Czech support of European integration is on the decline, according to a fresh survey by the American Pew Research Center. Among all eight EU member states polled, the Czech Republic sees the membership most critically. The survey also found that Czechs were especially critical of their prime minister’s approach to the debt crisis in the Eurozone. The Pew Research Center concludes that the financial crisis within the union has also spurred a deep crisis of member countries’ trust in the EU. Among the countries polled were Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece and the non-Eurozone members: the Czech Republic along with Poland and Great Britain.
The new faction around deputy prime minister Karolína Peake, formerly of Public Affairs, has officially been registered as a party. Mrs Peake said on Tuesday that she was glad the registration of the party had been successful and thanked all 1800 citizens who had signed a petition in support of her new LIDEM party. Mrs Peake founded the group after walking out on junior coalition partner Public Affairs in early May over the way the party presented itself. Her split with the party and the subsequent walk-out of some of its other members cast serious doubt over the future of the government coalition; however, it survived a vote of confidence.
Czech President Václav Klaus has signed into law legislation that will gradually increase emission fees. On Tuesday, the president ratified a law under which firms with a high level of emissions will have to pay 4200 Czech crowns per ton of CO2 emitted starting next year. The fee will gradually be increased to 14,700 crowns by 2021. The new regulation will mostly affect large corporations. The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic opposes it.
Former Central Bohemian governor David Rath, who is currently under arrest on suspicion of corruption, will be able to attend a session in the lower house of Parliament, of which he is still a member, in which deputies will vote on whether or not Mr Rath should be stripped of his immunity. Mr Rath had filed for permission to attend the session on Monday with the state prosecutor for the Ustí nad Labem region Lenka Bradáčová. She granted it, on condition that he only attends the period during which his case is discussed. Deputies are yet to decide whether or not this session of the lower house will be open to the public.
Czech soccer star Petr Čech has extended his contract with Chelsea until the year 2016. Commenting on his new contract, Čech said he hoped the next four years with his club would be as successful as the last eight had been. Since joining the Premier League in 2004, Čech has made over 360 appearances, won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two League Cups. In the recent Champions League finals, Čech helped secure Chelsea’s victory by saving three penalties, one in extra time and two in the shootout. His new contract makes him one of the 20 best-paid soccer players internationally.
A new exhibition of pictures of the late ex-president Václav Havel is set to open in the Prague City Gallery on Old Town Square on June 15. On display will be mostly photographs taken during his time in office – shots from his official visits abroad but also those that were taken behind the scenes. The exhibition has been organized by the Czech News Agency ČTK in memory of the late president. The agency has some 12,000 pictures of Mr Havel in its archives. The exhibition runs through July 6th.
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday awarded the Medal of Freedom to Madeleine Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia and fled the country with her parents to escape the Nazi occupation. She spent some time in England before immigrating to the US in 1948. Albright was the first woman to hold the nation’s top diplomatic post of secretary of state. Among this year’s recipients are John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, and legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The Medal of Freedom is America’s highest civilian honor. It is presented to individuals who have contributed to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace or cultural endeavors.
In continuing fallout from the arrest of former governor of Central Bohemia David Rath, the region has decided to scrap problematic tenders worth two billion crowns. The projects include the reconstruction of the Bustehrad chateau, the financing of which was apparently at the centre of Dr Rath’s bribery charges. Other projects involve subsidies for hospitals in Kladno and Pribram, and for Rath’s town of Hostivice. Nearly 20 tenders for road repairs were also cancelled. Police arrested David Rath two weeks ago immediately after he received what they believe was a seven-million-crown bribe.
Roma representatives will not press charges against a boy who falsely stated he had been seriously beaten by members of the community. The chairman of the national association of Roma told the Czech Press Agency on Monday that they wanted to make a conciliatory gesture and make sure that the entire situation is put to rest in a calm and dignified manner. Mass demonstrations broke out in Břeclav last month when the fifteen-year-old was hospitalised and lost a kidney. Last week he confessed that he had actually fallen off a railing.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
Study: Demand for new flats in Prague set to keep outstripping supply
“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future