Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek on Monday met with two hot candidates for the post of culture minister. They are actor Viteslav Jandak and the general commissioner of the Czech Republic to the World Expo 2005 in Japan Vladimir Darjanin. The prime minister's office said he would take another week or so to make up his mind who would be the best man for the job. The post was left vacant following the death of the late culture minister Pavel Dostal in July.
President Klaus has once again called on the government to explain the police break up of an open air techno party at the end of July. In a meeting with the Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan on Monday, Mr. Klaus said he was still waiting for a satisfactory explanation as to why the police had used force to break up the CzechTek music festival late last month. The president considers the police intervention "a gross mistake", the interior minister insists it was justified although he says that some individual officers may have broken regulations. Over a hundred people were injured on both sides after riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse an estimated 5,000 participants at the CzechTek festival, which took place in a meadow in west Bohemia. Investigations have been launched by both the police themselves and the Ombudsman's office.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose to 8.8 percent in July from 8.6
percent a month earlier, according to official figures released on
The lowest unemployment is in Prague - 2.6 percent, while the hardest hit region is around the town of Most in the north of the country -where unemployment has currently reached 22 percent.
A Czech teenager was killed by a thunderbolt while holidaying in Croatia. The 16 year old was out alone in a rubber boat some 200 metres off the coast of Zadar when a bad storm hit. Croatia is a popular holiday destination for Czechs, but the local authorities say they are worried about the fact that Czechs tend to take unnecessary risks in the sea. Ten Czechs have been killed in Croatia since the start of the holiday season.
Amidst heated debate over the future of techno festivals, the Defence Minister Karel Kuehnl has suggested they could take place on military ground. This would rule out the problem of trespassing on private property, which happened at this year's festival, and also the problem of noise pollution. Mr. Kuehnl told the daily Pravo that a deal on using military ground could be negotiated in the future. Since the incident, there have been suggestions that Parliament should pass a law which would stipulate conditions under which such huge open air festivals could take place, among others giving local inhabitants a say in whether they should be allowed to take place in the close vicinity.
Former TV Nova boss Vladimir Zelezny has been elected chairman of the Independent Democrats, at the party's inaugural conference in Prague. Mr Zelezny, who is a member of the European Parliament, said the party was aiming to enter the Chamber of Deputies at next year's elections, and to play a part in the formation of the next government. The Independent Democrats, who so far have 500 members, look set to adopt policies critical of the European Union.
A judge at the Supreme Court in Prague is listed as having collaborated with the StB secret police during the communist era. Judge Jitka Horova has been suspended pending an inquiry; she denies having collaborated, and is planning to sue the Interior Ministry. Justice Minister Pavel Nemec said on Sunday he had ordered the files of 60 judges to be examined; he said the law clearly stated that anyone with a positive screening test was barred from being a judge.
The first day of the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki was
something of a washout for the Czech Republic, with only high-jumper
Iva Strakova getting through the heats on Saturday. The biggest names
to go out were triple jumper Sarka Kasparkova and hurlder Jiri Muzik.
Sunday's heats saw Vera Cechlova-Pospisilova advance with ease to the final of the women's discus; she is regarded as one of the leading Czech medal hopefuls.
The interior minister, Frantisek Bublan, has said he will push for changes
to certain laws, following the police break-up of a music festival last
weekend. Mr Bublan said on Sunday it should be up to local authorities to
decide whether they want such an event in their area - the consent of the
owner of the site would no longer suffice.
Over a hundred people were injured on both sides after riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse an estimated 5,000 participants at the CzechTek festival, which took place in a meadow in west Bohemia.
There has been a great deal of criticism of the police's handling of the affair. Mr Bublan and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek continue to insist the intervention was justified, though both men say some individual police officers may have broken regulations.
Investigations have been launched by both the police themselves and the Ombudsman's office.
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