Czechs are less happy with the political situation in this country than they have been since the last elections in 2006, a poll conducted by the CVVM agency and released on Monday suggests. Some 69 percent of respondents said that they were unhappy with the current political situation, while only five percent said they were satisfied, the poll found. According to CVVM, Czechs have most trust in the president of the republic, followed by the government. Worst in the poll fares the lower house of the Czech Parliament, which enjoys a trust rating of only 14 percent. The Czech Senate came off only marginally better, with a trust rating of 18 percent.
The Czech government will continue to lobby for the headquarters of the Galileo European Satellite System to be established in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Jan Fischer said on Monday. The Galileo Supervisory Authority was set up as an EU agency in 2004. It is currently based in Brussels. A final decision on the agency’s relocation will be made next year. The Czech Republic is competing with the Netherlands to house Galileo HQ. The satellite system is expected to be put into operation properly in 2013. Mr Fischer pledged his government’s support to the project, which would see Galileo ground control based in the Czech Republic, after a cabinet meeting on Monday morning.
At the Forum 2000 human rights conference in Prague on Monday, Václav Havel criticized the recently-decorated Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama for refusing to receive the Dalai Lama until after a state visit to China in November. In his speech, the former Czech president praised the way the world had developed in the 20 years following the fall of the Iron Curtain. He complained, however, that Western society prized economic growth above all else, with human rights being just the ‘cherry on the cake’ in today’s world. Forum 2000, which was co-founded by Mr Havel in 1997, runs until Tuesday.
President Klaus’ secretary Ladislav Jakl said in tv interviews on Sunday
that members of the former centre-right coalition government knew about his
reservations about the Lisbon Treaty and its Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Mr Jakl said the reservations were pointed out to the government of former
prime minister Mirek Topolánek but negotiations over changes to the treaty
were blocked by Green Party government members Karel Schwarzenberg and
Former European Affairs minister Alexandr Vondra said on the same programmes that he heard of the president’s specific worries for the first time when they were raised on Friday. Leaders of the right of centre Civic Democrats have criticised President Klaus for not stating his objections earlier.
Czech manager and head of the Czech and Moravian Football Federation, Ivan Hašek announced on Sunday that he would make his future clear as national coach after Wednesday’s game against Northern Ireland. He only took on the post of team manager in the summer after talks with other candidates broke down and had always stressed it was a temporary solution. At that stage, the World Cup qualification chances of the Czech team were already pretty long. Hašek said on Sunday that he already had some idea what could follow after Wednesday’s final qualification match.
An on the loose baboon has been returned to its enclosure at Brno zoo. The male baboon Heiko escaped on Thursday after scaling an electric fence. He was apparently panicked by the sight of a rifle which was going to be used to tranquilise a sheep which shared the enclosure. The escapee was eventually found on Saturday hiding in the zoo grounds. It is the second escape by the baboon. Heiko took advantage of a power cut to escape in 2007 and was only found two days later sharing a packet of biscuits with a golfer at a local course.
A report in the British newspaper The Sunday Times said that French and
German diplomats discussed ways of overcoming President Václav Klaus’
last minute obstruction of the Lisbon Treaty. The paper said they raised
the possibility of impeaching him or making constitutional changes to
remove his veto rights in talks with Czech colleagues. Former Czech prime
minister and Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolánek has said in interviews
that he has tried to convince other European leaders not to take
retaliatory steps against the Czech Republic over its failure to ratify the
EU reforming treaty since these would be counterproductive.
The Czech Republic is the last country to ratify Lisbon after Polish President Lech Kaczynski took the step on Saturday. President Klaus announced on Friday that he wanted a footnote inserted in the treaty guaranteeing that it could not be used by Germans expelled after WWII to reclaim property and challenge the so-called Beneš decrees. The President’s last minute demand does not have the support of the government and has been denounced by most politicians at home.
The Czech football team has to hope for a miracle to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after Saturday’s results. Although the Czechs beat Poland 2:0 at home, the hoped for victory of table-topping Slovakia over Slovenia failed to happen. Slovenia won 2:0. That leaves the Czechs needing to beat Northern Ireland in the last qualification match on Wednesday and hope that minnows San Marino can at least earn a draw with Slovenia. That scenario would give the Czechs a second place play-off spot.
Garbage Warrior, a documentary by British film maker Oliver Hodge was
given the main award at the Ekofilm festival at Český Krumlov on
Saturday. The 90-minute documentary follows the real life battle of
maverick US architect Michael Reynolds to build environmently friendly
homes out of everyday waste. The head of the award jury, Alena
Činčerová, described the film as in many respects a breakthrough.
Around three-fifth of Czechs have witnessed corruption: survey
Around 60 percent of Czechs say they have witnessed corruption according to a survey carried out by the SANEP institute. Thirty-eight percent said they had offered bribes and a fifth said they had accepted them. Around three-quarters of respondents said that a new law limiting the activities of lobbyists should come into effect. The survey was carried out between October 1 and 5 with 12,330 people responding to questions on the Internet.
Violence erupted outside the stadium ahead of the Czech-Poland football World Cup qualifier on Saturday night. Trouble apparently began when Polish fans without tickets tried to get past stewards and storm in. Mounted police, police with dogs and a special action squad were called in to restore order. Police detained 18 fans of which three were charged. Around 3,000-4000 Polish fans are thought to have come to Prague for the game. The number of police and stewards was doubled because of Polish fans reputation for violence at away matches. Police said the return home seemed to have passed without major problems.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’