President Miloš Zeman’s statement that he had fired his former advisor
Zdeněk Šarapatka for incompetence was wrong and the state will have to
issue an official apology on his behalf, the District Court for Prague 1
ruled on Wednesday.
The president’s comment was made in the weekly interview show “Week With the President” on TV Barrandov in 2017. Mr Šarapatka subsequently filed a lawsuit proving he had sent a resignation letter and subsequently left after a mutual agreement.
The apology will be issued by the Ministry of Finance, because the head of state cannot be sued personally.
Around 50,000 trees in the South Bohemian forest of Šumava have been
damaged as a result of the strong winds that swept through the Czech
Republic on Monday and Tuesday. The exact extent of damages is still being
estimated by foresters, but it seems that the strong winds did not cause
heavy damage in any specific part of the park, Blanka Müllerová from the
Šumava National Park told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday.
The Czech Republic saw winds at the speed of up to 180 kilometres per hour in places as the wind storm known as “Sabine” passed through the country. However, according to Pavel Šimandl from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the winds were not strong enough to be classified as a hurricane force.
A new system more accurately identifying the location of callers has been
introduced on emergency lines in the Czech Republic. The operators of the
country’s emergency services say they expect the change will lead to
improved response times. It applies to the 150, 155 and 158 numbers as well
as the universal European emergency number 112.
Advanced Mobile Location will initially only be used in Prague but should be in place around the country within weeks.
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.