The 25 year old Czech who was placed in isolation in a Prague hospital after returning from South Korea with a cold and fever and was suspected of having the MERS virus has been given all the all clear. The hospital said that tests had found no trace of the killer virus. Around 20 people have died in South Korea after one of the worst outbreaks of MERS so far outside of the Middle East where it was identified in 2012.
The UEFA European Under-21 Championship in football gets underway in the Czech Republic at 6 PM on Wednesday evening with a curtain raiser in Prague featuring the hosts and Denmark. The biggest event of its kind ever held in the country, it will feature eight teams, with the Czech Republic and England top seeded. Games will be played in the capital, Olomouc and Uherské Hradiště. Tournament Ambassador and former European player of the year Pavel Nedvěd said he was envious that the Czech juniors were getting to perform in such a tournament on home soil.
Fugitive former MP Petr Wolf says he would not be able to defend himself effectively if he were in prison. In an interview for the TV station Prima given via table, Mr. Wolf – in large sunglasses and with a full beard – suggested that his conviction on grant fraud charges may have been politically motivated. In 2008 he quit the then governing Social Democrats and backed opponents the Civic Democrats in several votes. The former politician, who insists he is innocent, went on the run in 2013 after being handed a five-year prison term and a fine of CZK 1,000,000, which he has paid.
Josef Topol, regarded as one of the most significant Czech dramatists of the second half of the 20th century, has died at the age of 80. The playwright enjoyed particular success in the 1960s. After signing the Charter 77 protest document he was only able to publish his plays in samizdat form. He was the father of the novelist Jachým Topol and the late musician Filip Topol.
The first case of suspected MERS has been identified in the Czech Republic, the country’s minister of health, Svatopluk Němeček, announced at a special briefing on Tuesday. The patient - a 25-year-old Czech man who has travelled in South Korea - is being examined for the potentially fatal respiratory infection at Prague’s Na Bulovce hospital. Since an outbreak of MERS in South Korea last month at least 150 people have contracted the disease; nineteen have died.
Speaking after EU talks in Luxembourg on Tuesday on ways to respond to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean, the Czech minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, said Prague wished to make a sovereign decision on how many asylum seekers to accept on the basis of its capacity to take them in. The Czech Republic is among those EU members that have rejected European Commission proposals for a quota system for refugee and advocates a voluntary system. Mr. Chovanec said Prague wants to help people who are fighting for their lives; however, at least 60 percent of those attempting to enter Europe via the Mediterranean are economic migrants, in his view. Under the EC’s plans, the Czech Republic would have to take in over 1,300 people from Syria and Eritrea.
A group of Czech zookeepers have flown to the Georgian capital Tbilisi to provide help at the city’s zoo, which was devastated by flash flooding at the weekend. Seven Czechs are taking part in the mission, including five from Prague Zoo and one each from the zoos in Ústí nad Labem and Zlín. Prague Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said the Czech zookeepers could share know-how gained when his institution was inundated in 2002 and 2013.
Populist senator Tomio Okamura has registered a new political party named Freedom and Direct Democracy (Svoboda a přímá demokracie in Czech) after being sidelined in his previous grouping Dawn. Speaking at the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday, Mr. Okamura said his party was in favour of a Czech exit from the European Union and would push for a “zero tolerance” policy on immigrants. Freedom and Direct Democracy are now accepting new members and will hold their first policy congress in September, the Czech-Japanese businessman said.
President Zeman wants increased security at Prague Castle residence
President Miloš Zeman has requested that security be beefed up at his Prague Castle residence, the minister of the interior, Milan Chovanec, told journalists after a meeting with the head of state on Monday evening. Mr. Chovanec said the president had called for measures to increase the safety of visitors and the protection of historical landmarks. The minister said changes at Prague Castle would “be visible” but refused to specify individual measures. The two men also discussed the European Commission’s proposal for compulsory refugee quotas, with Mr. Zeman expressing support for the Czech government’s opposition to the plan.
A classical music concert will be held inside the Blanka tunnel complex in Prague on August 20. Up to 10,000 people are expected to attend the free performance by the Prague Philharmonia, said the organiser Ondřej Kobza, a café owner and civic activist who previously brought free pianos to the Czech capital. The construction of the CZK 37 billion tunnel, which should have been completed four years ago, has been accompanied by legal disputes and controversy. Blanka now has a launch date of mid-September but the Czech News Agency reported there were some doubts as to whether it would be ready by then.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary