Traffic has slowed considerably on the D1 highway in both directions from Prague –Brno after a driver of a truck lost control of his vehicle in the afternoon and crashed through the safety fence before driving partly into the oncoming lane. The accident took place at the 27 kilometre mark. The traffic jam is was several kilometres long, idnes reported at around four p.m. Traffic has been routed into one lane in the area on both sides, slowing departure to and from the capital.
Lubomír Zaorálek, a prominent member of the opposition Social Democratic Party, slammed TOP 09 Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek on Friday for allegedly provoking confrontation through aggressive, destructive politics. The politician was referring to an incident a day earlier, when Mr Kalousek appeared before demonstrators at a rally in front of the ministry and attempted to speak but was drowned out by the crowd. He was also spat upon by an anti-government protestor. The finance minister labelled demonstrators “cowards afraid to debate issues”. The Social Democrats’ Lubomír Zaorálek criticised the finance minister for – in his words – trying to similarly ‘steamroll’ over the opposition in the lower house.
In related news, retired international Pavel Nedvěd, a member of Czech national squads that finished second at Euro ‘96 and third at Euro 2004, will be one of many fans in Wroclaw cheering on the Czech team. The former player, a VIP guest, signed autographs for football fans in Poland, saying he had gladly accepted an invitation to attend. The legendary midfielder stressed, that he was staying out of the Czech team’s way ahead of the matches, not wanting to interfere. Asked by Czech news website idnes to name the country with the best chance of winning the tournament, the player named Germany, which he said boasted a new generation of exceptional players.
German President Joachim Gauck said in a letter to Czech counterpart
Václav Klaus on Friday that Germany was aware of its historical
responsibility for massacres at the Czech villages of Lidice and Ležáky
during World War II. Mr Gauck wrote the letter ahead of the 70th
anniversary of the destruction of Lidice and Ležáky by the Nazis in
retaliation for the assassination of acting Reichsprotector of Bohemia and
Moravia Reinhard Heydrich on May 27, 1942. Heydrich succumbed to wounds
suffered in the attack which was orchestrated by Czech paratroopers.
As a result, Lidice, in Central Bohemia, was obliterated on June 10 and Ležáky, East Bohemia, was burnt to the ground on June 24. In Lidice alone, all 173 men were executed, while most women and children were sent to concentration camps. Some of the children were selected for re-education in Nazi Germany. In his letter, German President Gauck wrote that the despicable acts in Lidice and Ležáky filled him with “deep sorrow and shame”, but cited positive ties between Germany and the Czech Republic today as reason for hope. In response, Václav Klaus thanked his German counterpart, saying that he considered the letter a strong statement and positive gesture.
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek was attacked by demonstrators at a protest in front of his ministry on Thursday. Several people spat at the minister and hit him. He had stepped out of the ministry to address protesters from the Stop the Government initiative. Some 200 people gathered there on Thursday afternoon for the last of a series of blockades in front of selected ministries. The demonstrators oppose the government’s reforms and austerity measures. Union members and other activists who have joined the initiative are calling on the government to resign.
Police are investigating a case in which a 49-year-old man attempted to kill his 83-year-old mother. The man tried to strangle his mother, who was sleeping but awoke from the severe pain he inflicted on her. The perpetrator’s girlfriend heard her cries for help and intervened. Neighbors called the police. The victim was afraid to tell police what had happened and did not do so for several days after the attack. If found guilty, the man could face a prison sentence of up to 18 years.
According to a new survey by the STEM agency, the majority of Czechs believe that the current social welfare system does not motivate unemployed persons to actively seek work. Respondents said that unemployment benefits should be reduced in order to create an incentive for employment seekers. Nearly 70 percent believe that the government should cut down on unemployment benefits, while nearly 60 percent said that the current system creates little to no motivation.
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.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague