- The prime minister, in a written statement, has again rejected speculation over the reasons for former justice minister Jiří Pospíšil’s firing last month.
- Three young people were killed in the early hours of Saturday morning in a car crash near the South Bohemian town of Tábor.
- A new poll suggests that Czechs most value their doctors, scientists and professors, in stark contrast to government ministers and MPs.
- Eleven candidates are to be named to ambassadorial posts.
- Well-known Czech entertainer Ivan Mládek, performing with the Banjo Band, has announced autumn concert dates.
PM again rejects speculation over former justice minister’s firing
Prime Minister Petr Nečas again rejected any suggestion that former justice minister Jiří Pospíšil was recalled from his post last month because he had planned to name respected state prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová to head Prague’s State Attorney’s Office. The prime minister sent a written statement to the Czech news agency on Friday, saying claims otherwise were unacceptable and speculative; on the same day new Justice Minister Pavel Blažek, who succeeded Mr Pospíšil, revealed he would not name Ms. Bradáčová even though she had received a recommendation from the Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman. The new minister is considering the option of a regular competition for the post.
Jiří Pospíšil, who concentrated on fighting alleged corruption at the State Attorney’s Office in Prague, was dismissed by the prime minister last month for managerial failures.
Three people die in Saturday morning crash
Three young men, estimated at 20 years of age, were killed near Tábor in the early hours of Saturday morning, after their vehicle skidded off the road and hit a tree, police said. A fourth person, an 18-year-old female, was injured. The tragedy took place shortly before six am near a local railway crossing, the spokeswoman for the South Bohemian police force Lenka Holická confirmed. It is one of the worst accidents on South Bohemian roads so far this year, ČTK reported. In another crash, on June 7 near Jindřichův Hradec, three men between the ages of 30 and 64 lost their lives when their vehicle collided with a bus.
Poll: Czechs value doctors the most
Czechs most value the work of doctors, scientists, nurses and university professors a new poll conducted by the CVVM agency suggests. Respondents in the survey ranked 26 professions on a 99-point scale. The worst-ranked on the scale were MPs, government ministers and cleaning personnel. According to CVVM, the result shows that doctors’ reputations were unhurt, for example, by a long-term campaign to boost salaries. More than 500 people aged 15 and higher took part in the poll, which was conducted in June.
New ambassadors to be named
The Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday that 11 new ambassadors will soon take up their posts. Martin Povejšil is to replace Milena Vicenová as ambassador to the EU, while Jiří Šedivý will take up Mr Povejšil’s post in NATO. The naming of both men was expected. Others named by the Foreign Ministry include Martin Košatka, who will serve in Croatia, and Milan Dufek who will head the Czech mission in Norway. Personnel changes at missions in South American countries were also announced. On Thursday, news site E15 reported that Petr Kolář would leave as ambassador to Russia this fall, before his mandate was up. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, however, would not confirm the move.
Foreign Ministry: Czech embassy in Syria not facing imminent threat
The Foreign Ministry has said despite continuing violence and fighting in Syria the Czech embassy in Damascus is not under imminent threat. The ministry was replying to an enquiry by the ČTK agency; according to officials, appropriate security steps have been taken, and the situation is monitored around the clock. On Thursday in Syria, more than 300 people were reported killed in the conflict; central Damascus remains under control of government forces, Czech diplomatic sources said.
No word yet from Švejnar
Czech-American economist Jan Švejnar has not taken a final decision yet on whether to run in next year’s presidential election, the first time Czech voters will choose their president directly. Mr Švejnar, considered a possible strong contender according to numerous opinion polls, will reportedly decide over the remainder of the summer. Originally, Mr Švejnar said he would announce his intentions after a procedural bill on the upcoming election was passed in Parliament; that took place earlier this week. Now the bill must be signed by President Václav Klaus who completes his final term in March 2013.
Mládek to tour in the autumn
Czech entertainer and musician Ivan Mládek, who turned 70 earlier this year, will go on tour this autumn, with dates in nine towns and cities. He will perform well-known hits, including Jožin z bažin as an encore, with the Banjo Band, the Czech news agency reported. The first concert of “The Last Tour”, as it has been called, has been set for October 17. Mládek is the author of more than 400 songs. In the ‘90s he starred in a popular TV variety show.
The weekend will be mostly partly cloudy with rain in places and daytime highs of around 22 degrees Celsius.