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Major health care reforms take effect

02-04-2012 16:54 | Christian Falvey

Major changes to the health care system in the Czech Republic came about this week when the government’s reform package took effect. Called the biggest reform in the last 45 years, the aim is a redefinition of how health care services are provided, and the role of the state, the facility and the patient therein.  More

Czech top court caps lucrative debt collecting business

30-03-2012 | Jan Richter

The Czech Constitutional Court has delivered a breakthrough verdict which aims to put an end to a much-criticized yet lucrative business that in recent years has plagued the Czech Republic. The verdict dramatically lowers the ceiling on the costs law firms can charge for collecting small debts. That means they will no longer will able to inflate their fees which often far exceeded the original debts.  More

Public Affairs: new education minister will need manoeuvring room in face of difficult tasks

29-03-2012 16:21 | Jan Velinger

Josef Dobeš, photo: CTK Finding a successor to outgoing Education Minister Josef Dobeš, who resigned over planned budget cuts at the ministry, is seeing delays and most definitely will not be sorted by the end of the month. The Public Affairs party, headed by Radek John, wants assurances that Dobeš’ successor won’t be without options – arguing that extra funds should be found so that teacher salaries are untouched. By contrast, others within the centre-right coalition charge there is plenty of room within the Education Ministry to save; in their view, slashing teachers’ salaries should be far from necessary.  More

In hockey league playoffs, Kometa Brno shine bright

29-03-2012 16:21 | Jan Richter

Kometa Brno, photo: CTK In the Czech hockey league, the semifinals best-of seven series are under way, with the Liberec White Tigers going ahead 2:1 against Pardubice on Wednesday in some really nerve-wrecking action. In the other series, however, Kometa Brno is set to surprise just about anyone including their most devoted fans. Having finished 10th in the regular season, Kometa knocked out the winners Sparta Prague. Now, the Brno side is leading the regular season runners-up Plzeň 2:0. RP spoke to Czech TV commentator and Philadelphia Flyers forward Martin Hosták about what made the playoffs’ underdogs the hottest candidates for the title.  More

Czech government pays lip service to referendum calls

28-03-2012 15:49 | Jan Richter

The Czech government on Wednesday approved a bill on automatic referenda, something the public as well as politicians from across the board have been calling for for years. Under the draft legislation, it would take 250,000 signatures and an approval by the country’s Parliament to call a plebiscite. But critics say the bill is so restrictive that it makes it nearly impossible to launch the process, and that it stand very small chances of being approved by the legislature.  More

Survey: Nearly one in two Czech women have experienced domestic abuse

28-03-2012 15:49 | Sarah Borufka

A fresh survey suggests that nearly one in two Czech women at one point in their life have become victims of some form of domestic abuse. The poll, published by the NGO proFem, also concludes that about a third of those affected are afraid to speak up. One of the authors of the survey, sociologist Kamil Kunc, explains its conclusions, what can be done to improve the situation and how the data was gathered.  More

Czech Mint issues commemorative medal in honor of late president Václav Havel

27-03-2012 15:32 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK The Czech Mint has just issued a special commemorative medal in honor of late president Václav Havel. The medal, available in gold and silver, depicts Mr Havel, who was for many a national hero, with a smile on his face.  More

Embattled former mayor suspends party membership

27-03-2012 15:32 | Jan Velinger

Pavel Bém, photo: Tomáš Adamec Former Prague mayor and MP Pavel Bém, of the Civic Democratic Party, has heeded calls from fellow members to suspend his party membership. In a written statement issued on Monday evening, Mr Bém confirmed he would take the step in the wake of the on-going “lobbying scandal” that has raised serious questions about his tenure.  More

Controversial Prague lobbyist charged with bodily harm; may face further charges connected to wire tap scandal

26-03-2012 15:28 | Sarah Borufka

Roman Janoušek, photo: TV Nova Prague police have charged the controversial lobbyist Roman Janoušek with menacing behaviour due to intoxication as well as grievous bodily harm. On Friday, Mr Janoušek crashed his Porsche into another car in Prague 4, then hit its driver as he attempted to flee. The news came as the construction tycoon already found himself in the headlines due to scandal over leaked wire taps of conversations between him and former mayor of Prague Pavel Bém.  More

Fresh wiretap scandal shows lobbyist’s influence over Prague City Hall

23-03-2012 16:02 | Jan Richter

Pavel Bém, photo: Tomáš Adamec A new scandal has thrown more light on how deals were made at Prague City Hall, which has frequently come under fire for corrupt practices and cronyism. Leaked phone wiretaps, recorded by the Czech secret service, show how former Prague mayor Pavel Bém’s decisions were supervised by a powerful lobbyist. The police have now launched an investigation into both the contents of the recordings, and how they were leaked.  More

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