The lower house of the Czech Parliament will meet on Wednesday to elects its committees and to choose the new Czech ombudsman, a successor of Otakar Motejl who passed away in May. The deputies will be choosing from among four candidates for the new defender of human rights; these include former deputy ombudman Anna Šabatová, the chairwoman of the Supreme Court Iva Brožová, former Civic Democrat MP Eva Dundáčková and human rights activist John Bok.
Czechs mark the 595th anniversary of the death of Jan Hus, a 15th century
priest, reformer and religious thinker who was burned at the stake in
Constance as a heretic. July 6 is a national holiday in the Czech Republic,
with religious services held around the country commemorating Jan Hus’s
legacy. President Václav Klaus attended a service held in Prague’s
Bethlehem Chapel, where Hus preached.
Jan Hus (John Huss) was a Catholic priest and rector of the University of Prague who was strongly influenced by the teachings of the English reformer John Wycliffe. He was excommunicated by the Catholic Church in 1411 before being condemned as a heretic and executed in Constance four years later.
The US singer Jello Biafra nearly missed his appearance at the Rock for People open air festival in Hradec Králové, eastern Bohemia, on Monday, organizers said. Apparently, the 52-year-old punk rock legend arrived at a wrong venue – instead of Hradec Králové, he drove to the town of Český Brod, where the festival was held four years ago. While his current band – The Guantanamo School of Medicine – was already on stage, the rock singer then made another stop at his hotel, and only performed for some 20 minutes at the festival.
The 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival presented on Tuesday
films by Iranian and Iraqi authors. The film Son of Babylon by the Iraqi
director Mohamed Al-Daradj is not included in the festival’s main
competition; a co-production of the UK, France, Holland, Palestine, UAE and
Egypt, it tells the story of a 13-year-old boy and his grandmother
following the fall of Saddam Hussein. The Iranian film There are Things You
Don’t Know about a taxi driver in Tehran is by Fardin Saheb Zamani, and
it does compete for the main award at Karlovy Vary.
The 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicked off on Friday; it welcomed the biggest star among its guest, British actor Jude Law, on Sunday. The festival goes on in the west Bohemian spa town until July 10.
President Václav Klaus will appoint the centre-right cabinet of PM Petr Nečas next week, the online magazine reflex.cz reported on Monday, citing well informed sources from the government and the president’s office. According to the magazine, the most likely date is July 13. President Klaus appointed Civic Democrat leader Petr Nečas the country’s new prime minister on June 28. Last week, the three centre-right parties in talks on forming a coalition agreed on the make-up of the 15-member cabinet; most commentators said Mr Nečas’ party made considerable concessions to its allies – the conservative TOP 09 and the centrist Public Affairs.
More than 6.8 percent of electricity consumed in the Czech Republic in 2009 was made from renewable sources of energy, according to government data released on Monday. The share is 1.6 percent higher than in the previous year. The total production of electricity from renewable energy rose by nearly a quarter to 4.67 million Megawatt hours. Analysts say that a plunge in energy consumption by industrial producers is the main factor behind the increasing share of electricity from renewable energy.
The Czech Republic is among the EU countries that grant the lowest number of citizenships to the people from the third countries, according to data released by the Statistical Office of the European Commission, or Eurostat, on Monday. In 20087, Prague only granted 0.1 new citizenships to non-EU foreigners per 1,000 inhabitants, Eurostat said. The EU average figure is 1.4 citizenships per 1,000 inhabitants. In 2008, the Czech Republic granted 1200 citizenships to foreigners from third countries, a drop of nearly 50 percent compared to the previous year.
The German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV signed a three-year deal with Czech goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobný on Monday. The 30-year-old Czech footballer comes from Hertha Berlin which was relegated to the second top division last season. Jaroslav Drobný told the Hamburg club website that he was extremely happy with the transfer, and was looking forward to competing for the league title.
The Blanka road tunnel, which is being constructed in Prague, collapsed in
two places in the early hours of Tuesday, trapping one of the workers. The
excavator operator was rescued uninjured after some six hours on Tuesday
morning. A spokeswoman for the Prague fire brigade said the man was taken
to hospital for a check and later released. The collapses occurred in the
Prague neighbourhood of Dejvice, close to the buildings of the ministries
of culture and interior. The buildings were evacuated; experts are now
investigating the causes of the accident and determining the level of
damage sustained by nearby buildings. A spokesman for Prague city hall said
the construction company was to present a report of the accident within two
The construction of the Blanka road tunnel, which at over 6,000 metres will be the longest in the Czech Republic, began in 2007. A year later, the tunnel collapsed under the city’s Stromovka Park, creating a large crater.
The police said 21 people died in accidents on Czech roads over the prolonged weekend. Friday saw more road deaths than any day since the beginning of the year, with eight people killed. Six of those deaths occurred in Central Bohemia, where rescue services in said they were called out to 20 accidents on that day alone. The end of the school year, the last day of which was Wednesday, and the beginning of summer holidays tends to bring with it increased rates of road accidents.