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28-07-2019

President has to act without delay on minister issue, says head of Constitutional Court

The Czech Constitution dictates that the president is obliged to satisfy the prime minister’s request to recall a member of his government, the President of the Constitutional Court Pavel Rychetský told the daily Lidové noviny in an interview published on Sunday. The judge went on to say that while the specific date for the action is not stipulated in law, the president should act without delay. In such a situation, Dr. Rychetsky says, the presidential function is not that of an institution cooperating with the prime minister, but rather one that executes his decision.

President Miloš Zeman has recently come under criticism for his delay in accepting the resignation of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk and his unwillingness to accept the Social Democrat nominee for the position, Michal Šmarda. The Czech Senate voted in favour of a constitutional complaint against the president’s actions earlier this week and the complaint will now be subject to a vote in the lower house of Parliament before it can be reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

Politicians responsible for overseeing BIS satisfied with counterintelligence service

Most deputies who are members of the Permanent Commission on Oversight over the Security Information Service (BIS), the country's civilian counterintelligence agency, believe it is doing good work. The information is the result of a Czech News Agency survey conducted on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Intelligence Services Act which defined their tasks and control mechanisms.

The deputy-head of the commission Robert Králíček from the ANO party said that it is also thanks to the good work of BIS that the country is one of the safest in the world. Another committee member, Marek Benda from the Civic Democrats, praised the service's intelligence liaison capabilities, as well as its work on countering terrorist and cyber threats. He did say however, that in the area of economic threats he felt the service relied too much on rumours.

Some opposition members of the committee highlighted their worries over the service in view of pressure from President Miloš Zeman, who expressed himself unfavourably about its work in 2018, while Radek Rozvoral from the Freedom and Direct Democracy party said that Czech intelligence services were doing good work but should be more careful with some of the statements they release publicly.

Summer Film School in Uherské Hradiště kicks-off by honouring director Hynek Bočan

The 45th annual Summer Film School in Uherské Hradiště saw its opening ceremony on Saturday evening. At the launch, film and television screenwriter Hynek Bočan received the annual Association of Czech Film Clubs Award. The association said the playful and intelligent nature of Mr. Bočan's films were among the reasons behind the award. The 81-year-old's new film Bumerang was then screened at the festival.

Polish director Lech Majewski and Slovak actor Milan Lasica are also expected to receive awards this year.

The ten day long Summer Film School features 200 films and will run until August 4th. This year, organisers have divided the programme into three sections: History, the Present and Czechia/Slovakia.

Social Affairs Ministry plans to increase state allowance for children's homes

An amendment to the child protection law, currently being prepared by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, is counting on increasing the monthly state allowance for children in child homes by about a quarter to CZK 28,200 in 2020, the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday.

Currently there are 57 such homes in the Czech Republic with 815 spots for children, but childcare management has long been complaining about the lack of funding.

Because the number of children in child homes is decreasing, the ministry does not expect this will lead to increased expenses. Instead, the number of spaces at such facilities will be lowered and the length at which children stay there decreased.

Majority of Czechs find tattoos appealing, claims survey

Having a tattoo is no longer a social stigma or a potential career problem, at least according to a July survey conducted by market researcher Behavio, which gathered 3,500 respondents. More than a half of respondents said they find tattoos appealing, while only one fifth believes that they could cause their owners problems at the workplace.

While tattoos are largely seen as fine, more than a third of people who have one said they regret getting it today. Most usually, these respondents said it was the result of a rash decision during their youth.

Weather

Cloudy weather is expected on Monday, with some areas of the country likely to witness severe thunderstorms. Temperatures are likely to lie between 26 to 30 degrees Celsius.

28-07-2019