- The Czech prime minister has said his country is open to debate about more money for Afghan security forces.
- The Czech Republic has rejected a Canadian request for a bilateral agreement on the return of unsuccessful asylum applicants.
- Vojtěch Filip has been re-elected chairman of the Communist Party.
- MP David Rath, who is charged with corruption, will be able to present his case in person to Parliament’s Mandate and Immunity Committee on Tuesday.
- The Czech Republic has won the bronze at the Ice Hockey World Championship, beating Finland 3:2
Czech PM willing to debate more money for Afghanistan
Attending a two day NATO summit in Chicago Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas said his country was open to negotiations about more money for Afghanistan, but said it was too early to talk about a specific sum. He stressed that the Czech Republic’s main priority was fulfilling its military commitment in Afghanistan where it currently has more than 600 troops. The Czech prime minister also warned that it would be a mistake for the allies to try and “buy their way out” of Afghanistan as quickly as possible, noting that such a move could have tragic consequences.
Washington is pressing its NATO allies to make a financial commitment to help cover the 4.1 billion dollars per year that will be needed to sustain Afghanistan’s large army and police force after the majority of international troops withdraw in 2014. Securing adequate funding for those security forces is seen as a top priority at this summit. A number of countries, including Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom, have already made long-term commitments of at least 100 million dollars per year
Czechs reject Canadian request for agreement on return of unsuccessful asylum seekers
The Czech prime minister has rejected a Canadian request for a bilateral agreement on the return of unsuccessful asylum applicants from the Czech Republic. The issue was debated between the two countries’ heads of government on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Chicago. Prime Minister Petr Nečas said there was no need to expand on already existing agreements such as a readmission agreement signed in 1996. He moreover pointed out that a bilateral agreement of this kind might not be negotiable for political and legal reasons stemming from the Czech Republic’s EU membership.
Czech asylum applicants in Canada have long been an issue of contention between the two countries. Canada re-introduced visas for Czech nationals three years ago, citing a high number of asylum applicants from this country. The Czech authorities claim that Canada’s liberal asylum law is to blame.
Filip re-elected chairman of the Communist party
Vojtěch Filip has been re-elected chairman of the Communist Party. He beat his sole rival Stanislav Grospic in the second round of elections getting 275 votes to Grospič’s 168. The old-new chairman made a rousing speech at the two-day party conference saying the time was ripe for revolutionary changes and accusing the centre right government of impoverishing the vast majority of the population. The Communist Party now has 26 seats in the 200-member lower house but opinion polls have seen it gaining strength – one of the most recent surveys showed it second only to the Social Democrats with 14 percent of the vote.
David Rath to present his case in person
MP David Rath, who is charged with corruption, will be able to present his case in person to Parliament’s Mandate and Immunity Committee on Tuesday. The chairman of the committee, Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka said on Sunday that Mr.Rath would be transported to the lower house –or some other location where the session might take place- from jail with a police escort present throughout the hearing. Although MPs have expressed consternation over the prospect, a court last week defended David Rath’s right to be heard. The committee will then report on the case to the lower house and issue a recommendation on whether or not to strip Mr. Rath of his parliamentary immunity.
Police investigating shooting incident in Prague 5
Police are investigating a shooting incident in Prague’s Smichov district where a forty-four year old man was found lying in the street with gunshot wounds on Saturday. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition where he later succumbed to his injuries. Police has asked the public to provide any information that may be relevant to the case.
Two killed in tragic joyride
A 16-year-old girl and 26-year-old man were killed in the Moravian town of Usti when their car careened off the road and overturned into a lake. There were six people in the Nissan land rover all aged between 16 and 26 at the time of the accident and four are in serious condition in hospital. It is not clear who was driving the car because several passengers were thrown out of the vehicle on impact. According to eye-witnesses the group was out on a joyride and had been seen driving recklessly in the vicinity.
Czechs take bronze at Ice Hockey World Championship
The Czech Republic has won the bronze at the Ice Hockey World Championship, beating Finland 3:2. All three goals from the Czech team came in the first period. Petr Prucha gave his team the lead early on in the game at 12:17 and although the score was evened out just four minutes later by Mika Pyörälä the Czechs quickly regained the lead with a goal from Jiří Novotný at 17:22 into the period. Then with just 53.8 seconds remaining, David Krejčí snapped the puck into a practically empty net. The middle frame was scoreless. In the third period Jussi Jokinen spurred his team on by wiring the puck under the crossbar to make it 3:2, but although Finland gave it their best and outshot the Czechs 14:1 in the last period goaltender Jakub Štepánek weathered the storm.
The bronze came less than 24 hours after a disappointing 1:3 defeat at the hands of Slovakia which dashed the team’s hopes of playing in the final.
The coming days should be sunny to partly cloudy with scattered shows and day temperatures between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius.