The European Commission has approved Czech company Agrofert’s acquisition of German bakery chain Lieken AG, the commission said in a statement on Friday. Lieken, Germany’s leader in bread making, was previously owned by the Italian company Barilla; the sale was closed in February. Agrofest Group, owned exclusively by Mr Andrej Babiš, is the largest Czech agriculture and food holding.
Undeclared horsemeat has once again been found in products sold in the Czech Republic, this time in canned meat from Latvia. The Czech authorities were alerted by German inspectors, who found this particular product to contain up to 87% of horsemeat. According to the Czech food inspection agency, the products do not seem to be harmful, but since no horsemeat was listed on the label, they will have to be taken off the shelves. Some 144 cans were imported to the Czech Republic, meant for Russian specialties shops.
The sixth annual Czech Beer Festival started on Thursday. The 16-day event, which highlights the best Czech-brewed beers is taking place at the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds in Prague. Entrance is free every weekday before 2 pm. Live concerts will be held in the evenings for the duration of the festival.
Speaking in Warsaw on Monday, Prime Minister Nečas said the Czech Republic would take part in a tender to supply subsonic training fighter jets to the Polish military, including planes owned by the Czech Army. The Czech leader said Prague was also willing to provide customised training on the Czech-made L-159 jets. Mr. Nečas was heading a sizable Czech delegation that also included the ministers of defence, transport, agriculture and regional development. To date, representatives of manufacturer Aero Vodochody and the Czech state have been unsuccessful in efforts to sell the trainers to a number of countries.
The Czech Republic today remains Europe’s only nation which does not restrict smoking in pubs, bars, cafés and other establishments. The government is pushing to change this, with the Czech Parliament soon due to vote on a comprehensive smoking ban. But despite strong public support, the initiative may run aground over opposition against the bill among lawmakers.
Czech annual inflation remains unchanged at 1.7 percent, which is in line with market expectations and slightly below the forecast of the Czech National Bank (1.8 percent). Consumer prices rose by 0.1 on the month in April, driven by the higher prices of clothing, footwear, alcohol and tobacco products. On the other hand, the price of foodstuffs, primarily pastry and dairy products, decreased slightly. Separate data released by the Czech Labour Ministry on Friday showed the April jobless rate at 7.7 percent down from 8.0 percent.
In this week’s Business News: The grey economy in the Czech Republic is estimated to be 16% of the GDP; Average fuel prices have gone done for the fifth week in a row; The Czech energy company Enrgo-Pro has been fined by the Bulgarian anti-monopoly agency; Unemployment sees a small decline to 7.7% in April, due to more seasonal positions; A group of international solar energy investors have filed an arbitration suit against the Czech Republic; Czech and Poles want to oppose planned EU legislation curbing cigarette sales.
Forty-five people have died in the Czech Republic as a result of drinking illegal spirits containing the poison methanol, a police spokesperson said on Tuesday. There were a series of deaths last summer, causing the minister of health to impose a ban on the sale of all spirits for a fortnight. Over 130 people have suffered health problems, including blindness, as a consequence of drinking the bootleg booze. After the introduction of safety measures, the number of cases fell, though seven have been recorded since the start of this year, with most resulting in death. In all seven people are being investigated in connection with the matter; they face jail terms of 12 to 20 years, or even life, if found guilty.
In a meeting in Prague on Monday, the Czech and Polish agriculture ministers addressed a long-running dispute over the quality of Polish food imports to the Czech Republic. In what may prove to be the first step to defusing the row, the Czech agriculture minister, Petr Bendl, and his Polish counterpart, Stanisław Kalemba, have agreed to boost cooperation and to improve the exchange of information between their food inspection agencies.
Czech biochemist involved in developing potential coronavirus treatment
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
Coronavirus: Prague Airport designates special gates for arrivals from Italy
Coronavirus: no cases confirmed in Czech Republic so far
Coronavirus: Czechs to convene commission following spread to Italy