Daily news summary Daily news summary

30-01-2019

Senators filing suit against President Zeman for “gross violations of the Constitution”

Senators from the Liberal Democratic Caucus - Senator 21 say they will take legal action against President Miloš Zeman for alleged gross violations of the Constitution.

Senator 21 caucus head, Václav Láska, told reporters the impetus stemmed from improper interventions by the president and his staff.

Last week a proposal by another Senator 21 member to file a “constitutional action” against President Zeman over suspicions he had tried to exert influence over the courts was rejected, as he hadn’t secured the backing of at least one-third of the Senate to do so.

MPs: Zeman and Mynář did not endanger top courts’ independence

The Chamber of Deputies judiciary subcommittee says the independence of the Supreme Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court was not endangered by communications with the president, Miloš Zeman, and his chancellor, Vratislav Mynář. Chairman Pavel Blažek said this position had been reached unanimously by the subcommittee. It also recommended that judges report any attempts to sway their rulings to the chairs of their courts.

Mr. Zeman and his right hand man have been accused in recent weeks of seeking to influence court decisions. Mr. Mynář, who appeared before the judiciary subcommittee last week, denies any wrongdoing.

Remains of confessor of King Přemysl Otakar II found in Bohemian monastery

The remains of a Dominican monk who served as the confessor Přemysl Otakar II, “the Iron and Golden King”, who reigned as King of Bohemia in the 13th Century, have been discovered in south Bohemia.

Archaeologists said on Wednesday they found the remains of Jindřich Librarius in a wooden vault at a monastery in the city of České Budějovice.

According to legend, he was both confessor and confidant to Otakar II, a member of the Přemyslid dynasty who reigned as King of Bohemia from 1253 until his death in 1278.

Oldest living Czech turns 109, birthday wish is for more sunlight

The oldest citizen of the Czech Republic, Marie Schwarzová of Brno, celebrated her 109th birthday on Wednesday.

According to a district mayor, who attended a ceremony in her honour and asked if she had any birthday wishes, Mrs Schwarzová said she would like a linden tree on her street to be trimmed so as to allow more sunlight into her home.

Mrs Schwarzová, a former teacher and amateur actress, was born in Brno in 1910, when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Czech central bank issues special coins, banknotes with 100-year logo

The Czech National Bank on Wednesday issued a second series of three 20-crown coins and a special 100-crown banknote in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Czechoslovak currency.

People queued for hours to be among the first to get the coins, which feature portraits of the First Republic economists – First Minister of Finance Alois Rašín; his successor, Karel Englis; and the first governor of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia, Vilém Pospíšil.

The issue is part of the central bank’s “Personalities of the Czechoslovak State” edition featuring the Czech and Slovak political figures.

In October, it released into circulation 20-crown coins with portraits of the founding fathers of Czechoslovakia – Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and Rastislav Štefánik.

German far-right groups conducting firearms training in Czechia, Bulgaria

The German government said in a parliamentary session that members of domestic far-right groups have in recent years been traveling to Central and Eastern Europe to train with firearms.

MPs spoke about two countries in particular, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

According to Berlin, several members of a German neo-Nazi group were arrested in September following a trip to Czechia, and on that occasion “a large quantity of ammunition” had been seized.

Karel Lánský, who led secret broadcasts after 1968 invasion, dies aged 94

Karel Lánský, who kept independent Czechoslovak Radio on the airwaves for eight dramatic days after the Soviet led-invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, has died at the age of 94.

He had ensured broadcasting from secret locations in Prague and ran the operation directly from his flat. He later signed Charter 77 and after 1989, returned to lead the international service of Czechoslovak Radio (Radio Prague).

For his bravery, Mr Lánský was awarded the country’s highest state distinction, the Order of the White Lion, last year, on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.

Tax authority bars Huawei from tender for website handling sensitive data

The Czech Republic’s taxation authority has excluded the Chinese company Huawei from a public tender procedure for a CZK 500 million tax-filing website, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. The Financial Administration took the decision on the basis of a command from the National Cyber and Security Information Agency issued to 160 organisations key to the running of the country.

The agency last month warned of the dangers of using software or hardware from Huawei or ZTE, another Chinese company, and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš subsequently ordered the country’s most important public and private entities to review their usage of such products.

The planned website Moje daně should simplify the submission of tax returns and will handle sensitive data.

Weather outlook

Thursday should be partly cloudy with daytime highs of -1 to 3 degrees Celsius.

30-01-2019