The case against Tomas Cermak, the police officer who was accused of
beating-up Green party deputy Katerina Jacques, is to be reopened. The
announcement was made by a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office on
Wednesday morning. Mrs Jacques accuses Mr Cermak of attacking and beating
her for no reason during an Anti-Nazi May-Day protest march back in 2006.
Following on from the incident, Mr Cermak lost his job and was charged with abuse of public office. But his case was shelved in November last year, when the State Attorney concluded that there were insufficient grounds for prosecution, and that Mr Cermak had acted in line with police regulations when he arrested Mrs Jacques. Mr Cermak now awaits trail.
The lower house started debating the government's controversial reform
package on Tuesday. The debate was opened by Finance Minister, Miroslav
Kalousek, who reiterated that the aim of the package was to reduce the
deficit in public spending to below 3% GDP. The opposition responded that
the reforms were 'against all plain common sense'. If approved, the reforms
will have an impact on almost all areas of life. Among the most
controversial are the proposed income and corporate tax reforms, and a
financial restructuring of the health system, bringing with it the
introduction of medical fees.
The opposition is against the package and, with the smallest of majorities, the ruling coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens will need the support of every one of its deputies to push the reforms through. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has linked his cabinet's future to the success of the reforms, saying that he will resign if they fail to win approval.
A team of American experts are inspecting the Brdy military area south-west of Prague which has been selected as a potential site for a US radar base in the Czech Republic. The main goal of the four day mission is to inspect the geological conditions, as well as the infrastructure and transport network. Prague and Washington are holding talks on the possible installation of a radar in Brdy as part of the US missile defence programme, but no commitment has as yet been made. In the Czech Republic such a project would have to be approved by Parliament. Municipalities in the region are strongly opposed to it and opinion polls suggest that the majority of Czechs do not want a US radar in the country.
Trade unions are planning a mass protest against the planned reforms outside Parliament on Tuesday, the day the lower house is due to start debating proposed amendments to the reform package. The organizers say they expect several hundred people to take part. Trade unions say the planned reforms will benefit the rich and hurt the middle and lower classes.
Industrial production in the Czech Republic rose by 1.0 percent in June from the previous month, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Monday by the Czech Statistics Office. On an annual basis, production in June was up 6.9 percent, after rising 7.5 percent in May. Transport equipment, electronic and optic devices led industrial production in June as well as the manufacture and repair of machinery.
Petr Zelenka, a male nurse who is charged with deliberately killing eight people with a lethal doze of the blood-thinning drug heparin has confessed that he administered the drug to 17 patients altogether, injecting the drug on twenty four different occasions. In one case a patient received three dozes before the drug killed him. The hospital in question is now reviewing its medical records to ascertain whether Zelenka did not kill even more people than previously thought. He faces life imprisonment, although his defence lawyers claim he is mentally ill.
The centre-right government is meeting to fine-tune its reform package ahead of a debate in Parliament due to open on Tuesday. The reforms aim to reduce the deficit in public spending to below three percent of GDP and will have an impact on almost all areas of life. Among the most controversial are the proposed tax reform and a reform of the health sector envisaging the introduction of fees for medical services. The opposition has said it will fight the proposal all the way and with its slim majority in the lower house the government needs to reach agreement on all disputed issues. The prime minister has linked his cabinet's future to the reform package saying he would resign if it failed to win approval.
At a press conference marking the fifth anniversary of the devastating 2002 floods, mayor of Prague Pavel Bem said that the city hall had invested two billion crowns into flood protection. He said that 95 percent of the city was now protected from a disaster of such magnitude and that in the event of a flood the new flood protection system could be erected within 24 hours. Forty billion crowns have gone into construction and reconstruction work.
Meanwhile, the results of an opinion poll conducted by the Median agency indicate that 55 percent of Czechs understand and accept the need for reform. Only ten percent of Czechs strictly oppose it. The highest rate of support comes from people aged 18 to 24. Labour and Social Affairs Minister Petr Necas said this was "encouraging news".
Over 200 young people protested in the streets of Jablonec nad Nisou on Saturday accusing the police of having stood by idly while their friend drowned. The incident took place late at night when a group of secondary school students were returning from a night out. One of them jumped into the local dam on a dare and tried to swim across. When his friends saw that he was in trouble they called the police hot line and despite the fact that a police car was on the spot in five minutes the officers allegedly made no attempt to dive in and try to find him. The police claim that it was pitch dark when they arrived and they couldn't see anyone on the waters surface. The boy's friends say they should have dived in anyway and tried to save him. The incident is being investigated.
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
The Czechoslovak occultist plot to kill Hitler by magic
Czech companies struggling with labour shortage