The police officer who went on a car-smashing spree in Prague’s Vinohrady district after getting drunk has apologized for his behavior and promised to cover the 2 million crown damages incurred. The 46-year-old officer and former instructor at the police academy crashed 51 cars parked along Prague’s Vinohradská street, ramming one vehicle after another with his SUV. Tests revealed more than one per mille of alcohol in his blood. It later emerged that he was uninsured.
A drunk Czech lorry driver reversed half a mile back down Britain's busy M6 motorway, criss-crossing lanes and putting dozens of others at risk, the Daily Mail reported. The 56-year-old –driver was jailed for six months for dangerous driving and being drunk at the wheel. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and will have to take a test to get his license back, the paper says. Formánek pleaded guilty to both charges before being sentenced at Stafford Crown Court last month.
Former lawyer Zdenek Altner who is to receive 337 million crowns from the Social Democratic Party on a court order says he will use all legal means to enforce the payment. The party has lodged an appellate review request with the Supreme Court is delaying making the payment on the grounds that the money could end up in a foreign account and would be hard to retrieve if the court’s ruling goes in its favour. Altner has asked for the money to be transferred to a Swiss bank account.
Sixteen Iraqi refugees who were detained by the Czech police as they were preparing to cross the Czech-German border illegally, have once again filed for asylum in the country. The group was part of a relocation project for 150 Iraqi Christians at risk who were due to settle in the Czech Republic. This is the second large group which tried to move to Germany just weeks after being granted asylum. The group was detained a few kilometers from the Czech-German border and confirmed their intention to make an illegal crossing. The two drivers they hired are likely to be charged with people smuggling. The previous group of 25 refugees were detained on German soil and will shortly be returned to the Czech Republic. The Czech government last week voted to cancel the relocation program.
Deputies in the lower house have watered down a proposal by the Senate to regulate opening hours on public holidays. The original proposal which would have closed stores of over 200 square meters on eight of the country’s twelve public holidays was reduced to three public holidays only – December 25th, 26th and January 1st. The proposed changes were preceded by heated debate and a great deal of lobbying from the Association of Trade and Tourism which is vehemently opposed to restrictions on shopping hours. The bill will now go back to the Senate which may try to reverse the process once more. Attempts to regulate shopping hours have been an issue for years and have repeatedly been rejected by lawmakers.
A poll among Prague teachers indicates that they are increasingly the target of aggression from students and schoolchildren. Forty of the 2,000 teachers polled said they had been physically attacked in the classroom in the past three years. A quarter of all teachers said they had at some point experienced a verbal attack. 48 percent of teachers said they had reported the attack and asked for help in dealing with the situation, 37 percent said they had dealt with it themselves.
The police’s special anti-corruption unit Kobra has charged 11 people working in the advertising business with tax fraud. The group allegedly produced fictitious invoices for non-existent advertisement work. The damage to state coffers has been estimated at 240 million crowns. If convicted they could face prison sentences of up to ten years.
The migrant crisis is making Czechs increasingly wary of foreigners, according to a poll conducted by the STEM agency. The number of people who think an ethnic group or minority should have the right to live in the Czech Republic according to its own traditions has dropped by almost a half to 25 percent in the past two years. Only 25 percent of respondents now say requests for Czech citizenship should be granted without regard to nationality or ethnicity. And three quarters of Czechs now consider foreigners to be a security threat.
Czechia in English and other variants of the Czech Česko in other languages will be put forward as the shortened name of the Czech Republic, top constitutional officials decided late Thursday. The formulation, which still has to be approved by the government, will be sent to the United Nations with foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek expecting it to take two or three months at the most for the process of registering the new country name to be completed. The choice has evoked opposition. Minister for Regional Development Karla Šlechtová said she wanted to stick with the use of Czech Republic and pointed at that the longer domain name had been registered at a cost of billions of crowns. She added that she was worried that Czechia will be confused with Chechnya, the troubled Russian province.
In football, Sparta Prague were knocked out of the Europa League at the last eight stage at home on Thursday night. Sparta went down 2:4 against Spanish club Villarreal. The Spaniards were already 3:0 up at half time with another goal soon after. Sparta pulled back with goals by Dočkal and Krejčí with just under 20 minutes left on the clock but failed to pull off a miracle. Sparta’s makeshift defense was cruelly exposed in the first half while neat play while a series of chances at the other end failed to win any reward. Sparta lost the away leg 1:2.
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Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’