Andrej Babiš, tasked with forming a new government after his party ANO won
a decisive victory in the election in October, is looking to tax church
restitution funds, the daily Lidové noviny writes. The funds until now
were exempt in a deal agreed between a previous center-right government and
religious organizations, to offset damages caused by the communist regime
when it unlawfully seized church property in Czechoslovakia after 1948.
Over 30 years, the state is to pay some 59 billion crowns, adjusted for
inflation for property which could no longer be returned (while property
worth 75 billion crowns, was).
Not only Mr Babiš is in favor of taxation, according to the daily, but also the Communist Party, which cited taxation of the funds as crucial for its support of an ANO-led minority government. The Freedom and Direct Democracy Party, led by businessman turned politician Tomio Okamura has also backed the idea.
ANO, the communists and Mr Okamura's party could together easily pass the changes in the new Chamber of Deputies. The change would not, however, be retroactive and could not affect funds returned since the deal went into effect in 2013.
A 27-year-old Czech was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday by the
regional court in Brno for defrauding individuals by posing as a betting
agency employee and later as the firm's representative.
Damages have been estimated at 68 million crowns.
The defendant, Radek Strmiska, did not appear in court but is avoiding justice and being sought by the police. The court ruling is not final; Strmika's lawyer has already appealed.
Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek failed to register a campaign
account by Tuesday in line with filing his bid to run in the upcoming
presidential election, Czech Radio reported Friday, adding the account
created later was non-transparent.
Mr Topolánek unexpectedly announced his decision to run for president last Sunday and secured signatures from 10 senators on the eve of the deadline.
His team countered that the law did not properly account for last-minute candidacies. The Interior Ministry is looking into the matter; there are several possibilities, from symbolic sanctions to a fine of up to half a million crowns.
No more than nine candidates of 20 who registered to run in the
presidential election this week will be eligible, the Interior
Ministry's Klára Pěknicová confirmed on Friday. According to the
official, 11 candidates did not fulfill the necessary legal requirements,
either failing to submit enough signatures from the public or from
lawmakers or filed after the Tuesday deadline.
A total of eight would-be candidates submitted no signatures at all.
Those running in the election on January 13th, 2018, range between the ages of 41 and 74.
Archaeologists say they have found mass graves from the height of the
Middle Ages in the Czech Republic which are probably unique in Europe.
The around 30 mass graves, containing around 1500 human remains mostly from the 14th and 15 century, have been discovered at the historic town of Kutna Hora. Many of those who were buried hurriedly died from the plague or from famine. In some graves the bodies are five layers thick, in the largest grave 26 layers thick.
Archaeologists believe the wide cross section of the population buried can give a good picture of living conditions and how they evolved over time.
Czech president Miloš Zeman has said he is seeking damages of 5 million
crowns and an apology from the Brno politician who suggested that the head
of state is suffering from cancer.
Zeman said that the damages his office will seek from Svatopluk Bartík could flow into his electoral fund or could be contributed to charity.
He added that the 5 million crown figure was inspired by the damages sought in the past by former president Václav Havel.
Bartík wrote on his Facebook page at the stat of the week that Zeman, who is seeking re-election as president at the start of 2018, was suffering cancer and had only months to live. Zeman’s doctors have also denied the claim he is suffering from cancer.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Thursday demanded a recount of
preferential votes cast in the Central Bohemia region for the right of
centre Civic Democratic Party (ODS) following doubts whether they had been
counted properly in 915 districts.
The outcome could affect the election results in the region and the number of seats won by ODS. Talks have been called for November 19, a day before the new lower house of parliament is set to convene for the first time.
The Civic Democrats won four seats in the region, its best performance outside of the capital city, Prague.
In football, the Czech team beat Iceland 2:1 in its first appearance in a
mini tournament in Qatar.
The Czech goals were scored by Tomáš Souček in the first half with the second by substitute and fellow Slavia Pragu player Jan Sýkora before Iceland pulled one back.
The Czechs face Qatar on Saturday. Czech manager Karel Jarolím said former World Cup competitor Iceland was a quality team and said his team put in a good performance which could be built on.
Dominant Czech electricity producer and nuclear power plant operator ČEZ
said Thursday that a small leak had been found in a measuring pipe in the
non-radioactive part of the Dukovany-4 reactor.
The repairs will take several days, the company added. The rector was powered down late Tuesday with no electricity being supplied to the network several hours later.
CEZ has insisted that radioactive water is not involved. All ČEZ’s other reactors at Dukovany and Temelín are functioning normally.
A ban on keeping domestic pigs has been ordered by the state veterinary
service in a bid to prevent the spread of the highly infectious African
The ban applies to a high risk area of the Zlín region where the battle to contain the infection spreading from the wild boar population has been raging for the past four months. In addition, the state office has tightened its rules for the transport of pigs across the region.
The tightened rules have been ordered because of the risk of the disease spreading as wild boars usually migrate in the late autumn.
The veterinary office said that in spite of a cull on wild boar in the affected area, 15 new cases of the fever have been found in dead animals since the start of November. Once of the chief concerns is that the fever could spread to commercial pig farms in the pork eating country.
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Picturesque South Bohemian border town lands national award
Former US ambassador to Prague, William Luers, on what it was like to serve in Communist Czechoslovakia