour and tried to deepen ties, often against the Czech government’s wishes.
Serbia and Kosovo signed an EU-brokered deal to mend ties in 2013, but those efforts stalled when Belgrade blocked Pristina last year from joining Interpol, triggering a tit-for-tat 100 percent tax on Serb imports. Since then, Belgrade has stepped up efforts to get countries to withdraw their recognition of Kosovo.
The Highest Constitutional Officials include the president, prime minister, the heads of both houses of Parliament, and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence and the Interior. In a statement after the meeting, Minister Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) stated that all speakers had agreed that position of the Czech Republic regarding Kosovo has not changed.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said on Thursday that the Czech
government agrees with the European Union’s condemnation of Turkey’s
ongoing military offensive in northern Syria to create a refugee zone.
Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies attacked Kurdish militia on Wednesday, pounding them with air strikes and artillery before starting a ground operation. The assault began days after US President Donald Trump withdrew American troops from the area.
Following a meeting in early September with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the United Nations, Mr Babiš had said that the Visegrad Group (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland) supported Ankara’s intention to create a refugee zone in northern Syria.
Earlier this week, however, the Czech prime minister said that he was surprised by the situation and warned that military intervention could lead to another wave of refugees heading for Europe.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) had earlier warned in an official statement that the Turkish offensive would “only worsen the situation of civilians and refugees in the region”.
Consumer lender Home Credit announced on Thursday it will withdraw from a
controversial partnership agreement with Charles University announced
earlier this week.
A spokesman for the company said Home Credit did not want to be drawn into irrational debates about the nature of the cooperation before it had even begun.
Hundreds of Charles University students and faculty had called on the rectorate to cancel the agreement, accusing the company of lending irresponsibly, thereby adding to the personal debt crisis.
Home Credit is part of the PPF Group controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner. Under the cooperation agreement, the consumer lender was to give Charles University half a million crowns annually, mainly to the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics and the Institute of Economic Studies.
The telecom group O2 Czech Republic plans to remove all public pay
telephones by year’s end except for those it is obligated to keep in the
country’s smallest municipalities.
Out of the roughly 3,900 telephone booths currently in operation, some 1,150 will remain in municipalities with up to 200 inhabitants, an O2 spokesperson said.
Škoda Transportation has been confirmed as the winner of a tender to
supply of up to 45 six-car metro trains for Warsaw.
The first set is due to be handed over to the Polish capital within two years of signing the purchase contract.
Škoda Transportation is part of the PPF group controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner. The total value of the contract is almost 8 billion crowns.