The State Attorney has accused the former health minister Marie Souckova of breach of trust and abuse of power in connection with action she took relating to the Diag Human case. During her time in office the minister signed a highly disadvantageous contract with lawyer Zdenek Novacek who was to provide the ministry with legal advice in its dispute with Diag Human, a firm trading in blood plasma. The contract stated that he was to be paid 20 million crowns and a further 170 million crowns if the state won its case against Diag Human.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has sent a protest note to Belarus over an attack on a Czech journalist in the capital Minsk during the presidential election, and asked for a thorough investigation into the affair. Jan Rybar suffered concussion and a broken nose after being set upon by two men on Sunday, the day Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected president in a vote the European Union said was neither free nor fair. Mr Rybar said he believed his assailants were secret police officers. Minister Svoboda told Wednesday's Mlada fronta Dnes he regarded the incident as very serious.
The Czech Medical Chamber is receiving a growing number of complaints from patients regarding treatment received at the hands of GPs and specialists. The head of the commission dealing with complaints Jana Vedralova said that most of the cases were about poor communication between doctor and patient rather than a poor diagnosis or an error in judgement.
The Czech government is resolved to take a tougher line with the US over visas, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek told journalists after Wednesday's Cabinet meeting. The Czech Republic has been pressing for years to change the imbalance in the two countries visa policies. While US citizens only need a valid passport to enter the Czech Republic, Czechs still require visas to go to the United States. The PM said this was strange given the fact that the Czech Republic was one of a few countries which staunchly supported US policy. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda advocated a tougher approach also towards Canada and Australia where the visa situation is the same.
The government has established an advisory council on seniors that will deal with problems linked to the aging of Czech society. The council will be headed by Labour Minister Zdenek Skromach and will be made up of representatives of organizations whose activities focus on senior citizens. The government expects the council to draft a systematic approach to meeting the needs of an aging society and make suggestions which would help improve the lives of pensioners.
A regional court has ruled that Kokorin Castle should be returned to
its former owners: the Spacek family. The National Hertitage Fund which
lost the case over the state-owned castle has not said whether it would
appeal the verdict. Kokorin Castle which dates back to the 14th
century, came into the ownership of the Spacek family in the early 20
th century and was confiscated by the communists after they came to
power in 1948.
Previous attempts by the family to get their property restored were thwarted by a law stipulating that all national cultural monuments must remain in state ownership. Last year the Constitutional court ruled this law unconstitutional, opening the way for the family's restitution claim.
Over half of the children who died in road accidents in the Czech Republic last year were not strapped into children's seats or wearing seatbelts, according to figures released by the Central Auto Club on Tuesday. Thirty-nine children died in traffic accidents in 2005, 12 percent more than in 2004. Overall numbers of road deaths have declined in recent years.
The Chamber of Deputies has failed to approve a new criminal code which
would have radically overhauled Czech law. The governing Social Democrats
decided not to support it because it dropped a provision on tunnelling
(asset stripping) companies. Their decision meant the criminal code could
not attain the 101 votes needed to overturn a veto by the Senate.
Justice Minister Pavel Nemec said it was short-sighted to reject legislation that had been in preparation for over a decade because of one contentious article.
Among several changes, it would have lowered the age of criminal responsibility to 14 and increased sentences for violent crimes. The Communist Party were opposed to the new code, as it would have made propagating communism a crime, while the Christian Democrats said it opened the way to the legalisation of euthanasia.
Many Czech university students are unable to benefit from study stays in other countries because their English language skills are not good enough, Lidove noviny reported on Tuesday. According to a new study quoted by the paper, only 40 percent of Czech students can read specialist English texts and 80 percent are unable to write at a sufficiently high standard.
Collapse of Prague footbridge raises concerns regarding state of other bridges
Some like it hot: Czech Republic sees rise in number of household saunas
The fascinating story of Czech settlers who founded the farm town of Prague, Oklahoma
ANO leader Andrej Babiš appointed Czech prime minister
Czech wage rises continue apace, low earners seeing larger increases