Deputies from the opposition Social Democrats and indeed some within the government coalition are calling for the dismissal of the Supreme State Attorney Renata Vesecká. Their calls come in light of a lawsuit which found that shadow justice minister Marie Benešová need not apologise to Mrs Vesecká for insinuating that she was corrupt. Mrs Vesecká was involved in the investigation into deputy prime minister Jiří Čunek, which was brought to a halt several months ago. Members of the coalition Green Party in particular have voiced their unhappiness with the way Mr Čunek’s case was handled. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has said that he is not considering dismissing Mrs Vesecká.
Six people were injured on Thursday morning when two trams collided in the Czech Republic’s second city, Brno. The accident happened at around 08:00 CET and caused severe delays for commuters. It is not yet known who or what was responsible for the crash, and the damages caused by the accident have yet to be calculated. None of those injured are said to be in a serious condition.
The Czech Republic is one of fifteen EU member states to have been given a final warning for failing to update its rules aimed at blocking off finance for terrorist activities. The country may be referred to the European Court of Justice should it fail to change its legislation on the issue within the next two months, a European Commission spokesperson said. EU countries were obliged to introduce an updated version of the bloc’s anti-moneylaundering rules by December last year. The rules apply to the financial sector, lawyers, notaries, accountants, real estate agents, casinos, trusts and company service providers. Under the rules, Czech companies will have to identify and verify who they are dealing with, report suspicions of moneylaundering and ensure personnel are properly trained.
The Czech Republic squad for Euro 2008 is as strong as the one that reached the semi-finals in the 2004 competition, veteran Czech coach Karel Brückner said on Wednesday. The 68-year-old, who cancelled Tuesday’s press conference because he was taken ill, added that the squad had prepared as well for this Euro as the previous one, where their flowing football won many admirers but they lost on a silver goal to the more pragmatic Greeks. The Czechs, who have since 2004 lost the talents of Karel Poborský and Pavel Nedvěd and for these finals injured playmaker Tomáš Rosický, open their campaign against co-hosts Switzerland in Basel on Saturday.
The national air carrier ČSA made a profit of 207 million CZK (13.1 million USD) in 2007, a figure over 100 million crowns higher than was previously announced. Representatives of the firm made the definitive announcement about last year’s profit at a press conference on Thursday, adding that for the first four moths of this year, the company was 400 million crowns in the red. Last year, the firm invested in new aircraft to the tune of 1.4 billion CZK, it also paid back loans worth over 1 billion crowns. This year’s profit is projected to be 100 million crowns, delegates of the airline announced on Thursday.
The Czech prime minister Mirek Topolánek has been diagnosed with diabetes, reported Hospodářské noviny on Thursday. Mr Topolánek said that the type of diabetes he has been diagnosed with is not serious, but that he must now adhere to a strict diet. The prime minister said that his condition has not affected his work in the slightest, and that the new lifestyle the diagnosis has brought about has actually made him feel better than ever. The newspaper writes that if Mr Topolánek follows his doctor’s guidelines, then he stands a 50 percent chance of complete recovery in a couple of years’ time. Diabetes is one of the most frequent diseases in the Czech Republic, one in ten adult Czechs suffers from the condition.
Civic Democrat MPs have threatened disciplinary proceedings against Social Democrat Shadow Health Minister David Rath. The threat comes as a result of harsh language used by Dr Rath to describe his counterpart, Health Minister Tomáš Julínek. Whilst introducing a proposed bill that would outlaw the privatization of hospitals, Dr Rath labeled Mr Julínek as a “corrupt” figure, accusing him of taking bribes from the pharmaceutical industry. The comments were made on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies and were greeted by jeers from the ruling Civic Democrats, who immediately announced that they would file disciplinary proceedings against the Shadow Health Minister. The situation was only calmed after the MPs went into a short recess.
A new survey by the STEM polling agency suggests that most Czechs prefer buying homemade goods rather than foreign ones. According to figures published by STEM, 69 percent of Czechs make a point of seeking out Czech-made goods when shopping. 57 percent of Czechs also prefer Czechs brands to foreign ones. However, the figures also reveal that Czech goods are embraced for their perceived low prices rather than their quality. According to the survey, another, more positive perception among Czechs is that their own goods carry a greater tradition and are made by Czech hands, whereas foreign goods do not carry such associations.
The Czech crown has broken yet another record in trading against the Euro. On Wednesday morning, the Czech currency reached 24.63 crowns to the Euro and 15,96 crowns against the dollar. However, analysts were uncertain as to what exactly had caused the currency to rally so strongly, especially in light of the fact that surrounding countries tended towards a slight weakening of their currencies. In recent months, the crown has consistently broken records against the Euro, although most analysts expect that it will stabilize by the end of the year.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis