The Czech authorities will introduce a four point security threat scale for emergencies, Interior Minister Milan Chovancec said after a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday. The council met to hear the results of a security audit undertaken by the Interior Ministry in the wake of the Paris attacks and discuss a proposed anti-terror package. The interior minister said that there was no immediate threat to the country and the present situation did not require amendments to the law.
The sportswear of Czech athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will bear a simple sketch, a self-portrait drawn by the legendary long-distance runner Emil Zátopek, the Czech Olympic Committee revealed on Tuesday. Zátopek´s drawing will also be a part of the Czech logo. Artist Milan Jaroš who produced the logo said he had made only one alteration on Emil Zátopek’s sketch he changed the expression on the runner´s face. The original one did not smile, Jaroš said.
The Czech Food Inspection Office has closed down 40 pubs, restaurants and food stores around the country in the past ten weeks due to poor hygiene, Czech Radio reported. The most common transgressions are dirt, mice droppings and insects in kitchens or storage facilities. A complete list of the institutions that failed to comply with health norms can be found on the web page of the food inspection office.
The lower house is debating a bill aimed at banning smoking at pubs and restaurants in the Czech Republic. The bill, now in its first reading, would radically change the pub scene in the country and there has been strong lobbying against it. All previous attempts to push through an effective anti-smoking law have failed and this bill’s passage through the lower house has been slower than expected. The chances of it coming into effect in January as planned are now practically nil.
The Prague Municipal Court has ordered a rare painting dating back to 1350, Madona z Veveří, to be returned to the Czech Catholic Church. The verdict upholds an earlier ruling by a Prague 1 court. The National Gallery which currently holds the painting, had refused to give it up on the grounds that the Catholic Church lost it before the onset of the communist regime, so it could not be reclaimed within the church restitution law. The Municipal Court ruled that the state could not lay any claim to the painting.
The High State Attorney’s Office in Zurich says charges have been brought against Czech Communist Party MEP Miloslav Ransdorf and three Slovaks arrested in a Swiss bank on suspicion of attempted financial fraud last Friday. Although the Czech MEP has not received official notification of this, the spokeswoman for the office, Corinne Bouvard, said this was due to the differences in the Czech and Swiss legal system where the state attorney’s office launches criminal proceeding upon receiving a police file.
The vast majority of Czechs are opposed to fur farming, according to the outcome of a poll conducted by the CVVM agency. According to the poll data, released a press briefing in the Senate on Tuesday, 70 percent of respondents would like to see fur farms banned. Senator Ivana Cabrnochova of the Green party said the poll results should be a signal for Czech lawmakers to amend the law respectively. There are ten big fur farms in the Czech Republic breeding some ten thousand animals, mainly foxes and chinchillas.
The Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Association for Integration and Migration have announced they are setting up a fund in aid of migrants. The initiative came from the Chamber of Commerce which approached Czech firms with the idea and 738 of them responded positively, promising to make a donation or provide jobs for refugees. According to the head of the chamber Vladimir Dlouhy there would be around 2,000 job openings. The fund is to be administered by the Association for Integration and Migration and the money is to be used for the education of children, Czech lessons and requalification courses.
The Czech National Bank made no interventions on the forex market in October, according to data on the central bank's forex deals released by the bank on Tuesday. The central bank last intervened against the firming crown in September. The aim of the interventions launched in Nov 2013 is to keep the crown's rate below 27 crowns to the euro. The crown has approached this mark several times in the past months. The bank’s board recently said it may extend its forex interentions beyond 2016.
Embattled Communist Party MEP Miloslav Ransdorf met with his party leadership on Tuesday to explain the circumstances of his arrest in Switzerland last Friday. The MEP, who has not been charged, denied involvement in attempted financial fraud, saying he had only attempted to mediate with the bank on behalf of a bank client in the matter of a family inheritance. The MEP said he would now fight to clear his name. The head of the Communist Party Vojtech Filip said he was satisfied with the explanation and documents provided by Mr. Ransdorf.
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