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EU Brexit negotiator spells out limited trade formula likely for final deal

Chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has described a free trade agreement with checks and controls as a possible end scenario for a final deal on a visit to Prague.

Barnier said that as Britain did not want to respect the full four EU freedoms or come under the European Court of Justice, then this would imply checks on the movement of people and goods at borders.

Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš said it is satisfied with the development of negotiations so far. He stressed that Britain is an export market for the Czech Republic and it was therefore important for trade relations to be as free as possible.

Barnier said around three-quarters of a final deal have been resolved with the outstanding issues the border between Northern Ireland and the republic and the final body to police the final agreement.

Czech based Avast to launch shares on London exchange

Czech-based software security and protection company Avast has announced plans to launch shares on the London stock exchange this year with the target of raising around 200 million US dollars.

The anti-virus company says it wants to ease its debt burden and create room for further growth. The share offer is likely to be targeted at institutional investors.

Avast took a major step towards boosting its worldwide position by taking over the rival company AVG in 2016.

Škoda Auto sees double digit increase in Q1 deliveries

The Czech Republic’s biggest car maker, Škoda Auto, increased deliveries in the first quarter of the year by 11.7 percent to total 316,700 vehicles.

In March, deliveries climbed by 10.7 percent to 120,200. Key markets such as China, Russia, and Western Europe were strong.

High demand was shown for the Octavia series as well as the new Kodiaq SUV.

Poldi Steelworks auctioned off for 261 million crowns

The bankrupt Poldi Steelworks was auctioned on Thursday for 261 million crowns.

The former jewel of Czech steelmaking at Kladno has been closed for years and been in insolvency since the end of 2017. The winning bid came from Stanislav Kraslavski, who is based in Switzerland. He said he wanted to restart production as soon as possible.

The starting level for bidding was 160 million crowns with the estimated value of the assets given as 180 million crowns.

Czechs cities to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

Sixteen Czech cities and towns will mark Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day, which commemorates the approximately six million Jews who died during the Second World War.

The event, organised by the Terezín Initiative Institute, marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Among the cities and towns that join the event this year is Prague, Brno, Liberec or Kutná Hora.

Of Czechoslovakia’s 350,000 Jews, 250,000 died during the Holocaust.

Government negotiations continue

President Miloš Zeman will meet with Tomio Okamura, leader of the anti-migrant Freedom and Direct Democracy party, at Lány Chateau on Thursday. They will discuss the party’s potential support for a minority ANO party government headed by Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

The Czech head of state recommended that ANO leader Andrej Babiš rely on support from the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party and the Communists after coalition talks with the Social Democrats collapsed last week.

The ANO party leadership is also set to meet on Thursday to discuss how to proceed in the government negotiations.

Czech international train traffic disrupted by sheep collision

Train traffic on one of the main Czech routes between Prague and Plzeň was disrupted Thursday when an express train to Munich ploughed into dozens of sheep.

The incident happened on the stretch of line between Zdice and Hořovice. None of the passengers were injured.

Traffic on the same route was disrupted a few years ago when a goat fell from cliffs near Beroun onto electric lines alongside the track. It did not survive.


Friday is expected to be cloudy with rain in the west and centre of the country but bright sunshine in the east. Top daytime temperatures will range between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius.