Vietnam has suspended the sending of its workers to the Czech Republic due to complicated issuance of work visas at the Czech Embassy in Hanoi. Chairman of the Czech-Vietnamese Society Marcel Winter said applicants for work visas were encountering a number of problems. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek said earlier this year that the Czech Republic and Vietnam were planning to create an expert group to settle the problem with the issuance of visas. More than 10,000 Vietnamese citizens came to work to the country in the first six months of this year.
Czech police on Tuesday arrested a dangerous paedophile from Britain, who is suspected of abusing underage girls, daily Právo reported. The 21-year old man is suspected of 16 criminal offences, including rape and making child pornography and faces life imprisonment in Britain. International warrant for his arrest was issued only three weeks ago. According to the police, it is unlikely that he committed any crime in the Czech Republic. The man has been taken to preliminary custody and is awaiting extradition to Britain.
Friday saw the opening of the 17th International Music Festival taking place in and around the South Bohemian town of Český Krumlov. The festival opened with performances by the Prague Chamber Philharmonic and soloists from Metropolitan Opera New York. For the next six weeks, until August 23, visitors will be able to attend a total of 26 concerts with renowned artists such as American trumpeter Bobby Shew, Israeli clarinettist Sharon Kamm as well as the Oscar winning duo Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard.
Czech Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanová was the first Czech politician to
be present at the test of US anti-missile system in the Integration and
Operations Centre at Schriever air force base, Colorado Springs. The US
missile was launched from Kodiak base in Alaska, falling into the Pacific
Ocean several hundred kilometres off the Mexican shore. Also present at the
test was the Czech Ambassador to NATO Štefan Fuele, the army
chief-of-staff Vlastimil Picek and several Czech journalists.
The US centre is to assess information on the radar base to be built roughly 70 kilometres southwest of Prague. Czech Ambassador to NATO said that it was likely the Czech Republic will have its own representative at the site in connection with a planned US radar base on Czech soil.
The Czech capital is hosting a second annual international meeting of amateur folklore ensembles, called Prague Folklore days. Around 1300 musicians and dancers from more than 17 countries are participating this year. Around 50 ensembles paraded through Prague’s historical centre on Saturday. The festival will come to a close on Sunday.
Czech military airplane flying to Afghanistan, which was denied transit
over Turkmenistan on Friday, has left Prague again after receiving a
written permit from Turkmen authorities. The plane is carrying Afghan
children who were treated in the Czech Republic, soldiers who are returning
from holiday back to the Afghan mission as well as part of a new
The Czechs were given a verbal promise on Friday that they could fly over Turkmenistan but the country’s authorities eventually refused to issue a written permit and the plane had to return to the Czech Republic. The plane took off from Prague’s Kbely airport once again on Saturday after it was given a written consent. Czech planes had encountered similar problems with Turkmen authorities in 2006 and 2007.
In related news, the foreign ministry said on Friday that the Czech government will ask parliament to vote on the Lisbon Treaty following regional elections in October. The treaty must be approved by all EU member states to take effect. Following the Irish referendum, ratification in the Czech Republic has been questioned. Friday’s Právo quotes Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg as saying he and Prime Minister Topolánek and the Minister for EU Affairs Alexandr Vondra had agreed to submit the treaty to the vote soon after the fall elections, set for October 17-18. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalová confirmed the agreement but specified the vote could take place closer towards the end of the year. The Czech Republic’s parliament had launched ratification moves earlier but the process stalled in April when the Senate referred the treaty to the country's top court, to rule whether or not the document is in line with the constitution.
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