A US court in Alexandria, Virginia has given the defence team of Kevin Dahlgren another 30 days to appeal his extradition to the Czech Republic. Last week, the court ruled that all the requirements for extradition have been met. Originally, the suspect had the chance to appeal until this past Thursday, but the judge decided to extend the deadline. Mr. Dahlgren is suspected of killing his cousin and three other members of her family in Brno. The murders occurred this past May when the suspect was in the Czech Republic, after which he travelled to Vienna and then to the US, where he was arrested by FBI agents upon arrival at the airport in Washington DC.
Only some 50 people participated in a nationalist protest in the Moravian town of Přerov, even though the local police force expected as many as 300 extremists. Expecting a bigger march through the town, the local police force had asked for reinforcements, including helicopter and mounted units. The nationalist organization Czech Lions originally applied to hold a march through the town with at around 100 participants, but the in the end the march was called off. An even organized to counter the march was attended by around 100 people, most of whom were the local Romany residents.
Former Prime Minister Petr Nečas married his girlfriend and former chief-of-staff Jana Nagyová on Saturday, Czech news servers reported. A number of corruption cases involving Ms. Nagyová, became the reason for the Mr. Nečas’ resignation and the fall of his government in June. Ms. Nagyová was arrested by the anti-corruption police and accused of ordering unauthorized spying by the military intelligence service of Mr. Nečas’s former wife Radka as well as being involved in the trading of lucrative positions in exchange for supporting the government with three MPs at the end of last year.
A multi-venue event entitled Different City Experience, which was the brainchild of the activist group Auto*Mat, is taking place in over 30 locations around Prague on Saturday. Local residents, businesses and associations organized block parties, concerts, film screenings and other activities throughout the day. Auto*Mat, which is heading the event for the eighth time, wants to show what the streets of the Czech capital could look like if there was no car traffic. Similar events, although in single locations, are also taking place this year in the cities of Olomouc and Ostrava.
A two-day showcase of military planes began on Saturday at the Mošnov airport near the north Moravian city of Ostrava. The joint celebration of Days of NATO and Days of the Czech Air Force features presentations of various aircrafts and presentations by the military, police and rescue units from 16 countries. The Czech and Slovak air force will also commemorate 20 years since the separation of Czechoslovakia and the founding of the two independent nation armies. Last year around 208,000 people visited the Days of NATO celebration, according to the organizers.
Representatives of unions, industry and the government met on Friday for three-way talks on the proposal for next year’s budget. Union and industry representatives said that the finance ministry’s draft budget was not conducive enough to economic growth and that the caretaker government should not be so strict in complying with the EU-mandated deficit ceiling of three percent of the GDP. After the talks, Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok announced that the government will not change the 112-billion crown deficit proposed in the draft budget, which is just below three percent of GDP. The outgoing government will be voting on the final proposal next Wednesday, though it will not be discussed by the lower house of parliament until after the general elections in late October. The budget proposal may be significantly altered by the new government and lower house.
President Miloš Zeman public approval rating is at 53 percent, according to a poll released by the STEM agency. This is an increase of three percentage points from a poll carried out in March, before the inauguration. Around 56 percent think that Mr. Zeman is a better president than his predecessor Václav Klaus. At the same time, the STEM poll revealed that 52 percent of the respondents think that he is too involved in the country’s politics.
The Prague City Hall has approved a controversial amendment to the ordinance on the regulation of gambling. The new city ordinance has lowered the number of places where gambling is allowed from 650 to 317 and includes a ban on advertising of gambling facilities and neon-light signs outside of these locations. Gambling facilities are an important source of income for the city coffers. Due to the limit on the number of places where gambling machines can be located, the city will most likely lose up to 400 million crowns from its budget, which is approximately half of what it receives from gambling today. The Green Party has strongly criticized the amendment, saying that it will not influence the overall number of gamblers. Others criticized the change for not being strict enough and leaving room for possible corruption.
Prague councilors have tightened the regulation banning alcohol consumption in public places. The council on Thursday doubled the number of locations where drinking is prohibited, such as parks, playgrounds, squares and bus and tram stops. The regulation is due to go into effect on October 3rd and the fine for violating it is 1,000 crowns. Some 300 towns and cities around the country have similar restrictions.
The Supreme Administrative Court has ruled that the management of Šumava National Park made the right decision in felling trees in bark-beetle-infested areas in the protected nature reserve. The decision was contested by environmental activists who have long advocated less radical methods in fighting the spread of bark beetle. The head of Šumava Park Jiří Mánek has welcomed the decision, saying that after several years of problems the bark beetle infestation was once again under control.
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