Vladimir Dlouhy, a former Czech minister of industry and trade, has rejected an offer to become the Czech ambassador to the European Union in Brussels next year. The Czech government wants to dismiss the present ambassador Jan Kohout to improve communication between the embassy and Prague, only a year before the Czech Republic assumes the EU presidency. Vladimir Dlouhy, who was the most popular Czech politician for most of the 1990s, said on Sunday that he was too busy to accept the post. After Dlouhy left politics in 1998, he started pursuing an academic career.
A Czech officer was wounded in Southern Afghanistan on Sunday, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said. After having received medical treatment at the site of the incident, he was taken to a British military hospital. On Monday, he was transferred to the Czech field hospital in Kabul and then later to the Czech Republic. His condition is reported as stabilized. Meanwhile, thirteen local security workers were killed by Taliban insurgents on Sunday in the same area.
Thirty-four Czech citizens have died in foreign countries since the beginning of this year's summer holiday season, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson told the Czech News Agency on Monday. Most of them - nine - died in Croatia, which is the most popular destinations for Czech tourists. The death count includes three travellers who died in an air crash in Cambodia as well as several Czech mountaineers who lost their lives in the mountains of Slovakia, Russia and Austria. Last year, a total of 394 Czechs died abroad.
Roads in the Czech Republic have been rated as the sixth most dangerous in Europe by the European Transport Safety Council. The rating, based on the number of fatal accidents per 100,000 inhabitants, places the Czech Republic with 12.6 fatalities in sixth position among 23 European countries included in the survey. Over the weekend, nine people died in traffic accidents in the country and the number of fatal accidents has increased in comparison with last year. Zdenek Bambas, the head of the national traffic police, lost his job last week as a result.
Ludmila Brozova-Polednova, over 80, was accused of participation in the judicial murder of anticommunist politician Milada Horakova, who was executed by the communists in 1950. The former prosecutor is facing up to 15 years in prison for complicity to murder. Milada Horakova was arrested after the communist takeover in 1949, accused of high treason and espionage and sentenced to death in a show trial. She was the only woman executed in Czechoslovakia for political reasons.
President Vaclav Klaus pardoned another eight persons, most of them for humanitarian reasons, President's spokesman Petr Hajek told the Czech News Agency on Monday. Four people will not have serve the remaining prison time of up to one year, while the other four persons are foreigners who were to be expelled from the Czech Republic but have established family ties with Czech nationals. Mr Klaus has pardoned 169 people during his term that began in 2003.
Czech authorities estimate that there are about 10,000 prostitutes in the Czech Republic, a spokesperson for Labour and Social Work Ministry said on Monday. Non-governmental organisations claim, however, that the number of both male and female prostitutes working in the country may be as high as 30,000. The Labour and Social Work Ministry has decided to carry out a survey to establish a more precise figure and then use the data for a series of proposals aimed at curbing prostitution in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic will receive about CZK 15 billion from European Union funds by the end of the year, Czech Regional Development Minister Jiri Cunek told the daily Pravo. This is 2 percent of the total amount allotted to the Czech Republic by the EU for the period between 2007 and 2013. There has been some disappointment recently about the failure to receive all the European funding granted to the Czech Republic for the period of the previous three years.
A group of Czech nationalists close to the right-wing National Party will be demonstrating against the alleged "Islamization" of Europe in Brussels in September, according to an invitation published on their website. The event will be held by the Stop Islamization of Europe initiative that expects nationalists from other European countries to participate as well.
The Czech company Linet, one of the world's five biggest producers of hospital beds, has struck a deal with a Sudanese state-owned company. The Czechs will supply their African partners with an assembly line as well as bed components so that the local producer can start manufacturing hospital beds by September this year. The joint project is expected to carry on for two years and its value is CZK 28 million (USD 1.4 million).