The south-western leg of the new Prague ring road has made over a quarter of a billion crowns in cargo tolls since opening last September. Some ten thousand cargo vehicles use the 23km section every day, or three million since it was opened last year. The road connects the Prague-Brno D1 motorway with the D5 to Plzeň and was intended to relieve traffic elsewhere on the city’s outskirts.
Government representatives will be holding a special tripartite meeting with employers and union reps on Tuesday to discuss the state budget for next year. Labour Minister Jaromír Drábek announced the meeting on TV Prima on Sunday and said that comments on the budget would be discussed and considered so that the government can vote on it on Wednesday. The government has only two weeks left to submit a budget proposal to Parliament. Talks have thus far been marked by disputes between the government and the employers.
The Royal Air Force Museum in London is honouring Czechoslovak and Polish involvement in the Battle of Britain with a new exhibition. ‘Brother’s in Arms’ salutes the dispossessed Polish and Czechoslovak pilots of WWII, who the museum says were arguably the RAF’s most prolific and successful pilots in the campaign. Drawings, archive film footage and sculptures are on display to recall individuals such as fighter pilot Josef František and the men of 303 Squadron. Another section covers the fate of the Czechoslovak and Polish RAF pilots who were persecuted by the Communist regime upon returning home.
Reactor number one at Temelín Nuclear Power Station was brought back online on Sunday after a planned shutdown. The unit is currently running at 80% and will reach full power in the middle of the week. The reactor was taken offline primarily so as to exchange a fourth of the fuel for units from the Russian company TVEL, which began a ten-year contract for Temelín last year. Three CASTOR containers carrying spent fuel were removed. Roughly a thousand employees of ČEZ and some 50 subcontractor companies took part in the suspension.
Politicians from various parties told Czech Television on Sunday that the current racial discord in Northern Bohemia could be helped a central register of offences. Speaking on a debate programme, Civic Democrat Miroslava Němcová, Public Affairs’ Karolína Peake and Social Democrat deputy chairwoman Marie Benešová agreed that the measure would only be a partial step. Ms Peake raised other measures, such as increasing the strictness of hygienic norms and restricting the purchase of coloured metals, assumedly in an effort to dissuade non-adaptive residents from living there. Ms Němcová confirmed that Prime Minister Nečas is to visit the region this coming week.
The Justice Ministry is requesting about 2.6 billion crowns for wage increases over the next three years. The gradual rises are intended for employees of courts and state prosecutors’ offices, who the ministry says receive considerably less than other state employees. The ministry’s report for last year shows that workers in the sector received around 19,500 crowns a month, or 4.500 less than average state employees, despite the fact that the positions in question often require special qualifications.
Police checked more than 9000 foreigners during the weekend in a crackdown on illegal aliens. More than 500 infractions were uncovered as were ten crimes; 29 persons sought nationwide were arrested, mostly people who were supposed to have reported for prison terms for property crimes. The crackdown involved nearly a thousand police officers from all over the country and 28 people were deported.
A total of 64 Czech cities are participating in European Mobility Week, which was launched on Friday. The theme of the tenth year of Mobility Week is "alternative mobility" and is intended to promote resource-saving alternatives to the personal automobile. In Prague, Wenceslas Square will be closed to traffic for several hours on Sunday and a festival is underway around Náměstí Jana Palacha. Brno has begun the week with a festive program and roller-skating attractions. The east Bohemian town of Pardubice plans to end European Mobility Week with a large public picnic on the main shopping boulevard. The main organizer of Mobility Week in the Czech Republic is the Ministry of the Environment.
President Klaus and Prime Minister Nečas have offered praise for filmmaker Otakar Vávra, who died on Thursday at the age of 100. Mr Klaus called Vávra a phenomenon of 20th century Czech and Czechoslovak film and said he would be greatly missed. Prime Minister Nečas noted the remarkable fortune that allowed Vávra such a long life and called him a distinct figure in the Czech artistic world. Otakar Vávra’s filmmaking career spanned 80 years and dozens of films. He also founded the department of direction at FAMU and taught many of the most well-known Czech directors.
Yet another demonstration took place on Saturday in the North Bohemian town of Varnsdorf, where racial tensions have been running high for a number of weeks. Police dispatched several hundred riot officers to counter a similar number of protesters, among them members of the extreme-right Workers’ Party for Social Justice, the successor of the banned neo-Nazi Workers’ Party. The protesters were blocked from marching on an area inhabited predominantly by Roma and then dispersed. The demonstration was the seventh to be held in the area this month. Last week a protest attended by some 1,000 people turned violent as extremists attacked riot police with bottles and stones. Thirty-seven people were arrested and six injured.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”