Prime Minister Petr Nečas presented his reasons for not signing the
EU’s planned fiscal compact in the lower house of Parliament on
He said that the government had given him limited authority to sign the
compact. For this reason, he was not able to give a clear “yes” or
“no” at the EU summit in Brussels, where 25 out of 27 EU member states
signed the new treaty, which aims to establish greater fiscal
responsibility across Europe. The prime minister added that since the
draft of the treaty had been negotiated at the summit, it would not have
been possible to analyze its consequences prior to signing it. However, he
noted that nothing stood in the way of the Czech Republic being able to
sign the fiscal compact at a later stage. Aside from the Czech Republic,
the only EU member to not sign the treaty was the UK.
The Czech refusal to join the EU’s fiscal compact sparked a verbal crossfire in the government. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg slammed Mr. Nečas’s decision, stating that he had damaged the country’s interests.
Soccer player David Bystroň, who currently plays defense for FC Viktoria Plzeň, has tested positive for doping and has been banned from playing for two years. The disciplinary committee of UEFA, the European football association, announced its decision to disqualify him from playing on Thursday. The 30-year-old soccer player had been tested at a November Champion’s League match; the blood sample was analyzed in January. Allegedly, traces of methamphetamine were found in his blood.
According to the head of the Most police, the town’s secondary technical school has become a breeding ground for right-wing extremists. The police chief from the town in the Ustí nad Labem region expressed concern over the fact that between ten and fifteen of the school’s students regularly participated in events organized by right-wing groups. The school’s management has admitted that there are problems with some students. Last year, a mass fight between ethnic Czechs and Romanies had occurred near the school, where some 1200 students are enrolled.
Education Minister Josef Dobeš will be presenting 35 new projects aimed
at improving the Czech education system in Brussels on Friday. Through
these projects, the ministry could receive up to six billion Czech crowns,
or 240 millon Euros, in EU funds. By presenting new ways of modernizing
Czech school system, Mr. Dobeš is reacting to attacks from the
which had accused him of badly administering EU-funded projects and not
doing enough to win EU funds for the country’s education system.
The EU had slammed two of the ministry’s projects for lacking a clear budget plan and allocating excessive funds to promotion. Mr. Dobeš came under fire after the European Commission had frozen funding of the two projects. Both projects and the problems connected to them will be a topic of discussion in Brussels on Friday.
Night temperatures in the Czech Republic’s mountainous areas are expected to drop below -40 degrees Celsius in the night from Saturday to Sunday. Meteorologists said that temperatures could even drop below the country’s lowest recorded temperature of -42.2 degrees. Frosts are also expected to hit in lower altitudes, with temperatures of up to -25 degrees forecast for Prague on the weekend. Harsh weather conditions hit the country last week; next Monday, temperatures are expected to rise above zero again.
Sparta Prague’s deputy manager Lukáš Přibyl was found dead in the football club’s stadium on Thursday, the daily Právo writes on its website. According to the daily, police found the body of the 33-year-old man in his office on Thursday afternoon. He had a scalp laceration and bruises on his neck. Third-party violence cannot be ruled out, police said. Criminal investigators are currently at the scene of the incident. An autopsy will most likely reveal further details regarding the cause of his death, investigators said.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of the late
František Oldřich Kinský, who had filed a complaint regarding disputes
with the Czech state over the restitution of family property. According to
the verdict, Mr. Kinský had not been given a fair trial in the matter.
European Court ruled that the Czech Republic is to pay the man, who was a
member of one of the oldest Bohemian aristocratic families, a sum of
Euro in damages and an additional 3380 Euro to cover his expenses
to the case. The Czech Republic has three months to appeal the decision.
Mr. Kinský, who died in April 2009, had filed at least 157 restitution claims with an alleged value of 40 billion Czech crowns with Czech courts. The property had been taken from Mr. Kinský’s family in the wake of World War II on the basis of the Beneš decrees due to the family’s alleged collaboration with the Nazis.
The Czech Republic’s unemployment rate in January rose to 9.1 percent, up by 0.5 percent from the previous month, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The jobless rate crossed the 9 percent mark for the first time since March last year. However, most analysts expected an even higher surge. The Jeseník district in the north-east of the country registered the highest unemployment rate of 17.8 percent; the lowest, of 3.4 percent was recorded in one of the capital districts.
After years of debates, Czech MPs on Wednesday voted to limit the law on parliamentary immunity. If approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president, the amendment to the Czech constitution will remove lawmakers’ immunity for life and will only cover their terms in Parliament. However, lawmakers will still have a choice whether any minor offences they commit will be dealt with by the authorities or by the respective committee of the house. A sweeping majority of MPs from across the parties voted for the change that will now be put to the vote in the Senate. Legislators will need to accordingly amend the Czech penal code before the legislation enters into force in January 2013.
Barbora Škrlová, who was in 2008 sentenced to five years in prison for her role in the Kuřim child abuse case, was on Wednesday conditionally released from jail. Her parole was set at seven years. Ms Škrlová was found guilty of abusing two brothers, aged eight and ten at the time, along with five other people including the boys’ mother. The 30-year-old woman originally duped the authorities posing as a teenage girl; she later escaped to Norway where she posed as a 13-year-old boy. She was arrested upon her return to the Czech Republic.
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