Babiš in Ukraine, explosion injures eight, Nedomanský honoured

Daily news summary 19.11.2019

Daily news summary 19.11.2019

Daily news summary 19.11.2019

Daily news summary 19.11.2019

Daily news summary 19.11.2019
Daily news summary 19.11.2019
  • 2019-11-19 14:25:09 19 days ago
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Czech PM Babiš pledges support for territorial integrity on Ukraine visit

The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, visited Ukraine on Tuesday. After attending the launch of a Czech-Ukrainian enterprise forum, Mr. Babiš held talks with the country’s prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk. Following both engagements in Kiev he reiterated the Czech Republic’s support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

Mr. Babiš later told Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that the Czech Republic condemned Russian aggression in the east of the country and Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The Czech leader also invited Mr. Zelensky to a meeting of the Visegrad Four in Prague.

Eight injured in explosion at waste disposal facility

Eight people were injured on Tuesday when there was an explosion at a waste disposal facility at a Hamr na Jezeře in the north of the Czech Republic. Two of those injured are in a critical condition. Around 10 rescue workers also need to be examined after coming into contact with an unknown substance, a spokesperson for the rescue services in Liberec said.

The mayor of Hamr na Jezeře said it appeared that sulphuric acid has leaked into the atmosphere.

Farmers expect rise in commodities sales this year

Czech farmers say that sales of eight major agricultural commodities should rise by almost CZK 2 billion this year to reach over CZK 90 billion. More cereals and potatoes have been harvested this year but the rape crop was down on 2018.

The Agricultural Association of the Czech Republic said the overall sales figure for this year should be above the average recorded since the year 2000.

Student protest ends as Charles U. agrees to address climate change

Charles University students who for several days blocked the rectorate building have agreed to end their occupation strike. They also withdrew their demand that Rector Tomáš Zima resign immediately.

Following a three-hour meeting on Monday evening with the protesters, the Academic Senate agreed to adopt a resolution that Charles University would proactively address fighting climate change, ČTK reports.

Zima has been in the spotlight in recent weeks for his role in establishing a Czech-Chinese Centre at Charles University, where some events seem to have been funded by the Chinese Embassy. The Academic Senate has agreed to review Zima's mandate and seek climate neutrality by 2022.

Major renovations of Karlovy Vary’s Thermal hotel begin

Major renovation work has begun on the Thermal hotel in Karlovy Vary. The building will be closed from January until mid-March because of the renovations, which will cost CZK 580 million.

Work on some parts of Thermal was launched in November. The building, which dates from the 1970s and hosts the Karlovy Vary film festival every year, belongs to the Czech state.

Nedomanský becomes second Czech inducted into hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto

Retired forward Václav Nedomanský has become the second Czech to be inducted into ice hockey’s Hall of Fame in Toronto. The other Czech to have received this accolade was goaltender Dominik Hašek, back in 2014.

Nedomanský, now 75 and living in California, was a member of the Czechoslovak world championship winning team in 1972 and scored 163 goals in 220 games for the national side.

He later fled from communist Czechoslovakia and arrived in Toronto via Switzerland. It was not until Nedomanský was 33 that he began his career in the NHL, with stops at the Detroit Red Wings, the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.

After his active career, Nedomanský initially worked as a coach, in Schwenningen and Innsbruck. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he worked as a scout in Europe for the Los Angeles Kings.

Strýcová parts company with coach after best season of career

Czech tennis player Barbora Strýcová has parted company with her coach, David Kotyza, after two years. The 2019 season was the most successful of the 33-year-old’s career as she won the doubles title at Wimbledon and also reached the semi-finals in singles at the All England Club. She is currently world women’s doubles number one.

Strýcová announced the split from Kotyza on Instagram on Tuesday after defeat in the doubles final at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with temperatures of up to 10 degrees Celsius in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Similar weather is expected for the following days.

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Daily news summary 19.11.2019

Czech government proposes levelling 7 percent tax on Internet giants

Czech government proposes levelling 7 percent tax on Internet giants

The move comes in response to the European Union’s failure to agree on a unified digital tax, leaving individual member states to make their own decisions on the matter. While there is general agreement in the Czech Republic on levelling a tax on Internet giants, there are divisions over how high that tax should be. The proposed 7 percent tax is the result of a compromise between the ruling parties and should apply to internet companies with a global turnover of over EUR 750 million (CZK 19.1 billion) and annual turnover in the Czech Republic of over CZK 100 million. Finance Minister Alena Schillerová presented the proposal at a press briefing in Prague on Tuesday.

“The tax will apply to users of multilateral digital interfaces, primarily targeted site advertising, social service charges, or the sale of user data but also digital economy platforms such as Airbnb and Uber that allow users to provide services and goods to each other for a transaction fee.”

While Austria and France introduced a 5 and 3 percent digital tax respectively, the Czech government has set its sights higher with a proposed 7 percent tax. Jan Hamáček, head of the junior coalition party of Social Democrats, welcomed the agreement reached.

“I am very glad that we opted for a more ambitious 7 percent tax. Although other European countries have a lower tax, I think that 7 percent is adequate to the profit these giants make in the Czech Republic. Part of the profit should definitely stay in this country.”

The 7% tax would be applied to the revenue of the internet giants, for services provided in this country. The tax would be estimated annually, then the companies would need to pay deposit amounts monthly, with a final annual tax return completing the billing cycle.

The tax would not apply to companies which have digital services as a side income, and the deciding threshold would be 10% of total revenues.

The bill may still meet some opposition in Parliament since opposition MPs would have preferred to see a lower tax imposed, but in view of the government’s majority in the lower chamber, which can override a veto from the Senate, it should have a smooth passage through Parliament. The new tax should come into force next year. The giants whom it concerns have so far refused to comment on the development.

Eight injured in explosion at waste disposal facility

Eight people were injured on Tuesday when there was an explosion at a waste disposal facility at a Hamr na Jezeře in the north of the Czech Republic. Two of those injured are in a critical condition. Around 10 rescue workers also need to be examined after coming into contact with an unknown substance, a spokesperson for the rescue services in Liberec said.

The mayor of Hamr na Jezeře said it appeared that sulphuric acid has leaked into the atmosphere.

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