A fresh row has broken out between President Zeman’s Chancellor Vratislav Mynář and a former lawyer at the Office of the President Pavel Hasenkopf. Hasenkopf, who on Monday accepted a court settlement in a drawn-out-dispute with the Office of the President over the authorship of ex-president Vaclav Klaus’ controversial 2013 amnesty, is said to be incensed by Mr. Mynář’s claim that he had agreed to a settlement because he feared he would lose the case. According to his lawyer Mr. Hasenkopf now intends to sue Chancellor Mynář for slander.
An unknown attacker threw acid into the face of a 50-year-old woman in Prague’s Michle district early on Tuesday, the ctk news agency reported. The incident happened in a lift and the attacker managed to escape unnoticed. The woman was rushed to hospital with severe facial burns. A similar incident took place in the city of Plzen last November, where a man attacked his ex-girlfriend in a similar manner. He was charged after nine months and now awaits trial in custody.
Czech exporters expect to lose tens or even hundreds of millions of crowns in contracts over the next twelve months due to the current sanctions between the EU and Russia, according to a poll conducted by the Czech Chamber of Commerce. The poll, which was carried out among 140 Czech firms, reflects that the sanctions do not apply to contracts signed in 2013, explains the chamber’s president Vladimír Dlouhý, adding that exporters will only know the amount of their possible losses before 2015.
Prague 2 district council on Monday rejected the proposal to make 1968 invasion hero František Kriegel an honorary citizen. Kriegel was the only member of a government delegation in 1968 who refused to sign a declaration approving the Warsaw Pact invasion of former Czechoslovakia. The controversial proposal from independent councillor Michal Uhl has divided the council. Centre-right members of the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 have argued that Kriegel’s active involvement in the Communist coup brought the party to power in February 1948. Kriegel, who also participated in the Spanish civil war, died in Prague in 1979.
The right-wing opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats are ready to support the draft of a new civil service law, TOP 09 deputy Martin Plíšek told the CTK news agency on Monday. The new proposal reflects a compromise agreement reached with the coalition. It doesn’t include the establishment of a public service directorate and an independent public service top official who would govern public administration and be immune from political interference. Under the new proposal, the civil service would fall under the interior ministry, and be overseen by a deputy minister in charge of public administration. The coalition and opposition parties will meet on Wednesday for further discussion of the draft law.
Palacký University in Olomouc on Monday launched the construction of a new centre for kinanthropology research, which focuses on the research of human movement. The construction of BALUO, which stands for ‘Bases of Application Life Utilities Olomouc’, will cost some 285 million crowns, most of which will be covered from EU funds. Apart from research, the new campus should help in developing new sports and rehabilitation equipment. The BALUO centre is to be finished by 2016 and will be open to commercial research as well.
The Czech government is ready to offer its forces for NATO missions in Mali and Afghanistan in the next two years, prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said at the start of a five-day meeting with Czech ambassadors, adding that Czech aircraft will also be offered to protect NATO airspace. According to the prime minister the government will present a final proposal on the country’s foreign missions to Parliament by the end of this year. Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek said that Czech participation in foreign missions needs to have a clear political goal. There are currently 300 Czechs serving in Afghanistan, 38 in Mali and 14 are taking part in the international observer mission in the Sinai.
The Czech Ministry of Education will set up an office of Education Ombudsman, the news site Deník reports. The new post is to be filled by former education minister Eduard Zeman in mid-September. The Education Ombudsman’s role will be to help parents, students and teachers with problems they encounter in schools and to serve as a mediator between the ministry and schools. The Ministry of Education set up the office in response to an increasing number of complaints.
Sunday night has been the coldest this summer so far, with temperatures dropping below zero in many parts of the country. The lowest temperature, -4.2 degrees Celsius, was recorded in Horská Kvilda in the Šumava Mountains. Records were broken in more the 40 meteorological stations around the Czech Republic. According to the weather forecast, temperatures should stay above zero for the rest of the week.
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