The Czech government and the semi-state power giant CEZ will publish a deal
on the construction of a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power station in
the coming weeks, the minister of industry and trade, Karel Havlíček,
said on Tuesday. Mr. Havlíček said a supplier of the new unit should be
selected by the end of this year. Planning permission ought to be issued by
2029 and construction on the new nuclear unit would begin soon after, he
told reporters on a visit to Dukovany.
The head of CEZ, Daniel Beneš, said recently that the state would hold consultations during February with five companies seeking a contract to build the unit. These include Russia’s Rosatom and Westinghouse from the US.
Strong winds are due to continue in the Czech Republic until Wednesday evening, forecasters say. While Storm Sabine has not been as dramatic on Tuesday as on Monday, tens of thousands of Czech homes were still without power on Tuesday afternoon, while rail and road transport has also been impacted. Bohemia is at present facing stronger winds than Moravia and Silesia.
The Social Democrats plan to raise the issue of VAT rates on beer with
coalition partners ANO, the former’s MP Václav Votava said on Tuesday.
The junior government party voted recently for a change in VAT on draught
beer without thinking the matter through, Mr. Votava said.
The ANO-controlled Ministry of Finance has put forward a new system under which there would be different VAT rates on beer depending on where it was sold, with a lower rate in place at restaurants where the drink is consumed on the premises. The change, which has come in for a lot of online mockery, should take effect from May.
Blesk remains the Czech Republic’s most read newspaper, with 834,000
readers per issue in the second half of last year, according to the Union
of Publishers. That figure was almost 40,000 down on the first half of
The second most popular daily is Mladá fronta Dnes, with 513,000 readers an issue. Third is Právo, with 215,000.
While the reach of sold newspapers declined in the third and fourth quarters, the free dailies Metro and E15 both registered a slight rise in readership.
A bark beetle infestation will destroy up to 60 million cubic metres of
wood in the Czech Republic this year and that figure is likely to double
next year, according to a study by the environmental think tank Czech
forest published on Tuesday.
The level of damage caused by the insect has doubled every year since 2017, the authors of the mid-term prognosis said
After 2021 the number of trees attacked will decline in view of the fact that less than half of all spruces living prior to the country’s bark beetle epidemic will be left standing.
The state prosecutor’s office has recommended that a former Prague imam,
Samer Shehadeh, receive a jail term of 10 years. He is accused of helping
his brother and sister-and-law to travel to Syria to join the terrorist
organisation Al-Nusra Front. Mr. Shehadeh is also charged with sending the
group money via an intermediary several times.
The ex-imam has confessed in a Prague court to helping the couple and to sending money to Syria. However, he said he did not believe those actions were unlawful as he does not recognise the Syrian government and does not view the Al-Nusra Front as terrorist.
Mr. Shehadeh left the Czech Republic in 2017. However, he was later arrested in Jordan on terrorism charges and handed over to the Czech authorities.
The Czech Republic has applied for a conciliation procedure in connection
with EU sanctions for errors in distributing agricultural subsidies.
According to Czech Radio, the sanctions concern EU funds distributed between 2015 and 2017 and stem from an audit conducted three years ago.
The European Commission wants the Czech Republic to return 1.16 billion crowns which was not used for the purpose for which it was granted.
According to the European Commission, the control mechanisms in the Czech Republic are inadequate in this respect.
The Ministry of Agriculture disagrees with the outcome of the audit and wants an independent body to review the case.
A clean-up operation is underway in the wake of wind storm Sabine which
battered parts of the Czech Republic on Monday and is now gradually
Thirty-seven thousand households were still without power on Tuesday morning and rail travel was disrupted by fallen trees.
While rail operators are still providing bus replacement services, Prague’s Vaclav Havel airport, which was forced to cancel several flights on Monday, returned to normal operation on Tuesday morning.
According to preliminary estimates the windstorm damaged around one million cubic metres of forests in state ownership.
One of the most precious items belonging to the National Museum - a Celtic
head sculpture dating back to the Iron Age – was transported from the
museum’s Terezin depository to Olomouc under heavy security, where it is
to be the highlight of a 14-day exhibition of Celtic art.
The male sculpted head from c. 150-50 BC was unearthed in Mšecké Žehrovice, about 65 km northwest of Prague, in 1943.
It is one of the best known works of Celtic art from Iron Age Europe, and, along with the Glauberg "Prince" and the Warrior of Hirschlanden, one of the few large representations of the human figure.
Upon its discovery the sculpture became one of the most photographed art objects ever.