Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for October 20, 2021

Attorney to request Babiš's prosecution, Czech AI start-up receives massive investment, tender announced for railway to Prague Airport. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.10.2021 09:41:00 (updated on 20.10.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Attorney will ask new Chamber to allow Babiš’s prosecution

State attorney Jaroslav Šaroch, who is investigating the Čapí hnízdo (Stork’s Nest) case of alleged EU subsidy fraud, will ask the new lower house of the Czech parliament to release outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for prosecution. Babiš’s prosecution has been suspended after he regained parliamentary immunity following the general election on October 8-9.

The current Chamber of Deputies will dissolve on Thursday. The newly elected Chamber will meet for the first time on November 8. A Czech member of parliament or senator cannot be criminally prosecuted without the consent of the relevant house of parliament. The Chamber has released Babiš for prosecution twice already, first in September 2017 and later in January 2018. The latest request follows further investigation into the Stork’s Nest affair this summer.

Czech start-up Rossum receives multi-billion investment

Czech company Rossum, which is developing a platform for processing documents passing between different companies with the help of artificial intelligence, has received an investment of approximately CZK 2.2 billion, the third-highest amount ever received by a Czech start-up.

The investment was led by U.S. venture capital fund General Catalyst, joined by existing Rossum investors SeedCamp and Local Globe from Great Britain, and Czech investor Miton. Rossum will use the money to expand its operations, significantly boosting its team with more industry experts. The company has doubled its sales in the last year, growing from 60 to 140 people. It plans the establishment of a research center in Prague for the development of AI technology in cooperation with Czech universities. The company was founded in 2017, and current customers including Czech businesses such as and

Tender announced for first stage of railway to Prague Airport

The Czech Railway Administration (SŽ) has announced a tender for a major project to modernize rail connections between Prague city center, Prague Airport and the commuter town of Kladno. The project will see three new platform created at Kladno rail station, and a tender has now been announced for a five-kilometer section of the line from Kladno to Kladno-Ostrovec.

The maximum allowable construction price is CZK 4.02 billion, with work scheduled to start next year and finish in 2024. The project will completely change the appearance of the railway around Kladno, according to SŽ. This is the first step in a rail construction project expected to extend to Prague Airport. Next year, SŽ plans to announce another tender for the construction of the section from Kladno station to Prague Ruzyně, to be completed by 2025.

TOP 09 leader Pekarová Adamová proposed as Chamber of Deputies Speaker

TOP 09 party leader Markéta Pekarová Adamová will be the candidate of the SPOLU coalition for the important position of Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, SPOLU leader Petr Fiala has announced. The coalition government’s deputy head of the Chamber would be Pirate Party deputy leader Olga Richterová.

Two female candidates will therefore be put forward by the opposition coalitions for the leadership of the chamber, with two other posts of deputy chairperson to be offered to the ANO party, reflecting the outcome of the election. The Freedom and Direct Democracy party will not, however, hold any deputy heads in the new Chamber.

Strong winds to hit the Czech Republic this week

Most parts of the country will see strong winds on Thursday with gusts of over 70 km/h. Winds will be strongest in the mountains, where they are expected to reach speeds of around 110 km/h. The calmest areas will be in Moravia: in the Zlín Region, the southern half of the Olomouc Region, and in the east of the South Moravia Region.

Information from the Czech Hydrometerological Institute warns of a cold front to cross Central Europe on Thursday. Strong winds will pass eastward, from Bohemia in the morning, to Moravia and Silesia in the afternoon. Gusts will die down in the evening. A warning has been issued for the strong winds, applying in Bohemia from 08:00 to 21:00, and in Moravia from 11:00 to 21:00.

Taiwan foreign minister to visit Prague amid warming relations

A delegation including the Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and key business figures will visit Prague from October 23-27, the Czech-Taiwanese Business Chamber has announced. The visit is intended as a further strengthening of ties between Taiwan and the Czech Republic, with the Czech Republic having taken an increasingly friendly stance towards the country in recent years.

Taiwan is looking to the Czech Republic as an important potential export market, along with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Slovakia and Lithuania. The trip to Prague will focus on high-tech business cooperation. The visit is likely to further upset China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, after fury over Czech Senate leader Miloš Vystrčil’s visit to Taiwan in September 2020.

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