The government has failed to back a plan put forward by Minister for Human Rights Jiří Dienstbier which would have meant a mandatory quota of 40 percent of women as candidates for elections. The main opposition to the quota reportedly came from the ANO party and Christian Democrats. The provision formed part of an action plan for equality between men and woman who was passed by the Cabinet without the quota. Women currently occupy around 20 percent of seats in parliament and around 27 percent of seats on local and town councils. The action plan aims to increase the number of women in top positions in state and state controlled companies and education and research.
Police on Monday stopped a van carrying 31 immigrants from Iraq on the main motorway heading towards the main western border crossing with Germany at Rozvadov. Police said they consisted of four families without any of the required papers to transit or stay in the country. The Romanian driver of the van, which had British number plates, has also been detained on suspicion of people smuggling. The Iraqis will be questioned to determine whether they have asked for asylum anywhere in Europe. The Czech Republic is currently dealing with 132 illegal immigrants being housed in detention centres.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has indicated that his future as leader of the Social Democrats will depend on how the party fares in Senate and regional elections in the Autumn. He said in an interview with the business daily Hospodářské Noviny that he would only stand for re-election as leader in the Spring of 2017 if the party wins sufficient support from the public. He did not specify what he regarded as sufficient. The Social Democrats dominate 11 out of the 13 regions and have 33 seats in the 81 seat Senate. A third of the seats in the upper house are up for grabs.
Members of an investigative committee looking into reorganization plans in the Czech police forces is scheduled to meet in the lower house on Monday. The commission, headed by former justice minister Pavel Blažek, is expected to approve a plan of investigation and decide who is going to be questioned over the matter. The results of the enquiries should be presented to the lower house by the end of October. The reform of the Czech police forces led to a row between the leaders of the ruling coalition and to the resignation of Robert Šlachta, head of the special police unit for combating organised crime.
An annual festival of street art called Za Dveřmi or Behind the Door gets under way at Prague's Výstaviště exhibition grounds on Monday. Over the next five days, visitors can see various performances by world and Czech troups, including a ballet show of excavators or a yurt with silent cinema. The eighth edition of the festival will kick off with a circus performance called Stockholm Syndrome by Swedish circus Burnt out punks.
Czech athlete Jan Kuf won the gold medal in men’s modern pentathlon at the European Championship in Sofia on Sunday. The 25-year-old Czech finished with 1451 points, just one point ahead of Robert Kasza of Hungary. It is the second gold medal for Kuf, who also won a gold medal in mixed relay with Natálie Dianová on Wednesday.
A number of major international film productions will be using studios and outdoor locations in the Czech Republic in the second half of the year. The filming of two historical TV series, Sky Channel's Brittania and History Channel's Knightfall, got underway at the end of June. The production is expected to spend over two billion Czech crowns, Ludmila Klausová of the Czech Film Commission told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. Another series, National Geographic's Genius produced by Fox 21, is currently under preparation. In 2010, the Czech government introduced incentives for film productions to attract foreign film crews to the country. A new legislation that would make the conditions for foreign filmmakers even more favourable is currently debated.
Fifteen people died on Czech roads during the first week of summer holidays, which is five less than in the same period last year. The first holiday weekend also saw less road deaths than in 2015, according to preliminary police statistics. According to experts, milder weather conditions might be one of the reasons behind the improvement. Last year's bigger death toll was affected by the exceptionally hot weather, which prevailed throughout most of the summer.
Over 135,000 viewers attended screenings at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The festival offered 200 films, including 21 world premieres, and more than 500 screenings took place. The festival in the West Bohemian spa town also welcomed over one thousand film producers, distributors and other film professionals. The budget of the 51st edition of the Karlovy Vary Film Festival amounted to 135 million crowns, which is approximately the same as last year. The tickets and festival passes sales revenue amounted to some 5 million crowns.
Seven people suffered light injuries on Sunday morning when two passenger trains collided near Rotava in the Sokolov region in West Bohemia. Train services between Kraslice and Sokolov have been disrupted. Czech Railways arranged a replacement bus service for passengers. The material damage has been estimated at around one million crowns. The cause of the incident, which was most likely caused by a human error, is being investigated.
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