Vladimír Šafařík has been chosen to stand in for Jaroslav Navrátil as non-playing captain of the Czech team for next weekend’s Davis Cup tennis finals against Serbia in Belgrade. Mr. Navrátil has been ruled out because of illness and has described his replacement as the right person to take over. Mr. Šafařík captained the country’s Fed Cup team in 1992 and is director of the company that organises the Czech Republic’s Davis Cup ties. The Czechs are defending champions in the competition after an historic win in Prague last December.
The PPF investment group has bought a majority stake in the O2 Arena, a multi-functional structure in Prague that hosts ice hockey games and cultural events, the news website Aktuálně.cz reported. PPF is owned by Petr Kellner, the country’s richest person. PPF was recently in the news in connection with its takeover of the mobile operator Telefonica Czech Republic.
A group representing the disabled has demanded an apology from President Zeman after he said appointing a prime minister was a matter of dignity that could not be conducted from a wheelchair. The National Council of the Handicapped issued a statement on Tuesday describing the president’s comment as inappropriate given his position and insulting to the disabled.
A new exhibition in Prague highlights underground samizdat literature produced under the Communist system in Czechoslovakia. The show, which is at the Lucerna Passage in the city centre, is entitled Samizdat and Dispatch Series, with the second term referring to a series of publications set up by then dissident and playwright Václav Havel and his friends in 1975. The exhibition features period documents and photographs.
Thousands of people attended the launch of Saint Martin’s wine in Brno on Monday where the first wine of the season was blessed by a priest on the city’s central square. In a revived marketing campaign, Czech winemakers offer new wines on November 11, the day of Saint Martin. Events featuring Saint Martin’s wine take place across the Czech Republic on Monday; in Prague, festivities are held in Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad and other places. Last year, some 2.2 million bottles of the wine were sold.
The Czech Republic’s Supreme Administrative Court received 35 complaints over the general election which took place more than two weeks ago, a spokeswoman for the court said. The court has so far dismissed 12 of them – 11 due to their inappropriate form, and one over the fact it was filed too early. The deadline for filing complaints expired on Saturday; the court now has 20 days to address the remaining complains.
Employees of the embattled mining firm OKD have announced a series of strikes over disputes with the firm’s management related to a new collective agreement. The first four-hour strike will take place November 19; another, one-day strike is scheduled for 10 days later while a three-day strike is scheduled for early December, the leader of the company’s trade union said, adding the strikes could only be averted if the firm accepts the union’s demands. Last week, a majority of OKD workers voted in favour of the strike. Negotiations about a new, four-year collective agreement started in August; due to poor economic results, OKD wants to cut some benefits included in the current agreement. The firm is also planning to close down one of its mines, cutting around 3,000 jobs.
Parents of young players are protesting the new logo of a volleyball club based in the central Bohemian town of Nymburk, the news website idnes.cz reported. In September, the club adopted a logo depicting a pig’s head and the caption Nymburské svině, or the Nymburk Swines. The club says it is a reference to the town’s alternate historical name of Svinibrod, or Swineford. The club’s official name – Volleyball Nymburk – has not been altered. The new logo has also provoked a reaction from the local authorities which have threatened to half public funding for the club. The club’s owner, meanwhile, says he hopes to reach agreement with the town hall.
The police have charged a 21-year-old woman with the murder of her newborn baby, a police investigator told reporters on Monday. The woman gave birth last April; the body of the newborn, wrapped in plastic bags, was found near the town of Havlíčkův Brod soon afterwards. The police said the woman kept her pregnancy secret, and did not seek medical assistance. Her former boyfriend, whose role in the case is under investigation, said he believed the baby was stillborn, a claim disproved by an autopsy. If convicted, the woman faces up to 20 years in prison.
The European Commission has threatened to file legal charges against the Czech Republic for refusing to disclose the reasons why the French company Areva was disqualified from the tender for the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant. Areva filed a complaint with the commission, which has requested relevant information from the Czech authorities. However, they have refused to release the information on the grounds that a complaint Areva filed earlier with the anti-monopoly office is still being considered. The European Commission has given the Czech Republic until the end of the month to change its approach, and said it would act by mid-December.
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