Several dozen protestors gathered outside the Iranian embassy in Prague on Saturday to protest the arrests of Iranians who criticised the re-election of the country’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Demonstrators inside the country had come out against the result and suffered a widely-condemned crackdown. According to Amnesty International, hundreds or even thousands of people could face torture and unjust trials. In an act of solidarity in Prague, protestors wrote the names of Iranian detainees on the pavement outside the embassy. On Saturday more than 80 cities worldwide took part in organised demonstrations over developments in Iran.
Czech cyclist Roman Kreuziger has finished ninth in this year’s Tour de France – 14 minutes and 16 seconds off this year’s winner Alberto Contador of Spain. 2009 marked Kreuziger’s second appearance in the Tour; last year he finished 12th. The 23-year-old cyclist, who rides for Liquigas, pledged before the Tour began that he would try and finish in the Top 10.
A day after Sparta Prague and Teplice tied in soccer’s season opener, Slavia eked out a 1:1 draw against Mladá Boleslav. The defending champions largely dominated the game but fell behind by a goal in the 68th minute. Slavia tied and in the end were lucky to escape with the draw: Mladá Boleslav’s Chramosta had a good opportunity to score but hit the crossbar.
Archaeologists will monitor preparations for the construction of a new commercial building near Prague’s Národní třída metro station as of Monday. As of August 3rd or 10th, they will begin conducting research in the area for the next five months. The last time archaeologists were able to investigate the site was in the 1970s, when the metro station was originally built. That study was limited; it is unclear what they may find this time. Specialists say they could uncover buried gothic cellars and possibly more.
Parts of the Hradec Kralové region are still recovering from a fierce storm on Thursday which downed trees and cut power lines. Several hundred subscribers remain without electricity, although repair teams have been working to restore power. On Sunday, the spokeswoman for the energy giant ČEZ said that 250 regular employees and 300 hired personnel were involved in repairs. She added that the majority of the problems would be dealt with by Monday morning. Storms and strong winds hit a number of areas in the Czech Republic on Thursday, resulting in two deaths. Damage in the region of Hradec Kralové has been estimated at 10 million crowns.
Total health spending in the Czech Republic in 2007 accounted for 6.8
percent of GDP – lower than the average of 8.9 percent among OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has revealed. Of
other countries in the survey that are in the EU or have applied for EU
membership, only Poland and Turkey ranked below the Czech Republic. The
most highly-ranked in the survey was the US, with 15.8 percent of GDP.
The report also said that the Czechs in 2007 ranked below the OECD average
in total health spending per capita (spending the equivalent of 1,626 US
dollars compared to the OECD average of 2,964). A year later, in 2008,
government introduced mandatory health fees at emergency rooms, private
practitioners’ and hospitals.
In other statistics, the Czech Republic ranked among the highest in the survey when it came to health funding from the public sector: 85.2 percent - well above the OECD average of 73 percent. In the proportion of public funding, the Czech Republic came second only to Luxembourg.
A two-year-old boy in Veltrusy, near Mělník, suffered serious injury on Sunday after he fell under a lawnmower. Doctors had to amputate one of the toddler’s feet. The accident took place when the boy’s father reportedly lent the machine to his daughter, only five years of age. A similar accident took place earlier this week in Moravia, when a three-year-old also fell under a mower: doctors were forced to amputate his right hand.
Police shut down a neo-Nazi event on Saturday, arresting two of the organisers. The men are suspected of promoting movements supporting the suppression of human rights and freedoms. They organised the private event at a pub in Pilsen, attended by some 50 right-wing extremists. Some 60 officers moved in to shut down the event after performers allegedly celebrated the neo-Nazi movement.
Only 17 percent of Czechs are convinced it is possible to live a quality life, with dignity, in old age, a new poll has suggested. The survey, conducted by Insoma, questioned more than 1,000 respondents over the age of 15. 12 percent viewed old age as a period of threat and risk; 45 percent said it was a regular part of life. Regarding fears, 78 percent said they worried most about illness in old age, while 55 percent worried they would be unable to get by financially. At the bottom end of the poll, 21 percent of respondents worried that as pensioners they would not have enough influence in society.
Around 70 left-wing radicals and anarchists demonstrated in Svitavy on Saturday in protest of growing right-wing extremism. The aim of the event was to commemorate victims of neo-Nazi violence in the country since 1989. Dozens of police monitored; there were no incidents. The march was meant to counter a planned neo-Nazi demonstration in August in support of a skinhead sentenced in 2003 to 17 years in prison. The man, Vlastimil Pechanec, murdered a Romany man in 2001, stabbing him twice in the stomach; the victim died in hospital.