The Czech Republic is facing heightened ethnic tension between Romanies and the majority population. In parts of northern Bohemia, animosity between the two groups culminated on Friday after two public gatherings, staged allegedly to protest against rising crime levels in the region, turned into openly racist rallies calling on the Romanies to leave. The government hopes to calm things down by increasing the police presence in the region. But experts warn that more comprehensive action is needed to prevent divisions between the communities from
Without question the town of Kutná Hora in central Bohemia is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the Czech Republic, a town with a long and fascinating history. In the 13th and 14th centuries the site became increasingly famous for silver deposits which drew miners and production that would eventually account for as much as a third of all the silver production in Europe.
If there were a capital city of legendry in the Czech Republic, the town of Nepomuk would be a hot contestant for the honour. There are said to be graves that glow when someone’s about to die, a landscape littered with the petrified cattle of a greedy pagan and the ghost of an evil musketeer who walks the earth with the still-ferocious spectre of his dog. The official population of Nepomuk may be 3,700, but that’s only if you count the living.
For centuries, the northern Bohemian town of Žatec has been the centre of hops growing in the country. Known as the home of hops and beer, the town is now trying to cope with a decline in its traditional industry. It recently launched a multi-million euro tourism project called Temple of Hops and Beer – but it is also slowly coming to terms with recent history that saw the town’s original German population replaced by Czechs in the aftermath of WWII.
The Czech Republic’s anti-monopoly watchdog has cancelled a 400-million crown tender to repair bridges in the Liberec region in the north of the country, the daily Mladá fronta dnes reported on Saturday. The winning bidder would land a deal to repair more than 50 bridges on lower class roads across the region. However, the tender’s criteria were discriminatory, the anti-monopoly authority said. The head of the Office for the Protection of Competition, Petr Rafaj, said that according to the criteria, the successful bidder would have to prove a turnover of up to 80 percent of the deal’s value, which was against the law. Regional authorities have accepted the verdict and opened a new tender.
Voters in 24 communities of Bohemia and Moravia are electing new local representatives to bodies that dissolved last year due to disputes among their members. In one area the municipal committee is being elected nine months late because no candidate could be found until now. Voting is taking place between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., after which time the results will be published by the Czech Statistical Office on the website www.volby.cz. Complete results will be available on Sunday.
The Czech Constitutional Court on Tuesday issued a groundbreaking verdict that grants the country’s towns and cities the authority to decide if and where VLTS, video lottery terminals, are placed in their municipality. Until recently, the Finance Ministry had the final say-so in the matter. Michael Canov, the mayor of Chrastava, the city that went to court over the ministry’s gaming directive and brought about the landmark ruling, speaks on the issue.
Czech towns and cities will in future be able to regulate the number of gaming machines on their premises by issuing special directives. Up until now it was the Finance Ministry which issued licenses making it difficult for the local authorities to clamp down on gambling. The Constitutional Court on Tuesday upheld a complaint by the town of Chrastava which has long fought to have a decisive say in the matter.
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