The Interior Minister Stanislav Gross has expressed dissatisfaction with the way police handled a neo-Nazi concert east of Prague over the weekend. At a press conference in Prague minister Gross said the police had failed to intervene in the face of racial abuse and neo-Nazi propaganda and he would make sure that there was no repetition of the incident in future.
The weekend concert in the town of Senohraby, has created plenty of controversy. The locals have slammed the mayor for failing to prevent it and many vow never to enter the restaurant where it took place.
Meanwhile, Czech anarchists have said they will do their utmost to prevent future neo-Nazi gatherings in the Czech Republic. "If the police refuse to take action we will take the matter into our own hands" left-wing radical Jakub Polak told the CTK news agency on Monday. He said he was not ruling out violence, if that was what it would take to stop neo-Nazis gathering in the Czech Republic. Anarchists have filed a complaint against the police for not charging anyone in connection with the concert. Jana Chalupova of the President's Office has also filed similar charges, saying that the posters announcing the event were openly racist. TV cameras caught a participant doing the Nazi salute in the face of several police officers, but police have yet to file charges, saying that the film material is being examined. The concert attracted 400 right wing extremists from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Britain, Germany and Poland.
A Prague court has sent a serial rapist to prison for 8 and a half years. The man who terrorized Prague's Jizny Mìsto area late last year was found guilty of attacking and sexually abusing 9 women. Only several cases were presented as rape since according to current Czech law neither forced anal nor oral sex is considered rape. In the latter cases the man was merely charged with "restricting the women's freedom of movement", despite the fact that they were threatened with a knife and sexually abused. The present legislation has been subject to heavy criticism and an amendment is currently in the pipeline.
The Czech authorities want to speed up extradition of asylum seekers who do not meet the set immigration criteria. The number of people seeking political asylum in the Czech Republic grows with every passing year. In the month of March alone immigration officials dealt with over 1,600 applications. With immigration camps bursting at the seams, the Czech government has approved an amendment to the law shortening the time in which a decision has to be made on the cases which do not fulfill the country's immigration criteria. The proposed law should enable obviously unsuitable applicants to be turned back from the country's borders or international airports within a matter of hours.
The Czech National Bank has made public a projected "inflation corridor" up until the year 2005. This year's inflation target is between two and four percent. For the year 2002 the bank's inflation target is set between three and five percent after which it should remain within an inflation corridor leading to between 2 and 4 percent in the year 2005. No further annual inflation targets will be set between those two values. The Czech government has approved the decision.
The Czech government has approved a new draft law against air pollution. The bill brings Czech legislation into line with EU law and reflects international agreements and obligations, including the UN Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change according to which the Czech Republic must reduce emissions of the most harmful pollutants by 8% by the year 2012. The proposed draft law introduces a new system of sanctions against polluters and sets new barriers with respect to import and export of dangerous substances.
The Czech Veterinary Authority is reported to have given the go ahead for the spread of large amounts of anti-rabies vaccine in three regions where the disease appeared early this year. The vaccine is to be dumped from the air as soon as weather conditions are optimal, in the meantime it is being distributed in high risk areas by gamekeepers. The disease, which is reported to have affected mainly foxes, has appeared after a 6 year break in Rychnov nad Kneznou, Usti nad Orlici and Svitava.
Finally a quick look at the weather forecast: Monday night is expected to be cold and overcast with temps between 3 and minus one degs. C. Tuesday will be another partly cloudy to overcast day with scattered showers and snow in the higher altitudes. Afternoon highs between 9 and 13 degs C.
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