News in brief for June 17: Czechia prepares for Euro 2024 qualifying match

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Saturday, June 17, 2023, updated throughout the day to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 17.06.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 17.06.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Weather Strong storms moving across Czechia through Saturday evening

Strong storms with wind gusts and hail are moving across the Czech Republic on Saturday afternoon. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a low-level warning, valid from noon through 9:00 p.m., especially for Central Bohemia and the Vysočina region, to the western part of the South Moravian Region.

The storms, which can be accompanied by lightning, hail, and wind gusts of up to 70 kilometers per hour, are forecast to reach Prague and its surroundings through Saturday evening. The wind may uproot trees and break branches, and heavy rainfall is also anticipated.

Sports Czech kayakers dominate at World Cup event in Slovenia

In a thrilling final at the World Cup in Tacen, Slovenia, Czech slalom kayakers Jiří Prskavec and Vít Přindiš secured the top two spots in the men's kayak event, repeating their success from the previous race in Prague. Prskavec emerged victorious with a lead of four and a half seconds, claiming his second win of the season.

The competition in the slalom channel proved challenging, with unpredictable currents and fierce competitors. In the final, three Czech national team kayakers showcased their skills. Prskavec, who narrowly missed the top spot in the semifinals, delivered an outstanding performance in the final, winning by a narrow margin.

Military Czechia, Slovakia, Ukraine to jointly care for military vehicles

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov has announced the signing of a declaration with representatives of the Czech Republic and Slovakia on possible future cooperation in the purchase and maintenance of infantry fighting vehicles. Reznikov said on Twitter that the document was signed by Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová and her Slovak counterpart Martin Sklenář.

The meeting of the three ministers took place on the sidelines of the Friday meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Brussels. "Details will be specified later. However, this is an important step in cooperation between our countries," Reznikov noted.

CRIME Man injuries four in machete attack at České Budějovice hospital

In a disturbing incident, a man armed with a machete launched a violent attack on staff members at a psychiatric ward located in České Budějovice, resulting in injuries to four medical workers. The assailant was swiftly apprehended and detained by a combined effort of the hospital personnel and police. Thankfully, none of the ward's patients were harmed during the assault.

According to reports, the man entered the psychiatric ward as a visitor before unleashing his attack on the staff. The injured individuals, comprised of nurses and an orderly, are currently under the care of doctors at a České Budějovice hospital. Although their injuries are serious, they are not considered life-threatening.

Military Czechia in negotiations to acquire 70+ German tanks

A delegation from the Czech Ministry of Defense is currently in Germany negotiating the acquisition of over 70 state-of-the-art German Leopard 2A8 tanks. According to a reliable source familiar with the negotiations, the serial production of these tanks could begin within two years.

Additionally, two independent sources have confirmed that the German defense company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, which manufactures the Leopard tanks, is considering maximum involvement of the Czech industry, including the possibility of establishing a second assembly line in the Czech Republic.

Economy Czech Finance Ministry proposes higher dividends from ČEZ profits

The Czech Ministry of Finance, a majority shareholder in energy company ČEZ has proposed an increase in dividends from the past year's profit. This proposal comes as a counter to an earlier announcement by the company's management, which had suggested a dividend of CZK 117 per share for this year.

The unexpected proposal by the Ministry of Finance on Friday evening, meanwhile, suggests that ČEZ should pay out dividends amounting to CZK 145 per share. This corresponds to one hundred percent of the company's record-breaking net profit for the year 2022.

crime Two charged in Agriculture Ministry corruption case

Two individuals have been charged in the alleged corruption case involving the granting of IT contracts at the Agriculture Ministry, as reported by news site Seznam Zprávy. Oleg Blaško, the former head of the ministry's IT department, is among those prosecuted, although former minister Miroslav Toman has not been charged. 

Last April, police detained three people associated with the minister and seized millions of crowns, including CZK 250,000 found in Blasko's possession, suspected to be bribes for manipulated contracts.

sport Czechia's most-decorated basketball team gets new coach

Previous coach of the men’s USK Praha basketball team Francesco Tabellini has been appointed as the new coach of the ERA Basketball Nymburk team, the Central Bohemian club announced Friday. The 39-year-old Italian has signed a three-year contract with the 18-time Czech champions. 

Tabellini will replace Ladislav Sokolovský, and the assistant coach Pavel Budínský will leave the team. Nymburk has won every league title since the 2003–04 season and has also won 15 Czech Basketball Cups.

PERSONAL FINANCE Survey: students need over CZK 9,000 monthly for living

According to a survey conducted by Mladé Pirátstvo (the youth branch of the Pirates Party), university students in Czechia require an average of over CZK 9,000 per month to sustain themselves. Housing costs constitute about half of this amount, while transportation expenses average around CZK 1,000 monthly. 

The study, which involved 436 participants aged 18 to 26, revealed that most students rely on financial support from their parents as they are unable to cover their expenses with their own funds. Nearly half of the students have no income or earn up to just CZK 4,000 per month. Additionally, less than one-fifth have enough savings to cover one month's living costs.

LAW Over 10 people in Czechia accused of mass EU subsidy fraud

Thirteen individuals and three companies in Czechia have been accused of subsidy fraud amounting to approximately CZK 71.5 million, according to new documents from the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO). The EPPO uncovered evidence suggesting that a manufacturing company, under the pretense of purchasing new welding and metal-cutting technology, actually bought cheaper, outdated machines. 

The EPPO alleges collusion between the company and fake-equipment suppliers who provided false documents to secure funds. The accused received EUR 2.9 million (CZK 69 million) from the EU. One unnamed individual has been taken into custody following house raids and equipment seizures.

football Faroe Islands hosts Czechia in Euro 2024 qualifying

The Czech men’s football team will play the third match of its Euro 2024 qualification today away against the Faroe Islands. Coach Jaroslav Šilhavy has said that he wants the team to atone for its unexpected 0:0 draw to Moldova in late March. The national team will play on artificial grass in Tórshavn and the match kicks off at 20:45 Central European Time.

Czechia has won all seven previous duels, crushing the Faroe Islands 5:0 last November. It currently leads its group, which also includes Poland (in second place) and Albania (last). Czechia's next match will be at home to Albania in early September.

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