Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech will miss the Czech Republic's friendly against Turkey on Wednesday due to a broken little finger. The goalie sustained the injury during Chelsea's 3-2 loss to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday. Czech coach Michal Bilek said Jan Lastuvka of Dnipropetrovsk will replace him for the friendly, while Hamburg goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny has been called up to the squad.
Labour offices report an influx of clients in the wake of the presidential amnesty. According to data released by the labour ministry 4,500 amnestied prisoners have filed for immediate and long-term social support at labour offices around the country. Prisoners released from jail are eligible for immediate financial support to the tune of 1,000 crowns and regular unemployment benefits thereafter, if they fulfill the respective conditions.
President-elect Miloš Zeman is to hold talks this week with the country’s leading politicians. On Tuesday he will be meeting with the outgoing president, Vaclav Klaus, Prime Minister Petr Nečas and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. Meetings are also being scheduled with the heads of all parliamentary parties. According to the CTK news agency Mr. Zeman has refused to meet with the newly-established junior governing party LIDEM on the grounds that it did not gain legitimacy in parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has expressed support for Turkey’s bid to
join the EU. Following talks with the visiting Turkish Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan, Mr. Nečas said Prague fully supported Ankara’s ambition
to become a fully-fledged member of the alliance on condition that Turkey
fulfills the respective admission criteria. The Turkish prime minister
welcomed the stand saying Turkey had been standing outside EU gates for
more than 50 years and that the delaying of its admission further was
unforgivable. This was in reference to the view of some EU members that as
a Muslim country Turkey should be offered a close partnership rather that
Talks between the two heads of government also covered business and security matters, among others the role of the Czech armed forces in helping to guard the Turkish border against possible attacks from Syria.
An inspection at Czech primary schools has revealed a serious lack of qualified foreign language teachers. According to the Czech School Inspectorate over a quarter of the language teachers teaching at primary schools around the country lack proper qualification and fail to give students a good grounding in the second language of their choice. The inspectorate says this is a serious problem especially since in line with the new curriculum a second foreign language will be an obligatory subject in the new school year. Students generally pick English or German as a second language, followed by French and Russian.
Nominations for the 20th inception of Český lev, the Czech Lion national film awards, were announced at Prague’s Lucerna cinema on Saturday night. The event, which will be shown live on public broadcaster Czech Television, preceded the actual awards ceremony, which takes place in exactly a month’s time. Members of the Czech Academy of Film and Television chose from among 30 feature films and 15 documentaries that premiered in 2012. Director Bohdan Slama’s film Čtyři slunce (Four Suns) received the most nominations – 12 – including best picture. The four films other nominated for best film are Odpad město smrt, Okresní přebor, Polski film and Ve stínu.
Mid-level flood alerts are in effect on two rivers in southern Bohemia, the Lužnice and Nežárka. The Lužnice River rose most markedly in the area of Bechyně and Klenovice, while the Nežárka rose most at the village of Hamr near Soběslav. Officials the Hydrometeorological Institute in České Budějovice said, all the same, that water levels were gradually receding in the region. Lower-level warnings are in place on a number of other rivers.
In related news, a day earlier Tomáš Berdych and Lukáš Rosol won the longest match in Davis Cup history to give the Czech Republic 2-1 edge over Switzerland. The doubles match against opponents Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli took a record 7 hours and two minutes; the deciding fifth set alone took 215 minutes. The final score was 6:4, 5:7, 6:4, 6:7, 24:22. The previous longest Davis Cup match dates back to 1982 and lasted 6 hours and 22 minutes: John McEnroe defeated Sweden’s Mats Wilander.
Darina Hájková, the daughter of highly-respected jazz guitarist Rudolf Dašek, has revealed that her father died on January 31 at the age of 79. Ms Hájková told the Czech news agency that a service in his memory will held on February 7 in Prague. As a musician, Mr Dašek often teamed up with well-known flutist Jiří Stivín; music critic Antonín Matzner told CTK that the duo of Stivín and Dašek was the best export item from 1970s Czechoslovakia, adding that Mr Dašek was considered the best jazz guitarist in Europe at the time.
The president-elect, Miloš Zeman, has told the Czech daily Právo that
the flag of the European Union will fly at Prague Castle after he assumes
office. Mr Zeman told the newspaper that he would invite European
Commission President Jose Barroso to attend a special ceremony during
the EU flag would be raised. The step is a departure from that of Mr
Zeman’s predecessor Václav Klaus, a well-known critic of the EU, who
refused such a move.
In the interview, the president-elect also told Právo that he would transfer the agenda of presidential pardons to the Justice Ministry; ahead of the elections, Mr Zeman maintained that he would never declare an amnesty, a reaction – at least in part – to one declared in January by Mr Klaus. The New Years Day amnesty controversially halted, or threatens to halt, a number of major corruption and economic crime cases.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur