- The outgoing prime minister, Petr Nečas, may be charged with bribing three former Civic Democrat MPs.
- The head of the Czech energy company ČEZ and the head of Czech Railways actively assisted the practice of securing bribes for politicians, the internet daily E15 claims.
- The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is to honour two-time Oscar nominee John Travolta with its prestigious Crystal Globe lifetime achievement award.
Outgoing PM may be charged
The police suspect the outgoing Prime Minister Petr Nečas of having personally proffered bribes to three former Civic Democrat MPs and delivered on his promises after the MPs had vacated their seats in the lower house, according to the internet daily E15. The outgoing prime minister allegedly acted at the instigation of his chief-of-staff Jana Nagyova and the former deputy agriculture minister, Roman Boček. His chief-of-staff has been charged with abuse of office and corruption, charges which the internet daily Novinky.cz says will inevitably be pressed against Mr. Nečas as well. Pavel Komar from the Olomouc State Attorney’s Office has confirmed that Mr. Nečas is on the list on suspects.
Petr Nečas formally resigned as prime minister and party leader on Monday, saying he would serve out his term in the Chamber of Deputies and then leave politics entirely.
Heads of state companies actively involved in securing bribes
According to the internet daily E15 the head of the Czech energy company ČEZ, Daniel Beneš, and the head of Czech Railways, Petr Žaluda, actively assisted the practice of securing bribes for politicians. The police are reported to have tapped their phone conversations with the prime minister’s chief of staff Jana Nagyova, some of which are directly related to the corruption scandal surrounding three former Civic Democrat MPs. The police is also reported to have raided the home of Tomas Jindra, advisor to Trade Minister Martin Kuba and Agriculture Minister Petr Bendl, both from the Civic Democratic Party.
Civic Democrat deputies determined to stand by Petr Nečas
Deputies for the Civic Democratic Party say they would vote against stripping Petr Nečas of his Parliamentary immunity and opening the way for prosecution should the police make such a request. The head of the party’s deputies’ group Marek Benda said that what Mr. Nečas did was standard practice in politics anywhere and did not, in the party’s opinion, constitute a crime. Mr. Benda said any other party member would have done the same in his place.
Civic Democrats hope to have nominee by Friday
Acting Civic Democratic Party chairman Martin Kuba says the party wants to find a suitable replacement for outgoing prime minister Petr Nečas by Friday, when he is due to meet with President Miloš Zeman to discuss the crisis. The party is hoping to find a nominee for prime minister designate who would be acceptable both for the Civic Democrats coalition partners –TOP 09 and LIDEM –and President Miloš Zeman who will ultimately decide who to charge with the task of forming the next cabinet.
The president has said he will meet separately with all party leaders over the coming weekend to discuss the possibilities.
Individual and system failure behind abuse of Military Intelligence Services
The parliamentary commission supervising the military intelligence service, which has been looking into the circumstances of the spying sandal that brought down the government has concluded that the country’s military intelligence service was abused for private purposes due to system failure as well as failure on the part several individuals. Jan Vidim, a member of the commission, said it would be advisable to amend the law in a manner which would effectively prevent the abuse of the country’s military services by a group of individuals. The military intelligence service has come under fire for having taken orders from the prime minister’s chief-of-staff and following them without question. It is not clear if the orders were given in the prime minister’s name.
Czech banks in good health
Banks in the Czech Republic are in good health and should remain resilient to shocks the Czech Central Bank said on Tuesday after conducting regular stress tests. The stability of Czech banks would not be endangered even in the event of a deepening recession, the report says. The pension funds sector remains sensitive to price fluctuations of the securities they hold, but an increase in capital in the course of 2012 has strengthened its resilience in comparison with the previous year. On financial markets, the Central Bank points out certain risks in connection with pursuit of profit.
TOP 09 reach deal with Social Democrats on Prague coalition
TOP 09 and the Social Democrats have produced an outline agreement on a coalition at Prague City Hall. The deal comes three weeks after TOP 09 dissolved a coalition with the Civic Democrats, removing that party’s mayor Bohuslav Svoboda. He looks set to be replaced by TOP 09’s nominee Tomáš Hudeček in the new city government, which should be voted in on Thursday. Mr. Hudeček, who is 34, would be the first non-Civic Democrat mayor of the Czech capital in over two decades.
Karlovy Vary to honour John Travolta with lifetime achievement award
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is to honour two-time Oscar nominee John Travolta with its prestigious Crystal Globe lifetime achievement award. The US film star will attend the festival for a gala screening of Mark Steven Johnson’s Killing Season. The festival’s director Jiri Bartoška also confirmed Tuesday that French star Audrey Tautou would attend to present her latest film, Michel Gondry’s Mood Indigo. Other guests will also include Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga, British actor Julian Sands and Italian filmmakers Paulo Sorrentino and Valeria Golino.
Jágr makes assist to help Bruins take lead in NHL final
The veteran Czech ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr notched up one assist for the Boston Bruins in their 2:0 win over Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night, a result which puts the Bruins 2:1 ahead on games in the NHL playoffs final. Jágr, who has himself failed to score so far in the final, made an excellent pass to Patrice Bergeron for his side’s second goal. Jágr, who is 41, last won the Stanley Cup over two decades ago.
Health warning in heat wave
The health authorities have issued a warning with regard to the excessive heat wave, which is expected to last for another two days. Chronically ill people, particularly cardiac patients, elderly people and very young children have been advised to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Active people have been advised to increase their fluid intake to three litres a day try to avoid strenuous tasks outdoors.
The heat wave is to last for a couple more days, with daytime highs expected to hit 34 degrees Celsius on both Wednesday and Thursday. There may be heat-storms in the late afternoon hours.