Ombudsman Pavel Varvařovský has threatened to resign from his post unless the lower house acts on his suggested changes to the legislation. Among the points that he has criticized is a bill under which a repeat-offender who does not have permanent residence in a given municipality could be banned from that municipality for up to three months. In addition, he has asked Parliament to cancel a law under which unemployed persons have to regularly report at Czech post offices while they are seeking work, a measure meant to cut down on unemployment benefit fraud.
The Czech Trade Inspecting Authority has issued a warning regarding a green frog toy that is being sold on the Czech market. The toy, which is manufactured in China, has a sucker that infants may easily swallow and suffocate. A spokeswoman for the authority said that a ban had been issued on the sale of any such toys.
A fresh poll suggests that former prime minister Jan Fischer would win the presidential elections if they were held today. In this most recent survey, former prime minister Miloš Zeman for the first time saw a better polling result than economist Jan Švejnar, who in previous surveys had come in second. Some 36 percent of respondents would cast their ballot in favor of Mr Fischer, while some 12.5 percent would vote for Mr Zeman. Some 11 percent of men and women polled believe that Mr Švejnar should become the country’s next president. Next year, Czech voters will be able to elect their president directly for the very first time.
Education Minister Petr Fiala has decided to freeze a planned controversial reform of the country’s university system. Instead of a new law, changes will be made via an amendment to the existing legislation. Mr Fiala also said on Thursday that he is planning to rework a much-debated legal change on university finances to where the introduction of tuition fees would no longer be mandatory. He is planning to discuss legislative changes with university representatives in weeks to come.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvítová beat Kazakh qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova 3-6 6-2 6-4 and reached the semi-finals of the French Open for the first time on Wednesday. Although Shvedova led Kvítová 4-2 in the final set, the Czech fourth seed kept her focus through driving rain to complete victory after her 142nd-ranked opponent drilled a backhand wide on matchpoint. Kvítová will now take on title favorite Maria Sharapova for a place in Saturday's final.
Over 10,000 people have visited a concentration camp exhibition at Prague’s Karlovo náměstí. The exhibit was installed at the square on occasion of the 70-year-anniversary of the Heydrich assassination. The organizers, the civic initiative Post Bellum, say that every day, visitors are standing in line to see the provocative display. It maps the life stories of some 70 people who fought in the resistance and against the Nazi regime during World War II.
The lawyers of former Central Bohemian governor David Rath, who is charged with corruption, have announced that they are preparing to file a constitutional complaint. One of the MP’s lawyers said that there are several points in the case that have raised legal questions which need to be addressed by the Constitutional Court. In particular, Mr Rath’s lawyers believe that the way in which he was stripped of his immunity may have been at odds with Czech law. Previously, Mr Rath had filed a constitutional complaint regarding his case.
Ombudsman Pavel Varvařovský has warned against continuing discrimination of Roma children in the Czech education system. The Ombudsman said that according to the results of a recent study 32 to 35 percent of Romany children were studying at schools for children with learning, physical or mental disabilities and that most of them were placed there undeservedly in order to spare regular schools the effort of helping them integrate. The Czech Republic has received similar criticism from the European Commission and the European Court of Human Rights.
The non-profit humanitarian organization People in Need is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It was established in 1992 by a group of war reporters and foreign correspondents who were no longer satisfied with reporting on conflicts and natural disasters and began sending out aid instead. The organization, now one of the biggest of its kind in central Europe, focused on providing aid to crisis areas and supporting adherence to human rights around the world. Czech public television is devoting a special day of programming to People in Need showing photos and videos from the organisation´s projects, missions and fundraising campaigns supported by tens of thousands of people.
Some thirty people gathered outside the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Prague on Wednesday to protest against the reform of the welfare system and the fact that no tender was held for a new computerized system of welfare payments. The rally, is part of a series of anti-government protests which were originally planned as “human blockades” of several ministries implementing a broad range of government austerity measures but all have been marked by a low turnout.
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Iconic Czech brands that survived competition from the West after the fall of communism
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Cold War “king of Šumava” story brought to life in new film by Irish director
Unions: Strike Wednesday will hit most Czech schools