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Wenceslas square’s notorious sausage stands to be removed by end of year

02-02-2012 16:33 | Sarah Borufka

For years, Prague councilors have been announcing the end of the sausage stands on Wenceslas Square, which for some have become an institution, albeit a greasy and noisy one. Now, City Hall officials are set to serve eviction notices to all of the fast-food stands on the city’s main thoroughfare, ahead of a major makeover next year. In the future, Wenceslas Square may be sausage-free – but not if Prague 1 mayor Oldřich Lomecký has his say.  More

Scandal-plagued Plzeň law faculty will have to close its doors

02-02-2012 16:33 | Daniela Lazarová

The law faculty at Plzeň university The scandal-plagued Plzeň faculty of law appears to have come to the end of the road. On Wednesday the Czech Accreditation Commission announced that the West-Bohemian law faculty’s undergraduate programme had failed to pass muster and its accreditation would not be extended past this autumn. On Thursday some 300 of the faculty’s 2,000 students gathered outside their school to protest against the decision and have appealed to Education Minister Josef Dobeš to intervene. However their chances of success are meager, since under Czech law the minister is not in a position to question the verdict of the accreditation commission. We spoke to its chairwoman prof. Vladimíra Dvořáková to find out what was behind the commission’s decision.  More

Icy temperatures pose threat to Prague homeless, Czech capital opens tent shelter

01-02-2012 16:31 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK With temperatures in Prague expected to drop as low as minus 20 degrees in the coming days, the Czech capital’s homeless are at high risk. Due to the harsh weather, homeless shelters are already close to operating at full capacity. To help battle deaths from exposure city hall officials have arranged for a large heated tent to be put up for those with no roof over their heads.  More

War of words erupts in Prague over EU’s fiscal treaty

01-02-2012 16:31 | Jan Richter

Petr Nečas, Karel Schwarzenberg, photo: archive of the Czech Government Top Czech officials have engaged in an unusually strong exchange of insults over the government’s refusal to join the European Union’s new fiscal treaty. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, Prime Minister Petr Nečas and President Václav Klaus engaged in a crossfire which has put more strain on the fragile coalition government, and which illustrates the deep divisions between the major Czech political forces in their stance on European integration.  More

Czech government refuses to join EU’s planned fiscal compact

31-01-2012 15:57 | Jan Richter

Petr Nečas, photo: CTK The Czech government has refused to join the European Union’s planned fiscal compact which paves the way for a closer coordination of fiscal policies within the bloc. At an EU summit in Brussels on Tuesday, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas cited “ratification issues” as the main reason why the country will stay out of the pact, as the only EU member state besides the UK. The Czech refusal has already caused a stir on the domestic scene as Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the move would harm the Czech Republic’s interests. Jan Czech Radio’s former correspondent in Brussels, Ondřej Houska summed up the reasons Prime Minister Nečas gave to back his decision.   More

Internet brings major advantages for the blind and visually impaired

31-01-2012 15:57 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: European Commission Internet banking, online shopping, google searches – the internet has made our life much more convenient. And despite the fact that it is a highly visual medium, blind people, too, are increasingly taking advantage of the internet. But how do they perceive it and what are some of the difficulties of mastering the World Wide Web for those without eyesight?  More

Czechs keep their options open in Brussels

30-01-2012 15:53 | Daniela Lazarová

Petr Nečas, photo: CTK After much controversy at home on whether the Czech Republic should join the euro-zone’s emerging fiscal compact, the Czech government delegation headed for Monday’s key EU summit in Brussels determined to keep its options open. In the midst of continuing discord on the subject, there is just one thing Czech politicians heartily agree on – they want to have a finger in the pie.  More

Prague court delivers landmark ruling in home births advocates’ battle with the state

27-01-2012 15:56 | Jan Richter

A ruling on Thursday by a Prague court might lead to a breakthrough in the ongoing Czech debate about home births. While state officials and health care providers have consistently opposed the practice over safety concerns, the court decided that mothers indeed have the right to choose the place of their child’s delivery, and the state has to provide all necessary assistance.  More

Teachers seek to revive Latin at Czech schools

26-01-2012 16:08 | Jan Richter

Latin once used to be the cornerstone of classical education. Until the middle of the 20th century, some knowledge of the language was a prerequisite for any career in the academia, and Latin was taught at every grammar school. But the numbers of students taking up the language has dropped by a half over the past decade. That’s why a group of Latin teachers launched a campaign to revive the teaching of Latin at Czech schools.  More

Firefighters fear more budget cuts will mean dismissing a third of the force

26-01-2012 16:08 | Christian Falvey

Firefighters in the Czech Republic are greatly concerned at the course their budgets are taking. As the money from the Ministry of the Interior steadily decreases, the firemen’s union warns that further cuts may lead to substandard services.  More

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