Over 500 guests attended a birthday bash for ex-president Vaclav Havel on Saturday. The party in honour of Mr. Havel’s 75th birthday next Wednesday, was attended by close friends from his dissident days, people from the arts world, politicians, writers and diplomats. Among the guests of honour were the former US secretary of state Czech-born Madeleine Albright, who is a close friend of Mr.Havel’s, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg who served as Mr. Havel’s chancellor during his presidency, actor Pavel Landovsky, director Jiri Mezel and the British writer Tom Stoppard.
Data published by Mag Consulting indicate that the government’s efforts to bring more tourists to the Czech Republic have proved successful. Between June and September of 2011 the Czech Republic attracted 15 percent more foreign tourists that in the same period last year. More Czechs are also reported to have holidayed at home this year, spending money at Czech wellness spas and summer resorts. The rise in foreign tourists is partly being attributed to the political upheaval in the Arab world which made some people reconsider their holiday plans.
Anti-Roma demonstrations held in the northern towns of Varnsdorf and Rumburk on Sunday ended without incident. Rising crime, petty theft and a high unemployment rate have unleashed a wave of anti-Romany sentiment in several towns in the north of the country with people repeatedly taking to the streets to demand action. Public anger in Varnsdorf has now turned mainly against the local administration which is being blamed for failing to deal with the situation. Local protesters took their grievances to Prague on Saturday where they verbally clashed with Roma rights activists and anarchists. Government officials, NGOs and local councils are working to defuse tension and address long-neglected problems but there has so far been little sign of tangible progress.
A four-year-old boy is in hospital after being attacked by the family Rottweiler, a police spokeswoman confirmed on Sunday. The child was allegedly attacked after putting its hand into the dog’s food bowl. The boy got knocked over and was bitten in the area of the neck and face. He is reported to be in serious condition. No further details have been released.
A financial audit at the General Teaching Hospital in Prague is reported to have revealed numerous violations of the law on public tenders. Hospital management repeatedly waived tenders by breaking down commissions and in more than one instance the commission went to a firm which made the most expensive bid or did not fulfil the stated criteria. The matter is being investigated.
Prague’s mayor Bohuslav Sobotka has praised the outcome of a flood response training exercise conducted in the Czech capital on Saturday. He said the exercise had met the highest expectations and indicated a high level of preparedness even in the event of a serious flood. Within the exercise firemen and emergency crews erected a flood barrier along a three kilometre stretch of the Vltava river in one and a half hours flat. The deadline was four hours. The head of the team said good weather conditions and the fact that the city is half empty on weekends helped the effort. The flood barrier is to be dismantled by midnight and all traffic restrictions lifted.
Anti-Romany demonstrators from the north of the country took their grievances to Prague on Saturday where they verbally clashed with Roma rights activists and anarchists. The two groups demonstrated on Prague’s Palacky Square, held apart by a cordon of riot police as they hurled insults at each other. Demonstrators from Varnsdorf, which has been racked by ethnic unrest, chanted “Send the gypsies to Prague” while Roma-activists and their supporters held up signs reading “neo-Nazis out”. The demonstrations reflect growing tension in the north of the country where a rise in crime and petty theft –together with a high unemployment rate - have unleashed a wave of anti-Romany sentiment.
As of Saturday, October 1st, drivers around the country will be able to use pay cards when paying fines for traffic violations. The police introduced electronic payments in a limited measure last year and have decided to extend the network of mobile electronic terminals to all districts. The move is expected to both reduce corruption and facilitate payments for drivers.
Over 500 guests are expected to attend a birthday bash for ex-president Vaclav Havel on Saturday. The party in honour of Mr. Havel’s 75th birthday next Wednesday, is to be a surprise event organized by some of his closest friends. The former president who spent most of the summer at his country cottage recuperating from a bad chest infection is reported to be feeling much stronger and is expected to attend a number of public events in the coming weeks. Among the guests of honour invited to his birthday party on Saturday night are the former US secretary of state Czech-born Madeleine Albright,w ho is a close friend of Mr.Havel’s and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg who served as Mr. Havel’s chancellor during his presidency.
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”