Czech tennis player Petra Kvítová made it into the quarterfinals at the Italian Open in Rome. The Wimbledon champion won in straight sets to reach the third round. Kvítová overcame eight double-faults to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 7-5, 6-4 in her opening match. Kvítová dominated the match with her attacking game.
A total of 6.2 percent of Czech secondary school students have failed this year’s exit exams, as compared to 5.3 percent the previous year. Among the areas in which results deteriorated was mathematics; in Czech, this year’s results improved slightly on 2011’s. Aside from a standardized test, Czech students taking the high school exist exam also have to successfully complete an oral and a written exam.
The acting governor of the Central Bohemian region, Zuzana Moravčíková, who has taken over the post following David Rath’s resignation, will be making changes in the personnel of the regional administration. Staff closely connected to the former governor, who is charged with corruption, will be dismissed. On Thursday, Mrs Moravčíková told the Czech News Agency ČTK that the extent of personnel changes depended on the results of the ongoing police investigation. She said that while she did not want to work together with close collaborators of the former governor, she also wanted to avoid a major shake-up in the Central Bohemian administration. It was important to put together a team whom she could trust, the acting governor added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Prague for a two-day official visit on Thursday. On the agenda of the Israeli leader, who is travelling with a delegation of seven ministers, is a meeting with his Czech counterpart counterpart Petr Nečas as well as several members of the Czech cabinet. The Israeli delegation is set to discuss bilateral relations as well as collaboration in the areas of education and research. Ahead of the visit, some 500 police officers are working to ensure the security of the Israeli prime minister. Senior police officials have said that the Israeli leader’s visit carries a higher security risk compared to those of other statesmen.
In related news, Czechs laying bets with at least one betting agency are favoring Sweden over the Czech Republic in Thursday’s do-or-die quarterfinal match at the world championships in ice hockey, news website idnes.cz reports. According to the site, more than two-thirds of Czech bettors laying bets with the Fortuna agency favor Sweden, most often predicting the Swedes will win by a score of 5:3. The Czech team, when led by team coach Alois Hadamczik, has been unable to beat the co-hosts of this year’s championship and one of the favorites to win the championship. Players are hoping they will be able to pull off a surprise result – stressing they will have to keep pressure on and try and score early.
The record auction of František Kupka’s painting The Shape of Blue has revealed shortcomings in the country’s registration of works that fall under the national heritage, especially in the area of fine arts. To date, the Czech state has failed to determine whether the painting, which was sold to a foreign buyer for 55.75 million crowns, falls under the national heritage or not, the Czech News Agency ČTK writes, citing insider sources. Should this be the case, the buyer would not be able to take the painting out of the Czech Republic. The National Heritage Institute claims that Kupka’s work does fall under the national heritage. However, the seller of the painting maintains that it does not, since the process of proclaiming it a part of the national heritage had not been completed by the time the painting went on sale. The buyer is now waiting for a decision by the Ministry of Culture on the matter.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has expressed shock over the corruption case
involving David Rath, not least since the Social Democrat politician was
one of his party’s most outspoken critics of corrupt practices, the Czech
news agency says. The prime minister told ČTK he hoped the case would be
seen through to the end and that it would not throw “dirt” on the
entire political scene. He also indicated he hoped the failing was only on
Mr Rath’s part and not his party’s.
Similar suggestions were made on a TV debate programme on Tuesday evening by the finance minister; prominent Social Democrat Lubomír Zaorálek responded by trying to point to scandals on the centre-right. The arrest and charging of Central Bohemian Governor David Rath is nevertheless unprecedented in at least one respect: Rath, who was under investigation by police for six months, was “caught in the act”, enabling his immediate prosecution.
Police uncovered an additional 30 million crowns hidden in the floor of the home of Social Democrat and Central Bohemian governor David Rath, a source close to the investigation has told daily Mladá fronta Dnes. Mr Rath was caught red-handed carrying an apparent bribe of seven million crowns. Prominent members of the Social Democratic Party on Tuesday called on Mr Rath to give up all official posts. In a statement issued through his spokeswoman, Mr Rath denied any knowledge of the bribe, claiming he had thought the shoebox he was carrying contained a bottle of wine.
National hockey coach Alois Hadamczik is keeping quiet about who he will put in net in the quarterfinal game between the Czech Republic and Sweden at the World Championship in ice hockey. The Czech squad - under Hadamczik – has never won against Sweden at either the Olympics or the Worlds, so players will have their work cut out for them on Thursday. The coach could go with either goalie Jakub Kovář or Jakub Štěpánek. Who will start is already known to the goalies, but both are keeping silent ahead of the match. Hadamczik told the media simply that he wanted to keep his opponents guessing.
A new poll conducted by the STEM agency has suggested that the majority of
Czechs rate the right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party as the main
proponent of government reforms, despite the fact that that not it but
fellow right-wing party TOP 09 holds key ministries, including Finance and
Health. According to the poll, 53 percent of those surveyed named the Civic
Democrats, 41 TOP 09 and just six percent the former government coalition
party Public Affairs, replaced by a political platform led by Karolína
Peake (who is founding a new party to be called LIDEM or For the People).
Those surveyed were also asked which party in government was the most thorough in seeing the government’s programme fulfilled: there, TOP 09 received 43 percent, the Civic Democrats 42. In general, government has not done well in numerous recent opinion polls, in which a majority of potential voters have expressed opposition to wide-reaching reforms.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
“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
Minister: Czech Republic won’t take in 40 child refugees from Greek camps
“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future