Most Czech punters are betting on their country to win fewer medals in Beijing than at the last Olympic Games, bookies have reported. The majority of bets are for the Czech Republic to take home fewer than seven medals, a spokesperson for the betting agency Fortuna said on Tuesday. One gambler has placed a million-crown bet on the country getting three or fewer medals. At the last Olympics in Athens the Czech Republic picked up eight medals. Among the individual athletes currently receiving the most backing are canoeist Štěpánka Hilgertová, a two-time Olympic champion, and javelin world champion Barbora Špotáková.
The Czech Republic has the fourth lowest level of part-time work in the Europe Union, according to a study by Eurostat. Only 5 percent of Czech workers have part-time jobs, compared to 46.8 percent in the Netherlands, the EU state with the highest percentage in part-time employment. A new bill to be put forward by the Czech Labour Minister Petr Nečas later this year is intended to make it easier to allow the parents of young children to work part time.
A Taiwanese-owned factory in central Bohemia has announced layoffs, just two months are going into full operation, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported. The company Foxconn employs 1,000 people in Kutná Hora and had said it was planning to hire 4,000 more. However, on Tuesday the firm said it would let 300 of its workers go by the end of the summer. A spokesperson said Foxconn was making the workers redundant because the town would not sell the company land beside the factory on which it wanted to build a satellite town. That suggestion is denied by the Kutná Hora authorities, who say the local zoning laws need to be changed before any such project can go ahead.
An Irishman wanted on suspicion of child abuse has been extradited to the United Kingdom. The Czech police handed Patrick Burnell over to their British counterparts at Prague Airport on Tuesday, a few weeks after he was arrested in the Czech capital. Mr Burnell, who is believed to have been living in Prague for two years, is to face 16 charges of having sex with girls of 12 and 13.
July was the worst month for tourism in Prague since the floods of 2002, Lidové noviny reported. The city’s hotels, restaurants and souvenir sellers have been affected by the down-turn, the head of the Association of Czech Travel Agents, Tomio Okamura, told the daily. He attributed the poor figures to the strength of the Czech crown and low standards of service. Tourism outside the capital has not been affected so much because most tourists in the regions are from the Czech Republic itself.
Czech neo-Nazis are planning to hold their biggest ever gathering on
Lidové noviny reported. One of its organisers told the newspaper they
expecting five to six thousand people to attend a so-called
“musical-political afternoon”, at an as yet undisclosed location in
east Bohemia. The date of the planned event is the anniversary of the
of leading Nazi Rudolf Hess.
Experts on extremism have told the Czech Press Agency they believe the Czech far right is planning to try to enter politics at the national level. The neo-Nazis long-term strategy involves a concerted effort to not break the law in order to gain broader support with an eye to eventually entering Parliament, a member of the Czech Helsinki Committee said. The Interior Ministry recently said it would put more energy into monitoring far-right groups.
The mayor of the village of Valy in east Bohemia faces charges over an attack on minors who were causing damage to municipal property, Prima TV reported. Mayor Dušan Doležal and some friends allegedly attacked three teenage boys who were throwing stones at a street light, leaving one of them needing treatment in hospital. The father of one of the boys has filed charges against the mayor and the other adults involved. For his part, Mayor Doležal denies the allegations of violence and said that the boy, who was 14, had been drunk at the time of the incident.
A Czech Airlines flight to New York had to be cancelled on Tuesday due to problems with the plane’s hydraulics, the news website idnes.cz reported. On Friday a CSA flight to New York had to turn back after just half an hour because of a defect in its motor. The Prague-New York route is served by Czech Airlines’ oldest aircraft, the Airbus A310. Airline officials said passengers booked on Tuesday’s flight would be given seats on other planes. However, the fact it is the summer season means many flights are sold out and finding room could be difficult, idnes.cz said.
The number of employed Czech residents has exceeded 5 million for the first time in the country's history, the Czech Statistical Office reported. Unemployment has dipped to 4.3 percent, which is the lowest figure in 12 years. Some 220,000 people are currently unable to find a job. The lowest rate of unemployment – currently at 1.8 percent - is in Prague, while the highest rate is in the region of Moravia-Silesia, with 7.6 percent of people out of work. Employers complain increasingly of a lack of skilled workers.
Prague Mayor Pavel Bém will not run for the post of chairman of the Civic Democratic Party at the party’s national conference in the autumn, the E15 internet daily reported. Mr Bém said the party conference should confirm Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek in the post. The Prague mayor, who is considered to be the prime minister’s main rival in the party, said his potential victory over Mr Topolánek could spark a confrontation that could weaken the governing coalition.
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