The Constitutional Court has acknowledged the Czech citizenship of the late Hugo Salm, opening the way for a large scale restitution of property. The court overturned an earlier verdict of the Supreme Court according to which Salm had not been a Czechoslovak citizen and the confiscation of his property on the basis of the post-war Benes decrees could not be legally questioned. The Constitutional Court overturned this ruling on the grounds of a certificate from March of 1946, which confirmed Salm's citizenship. His heirs may now lay claim to 7,000 hectars of land in south Moravia as well as the Rajec nad Svitavou chateau.
The Cabinet has approved a long term plan which would improve the living conditions of handicapped people and help them to integrate in society. The plan provides for a gradual removal of the existing obstacles which prevent the handicapped from attending common schools, using public transport and getting jobs. Further measures are to help handicapped people to receive home care wherever possible. The plan, which is to be put into effect between 2006 and 2009, involves over 120 steps for individual ministries to make in their respective sectors, as well as changes in legislation.
Parliament has passed in its second reading a proposed amendment to the law which would motivate the unemployed to seek jobs more actively. The bill would lower the subsistence level, thereby lowering social benefits for the unemployed. It would also lower the amount of financial support given to people with large families allegedly to prevent parents from living off their children. Romany representatives have slammed the proposal calling it racist and discriminatory and arguing that many of them cannot find work no matter how hard they try.
A regional court has sent the head of a gang which planned to smuggle 24 kilograms of heroin from the Czech Republic to Austria to nine years in prison. His two accomplices received 8 years each. The gang was arrested in May of 2004 when its members sold the drug to a plainclothes police officer.
Friday is expected to be a warm and sunny day across most of the Czech Republic with afternoon highs between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius.
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