Former ANO deputy leader Radmila Kleslová has resigned from her posts in city companies, citing a media campaign against her person. According to information released by the Pirate party this week, Ms Kleslová, who is also the mayor of Prague 10, reportedly received 360,000 crowns a month for counselling from the capital’s main electricity distribution company, Pražská energetika, and from the heating company Pražská teplárenská. Three other firms, the ČEZ energy giant, Czech fuel distributor Čepro and the Czech state-owned train operator České dráhy have already suspended cooperation with the politician in the past.
The Social Democratic Party leadership has called on the Olomouc Regional Governor Jiří Rozbořil, who faces charges of corruption, to resign from office. The party leadership has also recommended the regional Social Democratic Party branch to start looking for a new leader for the upcoming regional elections. Mr. Rozbořil, however, told the Czech News Agency that he refused to step down. The regional governor was detained last week within an anti-corruption operation that also involved senior police officers. He has filed a complaint against the charges, which he says are the result of a misunderstanding. Last week, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka repeatedly called on the governor to resign.
Prague councillors have removed four out of eleven members of the City Hall Assembly from office, including the Green Party deputy mayor Matěj Stropnický, citing poor performance. The head of the Green Party, Ondřej Mirovský, said the dismissal of Mr Stropnický was a blatant termination of the coalition agreement. The City Hall has been governed by a three-way coalition of the Greens, the Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents. Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová said on Friday that the functioning of the coalition has not been affected, adding that further steps will be debated next week.
Fifty Czech police officers will assist Hungary in patrolling its stretch of the Schengen border from November 1. They will help secure the border with Serbia in three different localities, a spokesman for the Police Presidium said on Friday. The officers, who will serve at the border for a period of one month, are due to depart at the end of October. Twenty Czech soldiers have been operating in the area since last week.
Spanish novelist Eduardo Mendoza Garriga has been presented with this year’s Franz Kafka Prize, which the Franz Kafka Society annually awards for outstanding literary work and which carries a reward of $10,000. Mendoza Garriga, a contemporary historical Spanish novelist, is the 15th winner of the Franz Kafka Prize, the only international literary prize awarded in the Czech Republic. The international jury praised his narrative skills, human approach to the depicted events and a sharp sense of humour.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Prague Siri Ellen Sletner has said that the Norwegian courts will act as speedily as possible in dealing with the case of the Michalák brothers and the family will be able to make use of all the legal services Norway offers in such circumstances. Ms Michaláková lost the right to have regular contact with her children on the suspicion of past sexual abuse but the allegations were never proven in court. Recently, the Norwegian authorities ruled the younger child could be adopted by his foster parents and that the mother would no longer be allowed even limited access to the older boy. The decision has triggered strong criticism from the Czech authorities. The children’s mother has said she would explore all avenues of appeal in Norway and if that fails to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. The Norwegian ambassador expressed the hope that the controversial case would not damage the two countries’ good relations.
In the first two weeks of a nation-wide police operation against underage drinking in pubs and restaurants, officers are reported to have detained 236 drunk teenagers under 18. Eight of them were under 15 and one 17-year-old had a 3.25 blood alcohol concentration level, which is close to a lethal dose. The operation in which police are checking out discos, pubs and restaurants to make sure that alcohol is not being sold to minors will last until the end of the year.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has rejected the accusations levelled against the Czech Republic as “unwarranted”, saying that the country had always striven to adhere to international agreements and laws and was taking the same approach in the migrant crisis. The prime minister said that the conditions in detention centers were good and the demands made on migrants were reasonable and UN inspectors were welcome to come and judge the situation for themselves. “We will be happy to show them all our migrant facilities, which we have expanded in the last few months to give migrants more space and better conditions,” Mr. Sobotka said. The prime minister said that in his view Czech migrant facilities had become an issue because a number of Czech organizations had put them in the spotlight.
Czech interior Minister Milan Chovanec likewise dismissed the criticism from the UN as unjustified saying that the detentions are legal and that the ministry is continuously working to improve conditions in its centers for migrants. "We are improving conditions for refugees and we do not think that we are breaching any directives or international treaties," the minister told reporters in reaction to the U.N. statement. He said Mr. Hussein was welcome to come to the Czech Republic and assess the situation in person.
Visiting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday met for talks with the Speaker of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Jan Hamáček. They discussed security in the Middle East, the migrant crisis in Europe and bilateral cooperation. Hamáček said Czech-Israeli relations were on an excellent level and the two countries could collaborate in a number of spheres such as defense. Later in the day the Israeli president and his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman paid homage to Holocaust victims at the National Cemetery in Terezin and attended the opening of an Israeli-Czech business forum.
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