The police in Prague dealt with over 1,200 violations of the smoking ban in pubs and restaurants in the first month after it was introduced at the end of May, a spokesperson said on Thursday. In over 1,000 cases the smokers agreed to stop on the spot, while fines were levied in around 200 cases. The average fine amounted to CZK 370.
The right-wing TOP 09 party will field representatives of the Liberal Ecological Party on its candidate lists in October’s general elections, representatives of both groupings said on Thursday. The latter’s Martin Bursík, a former minister of the environment, said TOP 09 shared his party’s outlook on the environment, foreign policy and human rights. Among the other Liberal Ecological Party members due to stand for TOP 09 are Džamila Stehlíková, a one-time human rights minister, and Olga Sommerová, a documentary maker.
Special measures are to come into force on Friday in the Zlín region and other parts of Moravia in response to the first outbreak of African swine fever in the Czech Republic. Hunters will be allowed to shoot all wild boar throughout the country and to hunt them using night vision goggles in designated areas in an effort to contain the spread of the disease, which does not normally affect humans. Meanwhile all pig breeders in the Zlín area will have to slaughter their animals by the end of July unless they have followed special hygiene guidelines.
The Czech government has sent the European Commission a statement explaining why it has not taken in any refugees under an EU compulsory relocation scheme, a spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Thursday was the deadline for the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to explain why they had not fulfilled compulsory quotas for accepting refugees. The Czech interior minister, Milan Chovanec, says Prague firmly rejects such admonitions. He said there was at present nobody in Italy or Greece who fulfilled conditions for relocation, making any Czech offer meaningless. The three states in question could ultimately be fined by the EU for non-compliance with the system.
This June was the second hottest in the Czech Republic since 1961, according to preliminary data published by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Thursday. The average temperature last month was 18.2 degrees Celsius, a value only exceeded in the period since 1961 by the 19.4 degrees Celsius recorded in 2003. It was hotter in Moravia and Silesia than in Bohemia in June.
Alphonse Mucha’s monumental series of paintings The Slav Epic should go on show at an exhibition at Prague’s Municipal House some time next year, a spokesperson for the Prague City Gallery said. The paintings have been placed in the gallery’s depositary after returning from an exhibition in Japan’s Tokyo that was seen by over 650,000 people. There are no plans at present to loan the Slav Epic to other cities outside the Czech Republic. Mucha helped create the interiors of the Art Nouveau Municipal House.
In football, the Czech Republic’s under 19 team failed to book a place in the UEFA European finals being played in Georgia. The Czechs were beaten in the last minute in the semi-final game against England with a back heeled goal by substitute Lukas Nmecha as the match appeared to be heading into extra time. The other finalists will be Portugal which beat the Netherlands by a sole goal.
Czech minister of interior, Milan Chovanec, has replied to criticism of the Czech Republic by one of the interior security experts of one of Germany’s main government parties. Armin Schuster, an expert for the CDU, attacked both the Czech Republic and Poland for their alleged failure to properly police their domestic territory. Schuster said that failure was highlighted when Germany reinstated border controls last week in connection with the G20 summit in Hamburg and many wanted people were found who had crossed into the country. Schuster added that the European Commission should quickly investigate the claimed failings. Chovanec said Schuster’s comments failed to reflect the high level of police cooperation between Czech and German forces.
In tennis, Czech player Tomáš Berdych reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon on Wednesday night. Opponent Serb Novak Djokovic retired after losing the first set on a tie-break and trailing in the second set by two games to love. Berdych will now face Swiss Roger Federer for a place in the final. Berdych, the 11th seed, last beat Federer on grass on his way to the Wimbledon finals in 2010. Federer came through his semi-final in straight sets.
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