The profits of one of the largest Czech conglomerates Agrofert, which
operates mainly in the agricultural and chemical business sectors, tripled
last year by CZK 4.54 billion according to its spokesman Karel Hanzelka.
The increase is down to profits in the chemical industry, Hanzelka said. Total profits before taxation last year were CZK 5.94 billion.
The conglomerate employs 33,000 workers in total, of which 22,000 thousand are employed in the Czech Republic. It is mainly known among the larger public as the company founded by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.
Businesses in the Czech Republic will be forced to lay off workers and
unemployment will grow, due to an insufficient amount of relief measures
being passed through Parliament, the Czech Chamber of Industry informed on
According to the chamber, it was an error that the lower-house did not pass further relief measures suggested by opposition members of the Chamber of Deputies. It says that there are now holes in the safety net, which will keep some businesses unable to ask for financial support and thus fail.
The chamber demanded that aid would also be but in place for large companies and that a possible decline in wages be adjusted.
Labour Minister Jana Maláčová said that the ceiling of help to companies employing up to 50 workers had been a necessary compromise.
The Ministry for Regional Development has sent the European Commission an
official reply to the EC audit which found Prime Minister Andrej Babis to
be in a conflict of interest by still influencing his former company
Agrofert via trust funds. The ministry expects this will result in further
negotiations with the commission. Asked about what the exact contents of
the reply are, the ministry refused to comment.
Mr Babis placed his shares in Agrofert into trust funds in 2017, to confer in a law aimed at preventing a conflict of interest taking place. He has denied any such conflict of interest being in place.
If confirmed, the audit could result in the Czech Republic losing associated EU funding.
The body of a four-month-old baby boy was discovered after a two-day-long police search in the Central Bohemian village of Hořín. The search began on Friday after the mother called police saying she had lost the baby and the carriage in the village park. Police used a helicopter and drones in their search. The exact location of the discovery has not yet been released to the public. An autopsy is set to take place in order to decide the baby’s cause of death and two witness testimonies are being analysed. It is thus far unclear how the case will be prosecuted. Police spokeswoman Lucie Nováková said further information will be released on Monday.
The Prague High Prosecutor’s Office has indicted a Belarusian with
permanent Czech residency on terrorism charges for joining armed
separatists in eastern Ukraine. If convicted, he faces 12 to 20 years in
The Belarusian man had repeatedly participated in the conflict in Ukraine over the years 2014 to 2016, prosecutors say. Similar indictments have been filed against a Czech citizen who joined Russian-backed separatists there at the turn of 2015 and 2016.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) is due to submit a
plan to the government on Monday on how to help Czech companies maintain
sales abroad during the coronavirus crisis.
More than 80 percent of Czech GDP derives from exports and more than half of jobs are linked to foreign sales. Petříček said the ministry wants to submit a long-term reconstruction package to support Czech exporters.
Czech officials should also focus more on monitoring public procurement opportunities abroad in which foreign companies can participate. In parts of Africa, for example, Czech firms can present entire transport or healthcare projects, he said.
An asymptomatic child in a Brno-Bystrc district kindergarten tested
positive for Covid-19 on Friday, and the entire class will now go into
quarantine for 14 days.
District Mayor Tomáš Kratochvíl told ČTK the child showed no symptoms, but the parents had performed a test and reported the results to the maternity school.
Kindergarteners and many elementary school children have been allowed to return to class at their parents’ discretion and dependent on the respective schools’ ability to serve smaller groups.
Prague Castle will charge no admission fees to the historic buildings and
ongoing exhibitions from Friday through Monday in a bid to revive tourism,
especially among Czechs.
Over the next four days visitors can stroll through the Royal Palace, St. Vitus Cathedral and Golden Lane, normally among the most-frequented cultural monument sites in the country. However, maximum capacity will be restricted to 1 person per 10 square meters.
Prague Castle began reopening on Monday after months of forced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Before the crisis, thousands of people, mainly foreign tourists, visited the grounds every day.
The civic movement ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ is organizing a
protest march in Prague on June 9 in part over aspects of the Czech
government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group claims the government spread chaos during the declared state emergency, which it used to exceed its mandated powers and restrict civil rights.
‘Million Moments’ has been running a campaign to oust Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) since 2018 centred on his alleged conflict of interest regarding the distribution of EU and state funds.
Its largest demonstration took place in Prague last June, in which over a quarter million people took part. It was the largest protest meeting in the country since the Velvet Revolution of 1989.