The government has approved a plan for the establishment of special institutions for dangerous juvenile delinquents. The proposed amendment to the law on institutionalized care comes in reaction to a series of brutal murders committed by underage delinquents, most of whom were on the run from institutions for problem children. The idea is to isolate underage delinquents who are considered a threat to society and give them professional supervision and care. The cost of establishing such institutions would be covered by the Education Ministry.
The Czech Republic is striving for visa-free relations with Russia, according to the Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda. The visa regime between the two countries was introduced in 2000 at the Czech Republic's initiative. During talks with the visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov, Mr. Svoboda said that, following a decline in the 90s, relations between the Czech Republic and Russia were once again very good. Despite the friendly tone, the Russian foreign minister faced some tough questions in the Senate where he was asked to explain Moscow's policy with regard to Chechnya. Czech President Vaclav Klaus is to pay a state visit to Moscow in May of next year.
The European Commission has said none of the ten newcomer states are ready to join the single currency and pressed for continued efforts. European Union financial chiefs concluded at their meeting on Wednesday that none of the countries vying to join the now 12 nation Euro zone fulfilled the five tests for Euro membership. They noted individual progress on some targets. The Czech Republic meets the criteria for inflation but falls short of the requirement of keeping its public deficit below 3.0 percent of GDP. The Commission has declined to forecast how soon the newcomers could swap their currencies for the Euro.
Minister without portfolio Jaroslav Bures has been put in charge of the government's anti-drug policy. He has been commissioned to draft a national anti-drug strategy for the next four years, working closely with the interior, health, justice and education ministers. Mr. Bures has allegedly requested two months to prepare the document. He told the media that he intended to focus on prevention rather than repression and said that instead of investing money into prevention programmes which state what is common knowledge the public should be given shock therapy and made to see the everyday reality of drug addiction.
A collision between a car and a train at a railway crossing in the south-east Moravian region of Vyskov left one dead, one seriously injured on Tuesday. The accident took place in the afternoon at a crossing that featured warning lights but no gate, allowing the car to drive through. Railway officials said the warning signal was in operation.
Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda and his Norwegian counterpart Jan
Petersen signed a mutual understanding agreement in Prague on Tuesday
that will see the Czech Republic receive around 65 million euros, or 2
billion crowns, in funds over the next five years. The finances are
meant to be divided among smaller projects not covered - or not covered
fully -by EU structural funds, including protection of the environment
and historic sites, improving human resources, and financing research
projects and health care.
The conditions for drawing money are to be similar to those that guide funds in the European Union: with funds being divided up by the Finance Ministry. It will be possible to submit first project proposals in November.
Norway's contribution follows a provision through which more well-off states in the European Economic Area contribute financially to economically weaker countries in the European Union. Norway itself is not a member of the EU.
A feisty Sparta Prague drew with Manchester United in Prague on Tuesday night in a match that saw impressive opportunities for both sides. Man United started strong with efforts by Wayne Rooney and John OShea, but the home side had chances as well, especially from Lukas Zelenka, who shot wide, and former Man United player Karel Poborsky, who was dangerous throughout the night.
Poborsky cleared a late fitness test to take part in the game, giving Sparta an added bite. The draw gave a valuable point for Sparta but the home side needed to win to have any real chance of going through to the next round in the Champions League.
A Prague court has acquitted Russian national Denis Gerasimov, the singer
of a neo-Nazi rock group, Kolovrat, of propagating neo-Nazism in the Czech
Republic. Mr Gerasimov was remanded in custody in January after officials
found neo-Nazi propaganda in his suitcase as he prepared to depart from
Prague's Ruzyne airport.
Mr Gerasimov's rock band, accused of promoting racism, had performed at the weekend at a skinhead concert in east Bohemia.
But, on Tuesday Judge Katerina Kohoutkova said the court had not found Mr Gerasimov guilty on any of three counts, including the singing of racist lyrics during live performances.
The prosecution has already appealed Tuesday's decision; Denis Gerasimov will remain in custody for the time being.
The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Zdenek Skromach, said at a conference on Monday marking 80 years of state social insurance, that a Czech working group of experts has prepared four possible versions for pension reform, and that if politicians can agree on a version by July, implementing pension reform would be possible within two years' time. About 9 percent of the Czech Republic's GDP now goes towards pensions, a ministry expert told the conference, but could reach the unsustainable level of 15 percent or more within a couple of generations if widespread reforms are not introduced in the pension and health insurance systems.
The Czech Republic's Nicole Vaidisova, age 15, won the Tashkent Open on Monday. The unseeded teenager claimed her second WTA title with a 5-7 6-3 6-2 win over French ninth seed Virgine Razzai. Miss Vaidisova, who was 103rd in WTA rankings ahead of this victory, had only won a single WTA title in her tennis career - in Vancouver, earlier this year.
Demonstrations held in 11 cities over election of Communist MP Ondráček to chairman post
National Museum discovers fake gems in its collection
Czech Republic caught up in plastic waste disposal crisis in Europe
President Zeman’s Chinese advisor arrested
Growing concern over plight of leading Chinese investor in the Czech Republic