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Constitutional Court defies EU with ruling on Czech-Slovak pensions

15-02-2012 16:18 | Christian Falvey

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday made a landmark ruling regarding the difference in pensions between the Czech and Slovak Republic. Cases exist where Czechs who worked in the other half of Czechoslovakia now receive the lower pension rate of the Slovak Republic. According to the new decision of the court, such citizens never worked in a foreign country and thus are entitled to compensatory payments to raise their pensions to Czech standards. Among the chaos this creates for the Social Affairs Ministry now is that fact that the ruling directly contradicts the European Court of Justice.  More

Czech soldier in Afghanistan decorated for bravery

15-02-2012 16:18 | Daniela Lazarová

Michal Novotný, photo: Jana Růžičková, Czech Army A Czech soldier serving in Afghanistan’s southern province Logar has been awarded the United States Armed Forces Bronze Star Medal. Staff Sgt. Michal Novotný who is squad leader of the Prostějov reconnaissance unit was decorated for helping to save the life of an American soldier.  More

Baroque Bohemian Carnevale recreating centuries-old tradition long lost

14-02-2012 16:09 | Rob Cameron

Photo: CTK The annual Bohemian Carnevale got underway this week, and for the next seven days carnival-lovers will have a chance to forget the freezing temperatures in Prague with masked balls, parades and acrobatic performances. The event is an attempt to revive what was a major social event in days gone by – one that attracted big-name celebrities such as Mozart and Casanova.  More

Police crack down on women’s branch of Czech neo-Nazi movement

14-02-2012 16:09 | Daniela Lazarová

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek The Czech police have cracked down on a group called Resistance Women Unity, a women´s branch of the Czech neo-Nazi movement National Resistance. Fifteen women were arrested and charged with promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. I spoke to Miroslav Mareš of Masaryk University in Brno, one of the Czech Republic’s leading experts on far-right extremism, to find out more about the role of women in neo-Nazi groups in the present day Czech Republic.  More

Roma kids from special schools put Czech education system to shame in Great Britain

13-02-2012 16:17 | Daniela Lazarová

Thousands of teachers around the country are up in arms. They are unhappy about the government’s plans to gradually phase out special schools – or schools for children with a mental or physical handicap – and integrate as many of these children as possible into the education mainstream.  More

EU human rights court rules Czech state denied Kinský fair trial in property restitution case

10-02-2012 15:41 | Jan Richter

František Oldřich Kinský, photo: CTK The European Court of Human Rights denounced the Czech state for having denied a fair trial to František Oldřich Kinský, an Austrian aristocrat who sued the country over his property claims. The court said that Mr Kinský, who passed away nearly three years ago, had been subjected to abusive treatment by the Czech authorities when he sued to get back family property worth around 40 billion crowns.  More

Czech Parliament passes direct presidential elections

09-02-2012 16:26 | Christian Falvey

The Czech Senate, photo: CTK Czech citizens themselves will choose their next president in 2013 for the first time in history. After years of public and partisan discussion, and five final hours of heated debate on Wednesday, the Czech Senate passed a Constitutional amendment allowing direct election of the head of state by the people. As the current president, Václav Klaus, who called direct elections a "fatal mistake", is unable to veto a constitutional amendment, I asked political scientist Jan Outlý of the University of Hradec Králové if anything at all can stop direct presidential elections now.  More

Czech lighting producer Preciosa aims to expand on US, Russian markets

09-02-2012 16:26 | Jan Richter

Salineli A leading Czech producer of lighting products, Preciosa Lighting, aims to expand its position in the United States. The firm with a centuries-old glass making tradition has now opened a permanent showroom in Dallas, Texas, a must for everyone who’s anyone in the industry, says Preciosa Lighting’s sales director Petra Macháčková. Radio Prague talked to Ms Macháčková about her company’s plans.  More

Legislators approve changes covering denial of fatherhood

08-02-2012 16:15 | Jan Velinger

Czech lawmakers have approved changes to legislation covering the denial of fatherhood, overriding an earlier Senate veto. The amendment will extend a previous six month period for denying fatherhood (upon learning the biological parent was someone else) to three years. Experts have argued the earlier time frame was too short; at stake, of course, are not just the rights of the parent, but also of the child.  More

Nuclear Faith: Documentary explores Czechs’ trust in nuclear energy

08-02-2012 16:15 | Sarah Borufka

Temelín nuclear power plant Two-thirds of Czechs are in favor of expanding the country’s nuclear power sources and nearly half of them trust this source of energy: that was the result of a SANEP poll published briefly after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Czech’s attitude towards nuclear power remains strikingly positive compared to other European countries, such as neighboring Germany. A fresh documentary – titled Nuclear Faith – explores the country’s perception of nuclear energy. Its director Ivo Bystřičan speaks about the film.  More

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