A new opinion poll puts the opposition Social Democrats eight points ahead of the Civic Democrats, the largest party in the governing coalition. The survey, conducted by the Median agency in July, suggests that the Social Democrats have the support of 37.7 percent of the electorate, with the Civic Democrats on 29.4 percent. The preferences of the Social Democrats have increased by two percent since June. The Communists would be elected by 14.6 percent of votes. The five-percent threshold to enter the lower house would also be crossed by the Greens and the Christian Democrats, with 7.1 and six percent respectively.
The Czech Constitutional Court will reopen the case against Ludmila Brožová-Polednová, a former prosecutor who took part in the 1950s communist show trial of Milada Horáková. The court has dismissed a complaint by Mrs Brožová-Polednová, now aged 86, against the continuation of her trial. The High Court in Prague in February halted the prosecution, but the Supreme Court has cancelled the verdict and ordered new proceedings, which are scheduled to start in September. Milada Horáková, a lawyer and politician, is the only woman to have been executed during Czechoslovakia's 1950s show trials.
Revenues from the sale of free carbon credits will go to the Czech Environment Fund, under an amendment signed by President Václav Klaus on Monday. The funds are to be spent on activities aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions. The Czech Republic will not use all carbon credits it was allocated due to a significant decrease of emissions in the 1990s. Environment Minister Martin Bursík previously said that the Czech Republic could get 20 to 30 billion crowns for the carbon credits.
A meeting of neo-Nazis is scheduled to take place in the east Bohemian town of Hradec Králové on Saturday, marking the death of Rudolf Hesse. Around 300 to 400 people are expected to gather at the Hradec Králové train station to attend a concert and a political meeting. The exact location of the event has not been specified. The police are expected to be out in force for the event.
The US coffee-shop chain Starbucks is set to open new branches outside of Prague, the daily Lidové Noviny reported, citing the company’s operational director for Central and Eastern Europe. The company also plans to expand in the capital within the next six months. The Czech Republic’s first Starbucks opened on Prague’s Malostranské náměstí in January of this year. Currently there are four Starbucks cafés in the city.
All Czech citizens who want to leave Georgia due to the outbreak of war in the region will leave the country on Monday, according to the Czech Ambassador in Georgia Ivan Jestřáb. Around 40 Czechs are believed to remain in the country. A group of thirty Czechs have already been evacuated to the neighbouring Armenia. Seven of them landed in the Polish capital Warsaw on Monday morning.
People who were injured in Friday’s Eurocity train accident and
relatives of the victims have applied for financial compensation from Czech
Railways, the news website Novinky.cz reported. A total of seven people
were killed and about 70 injured in the crash near the city of Ostrava in
what is the country’s worst train accident in 13 years. 25 people remain
hospitalised; one of them is reported to be in serious condition.
Czech Railways on Saturday announced that the closest relative of each victim will receive 240,000 crown. The cause of the accident is being investigated. Meanwhile, Czech Railways has restored a limited service along two tracks adjacent to the one on which the accident took place.
Czech Patients’ Association wants to completely abolish healthcare fees and cover all treatment from public health insurance, according to its healthcare reform presented on Monday. As part of the recent government’s healthcare reform package, patients have been obliged since January to pay 30 crowns (nearly 2 USD) per visit to the doctor, and 60 crowns per day spent in hospital. The Patients’ Association says the reform violates the constitution that guarantees free health care for everyone. The governing coalition has already exempt newborns, organ donors and those legally ordered to undergo treatment from paying the fees.
Numerous forested areas in the protected nature reserve at Žďárské Vrchy east of Prague will remain closed to the public throughout the summer, say the authorities in the area. The reasons for sealing off the areas from the public – around 800 hectares – are said to be a severe danger of falling trees uprooted and damaged after storms in the area in late June. At present, forestry experts are working in the area to clear fallen and damaged trees. The region is popular with Czech tourists, and the forest authorities have been complaining that some are ignoring warning signs to stay out of the prohibited areas.