Daily news summary News

03-08-2005

Senate committee criticises police intervention against CzechTek

The Senate's Defence and Security Committee said on Wednesday that the police were too heavy-handed in the break-up of the CzechTek techno party this weekend; the Human Rights Committee intends to call on the Interior Ministry to launch an official investigation. The Czech justice ministry has also asked the Pilsen state attorney's office and an independent law firm to make an assessment on the police intervention. Eighty-nine police officers and a few dozen ravers are reported to have been wounded during Saturday's operation.

Protest demonstrations continue; PM visits CzechTek site

Protest demonstrations against the police operation continued at several cities around the country on Wednesday. CzechTek organisers have said they would not participate in talks proposed by the interior ministry. The meeting between them was to be mediated by former Czech President Vaclav Havel, who has publicly condemned the police operation. On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek visited the site in west Bohemia at which CzechTek was held.

CzechTek participant missing; friends fear him dead

Meanwhile, the organisers of protest demonstrations say they fear another CzechTek participant is dead. They say the French national had to be taken to hospital with injuries suffered during the police intervention and has not been seen by his family and friends for the last two days. The hospital says it has no record of a Frenchman admitted over the weekend. A CzechTek participant died on Saturday after he was hit by a car, while crossing a nearby motor-way.

Social Democrats accuse opposition party of using CzechTek affair to gain popularity

The senior ruling coalition partners, the Social Democrats, have accused the opposition centre-right Civic Democrats of using the CzechTek affair to gain popularity by publicly condemning the police operation, which has been backed by the prime and interior ministers. The Civic Democrats have called an emergency meeting of leaders of the four non-Communist parliamentary parties to evaluate Saturday's operation. The Social Democrats said on Wednesday that they would not attend.

Commercial inspection office warns consumers of restaurants and textile companies

Ceska Obchodni Inspekce, the Czech commercial inspection office, says most clothing stores and a large number of restaurants are overcharging customers. During a two-month inspection earlier this year, it found that 71 percent of the close to 500 textile companies it inspected had broken regulations. In the first six months of the year, 43 percent of over 3,500 restaurants monitored overcharged customers. Following numerous complaints from tourists, the office is currently inspecting exchange bureaux in the country's most popular tourist destinations.

Weather

The next few days are expected to have overcast skies and occasional rain with day-time highs reaching 23 degrees Celsius.

03-08-2005