Daily news summary Daily news summary

02-10-2017

Czech MEPs condemn Spanish police action in Catalonia

Several Czech MEPs have condemned the violence used by Spanish police to try and prevent a referendum in Catalonia over independence on Sunday.

MEPS Pavel Svoboda, Kateřina Konečná and Stanislav Polčák, representing different parties, said on public broadcaster Czech Television that police had overstepped the mark and the European Commission should condemn their action.

Deputy chairman of the European Parliament, Pavel Telička, said on his Twitter account that there was no excuse for police reverting to pre-1989 [former Soviet bloc] methods.

Czech foreign affairs minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, said the issue was an internal Spanish one.

Spanish police tried to disrupt voting, often using violence against voters and those at polling stations. The Spanish government says the vote was unconstitutional and has refused to accept the outcome.

Licensed taxi drivers launch ‘snail’ protests in Prague

Taxi drivers launched protest actions in the Czech capital against competition from Uber drivers on Monday morning.

Groups of drivers staged go slow actions across the city aimed at snarling up traffic and drawing attention to the complaints about unfair competition.

One of the protest actions was focused on the approaches to Prague’s Václav Havel international airport with another on one of the main approach roads from the capital to the airport.

Official taxi drivers say that Uber drivers are not subject to the same payments as licensed drivers are subject to lax regulation meaning that they can undercut them.

Czech Republic placed 31st in global competitiveness ranking

The Czech Republic has been placed 31st in the world ranking for global competitiveness for 2017-2018 by the World Economic Forum.

The ranking is the same since 2015, when the country last moved up the ranking. Switzerland is in top spot out of the 137 countries surveyed.

Out of former Soviet-bloc countries, Estonia is ahead of the Czech Republic but neighbopurs Poland and Slovakia trail in 39th and 59th position.

The ranking is based on country assessments taking account more than 100 different factors.

Czech weak points were tax legislation, government bureaucracy, and transport infrastructure failings.

Czech average GDP catching up with euro zone says ministry

The Czech Republic is catching up with the average wealth of euro-zone countries, according to the Ministry of Finance.

It says average Czech per capital GDP rose this year to 85 percent of the average in the 19 euro zone countries from 83 percent last year.

And, it says the rise will continue next year to 86 percent.

The placing is better than Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, and Portugal.

But Czech costs are also seen rising as well from 63 percent of the euro zone average last year to 68 percent in 2018.

Czech manufacturing confidence up in September

Economic confidence among Czech manufacturers improved in September, according to index compiled regularly by IHS Markit.

The composite confidence index rose to 56.6 points from August’s 54.9 points. That is the strongest month-on-month improvement since April.

Confidence was boosted by increase in output and new orders from home and abroad.

Šafářová loses top spot in doubles WTA rankings

In tennis, Czech player Lucie Šafářová has been dethroned from her top spot as the world’s best doubles player.

In the latest WTA ratings, Šafářová has been replaced at the top spot by Swiss player Martina Hingis. The Czech player has dropped to third place.

Injuries over the last weeks have cost Šafářová points which could have helped her retain the position she won six weeks ago.

In the singles rankings, Petra Kvitová has dropped four places and is now 18th in the rankings. Karolína Plíšková is forth.

Calgary Flames reported hopeful about Jaromír Jágr NHL signing

The TSN sports news channel has reported that Canadian NHL ice hockey club, the Calgary Flames, are very hopeful about signing Czech veteran Jaromír Jágr after initial talks. Jágr, 45, who last season played for the Florida Panthers with 16 goals and 30 assists, is a free agent looking for a team after being dropped by the club at the end of the season.

Rumours peaked last week that Jágr might return to play for local Czech club, the Kladno Knights, which he owns. The player later said that talks about possible NHL openings would detain him. The NHL season is about to start.

Weather

Tuesday is expected to be cloudy with rain across most of the country. Some sunny spots could emerge in the west. Top temperatures will range between 12 and 14 degrees Celsius.

02-10-2017