Prague residents whose homes have been damaged by the building of a tunnel could soon receive a legal guarantee of reparation from the city authorities. The chairman of City Hall’s control committee František Hoffman said on Sunday that within two weeks he would present councillors with a document pledging to repair buildings in the Letná district damaged by the construction of the Blanka tunnel. In some cases financial compensation would be paid. Cracks have appeared in some apartment buildings in the area, while parts of some facades have fallen off.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Monday upheld a fine imposed by the antimonopoly office on the bus company ČSAD. According to a previous decision of the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition, the state-owned carrier misused its dominant position on the market when it refused to allow its rival Student Agency access to the bus terminal in Liberec for its Prague-Liberec routes. ČSAD was hitherto the sole bus carrier on the line. The office originally fined ČSAD 2.5 million crowns, and later reduced the penalty to 2 million.
The City of Prague has filed an appeal with the Ministry of Culture against the 3.25 million crown fine it has received for improper repair of one of the country’s main monuments, Charles Bridge. Prague City Hall has called the review process, overseen by the Region of Plzeň, “amateurish”, and says it will take its appeal to court should it fail in the ministry. The Ministry of Culture itself has previously criticised the city for shoddy masonry work on the 15th century bridge, among other things. Charles Bridge is the second oldest stone bridge in the Czech Republic. It has been undergoing restoration for the last two years.
Officials of Prague 10 town hall have offered to buy the Ďolíček soccer stadium so that Prague’s Bohemians, which have been playing there for almost 80 years, can stay at Ďolíček instead of having to move to another stadium. Prague 10 town hall officials said they made the offer on Wednesday. The CTY Group, which owns the majority of stocks in the stadium, has not yet responded. The current price of the stadium is estimated at 75 million crowns. Prague 10 hall had earmarked 55 million crowns to purchase the stadium in 2003, but the sale fell through. Fans of the Bohemians team have now started a collection to raise the remaining 20 million crowns. The CTY Group is planning to close Ďolíček due to a necessary renovation that would cost hundreds of millions of crowns, but some say that the real reason behind the closing is the fact that the stadium is in a very valuable real estate location.
In many European cities these days, the bicycle is a completely normal means of transport. In Copenhagen, for example, well over a third of all journeys are made by bike. This is far from being the case in Prague, where cycling amid the city’s heavy traffic and cobbles has more in common with adrenalin sports. But things are changing. More and more people are cycling to work every morning, and, step by step, politicians and planners are beginning to realise that cyclists deserve their bit of space on the city streets. To draw attention to the needs
In celebration of Earth Day, the Czech Scout Association handed out small tree plants at several metro stops in Prague on Thursday. People can take the trees and plant them at a location of their choice, making their city greener. Participants of the project “Growing Up Among Trees” can also send in photographs of the tree they planted, which will be collected and published on the scout association’s website. Jan Žáček is a scout member and was at Prague’s Náměstí Míru event, where some of the 2000 trees were handed out.
A 24-year-old man is in a serious condition after falling from the statue of St Wenceslas on Prague’s Wenceslas Square in the early hours of Wednesday. The man, who is not Czech, was drunk at the time. He is reported to have broken several bones and sustained other injuries in the fall, which took place around 3:30 am. The man refused to comply with police calls for him to get down for a period of half an hour. When he did decide to dismount the statue he slipped when half-way down and plunged several metres to the ground. The man could now also face a fine.
The spokesman for public broadcaster Czech TV, Ladislav Šticha, has revealed that 1.5 million local viewers watched a live broadcast on Thursday on the signing of the new Start treaty at Prague Castle by the US and Russian presidents. By comparison, the figure is lower than the number of those who tuned in for coverage of last year’s visit by Pope Benedict XVI – more than 2.3 million, or the number of those who saw Barack Obama’s speech outside Prague Castle last year, in which he outlined his vision for a world free of nuclear weapons. That was seen by 1.7 million people.
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