Dozens of Vespa scooters threaded their way through the streets of Prague on Saturday afternoon with around 200 owners of the iconic machines taking part in the seventh international meet up in the Czech capital. The tour included Wenceslas Square, the Vitkov hill, and Žižkov area. The event was due to continue Sunday.
Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek wants to put himself forward as president of the Social Democrat party, the daily Právo reported on Saturday. Zaorálek is already the election leader for the left of centre party for upcoming elections for the lower house of parliament in October so becoming official head of the party would be a logical step. Current Social Democrat prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka already announced he does not want to lead the party in the elections. The current stand-in party president is interior minister Milan Chovanec.
Czech medical cannabis for local buyers is likely to be more expensive than last year’s price of 100 crowns/gramme, according to public broadcaster Czech Television. Czech producer Elkoplast Slušovice, the sole local company that has tendered to continue supplies, has warned the state agency for the control of drugs of its intention to increase prices. Company bosses told the broadcaster the price should be twice as high. Dutch supplies for the Czech market are currently priced at 300 crowns/gramme. The agency, the SÚKL, will rule in the following week on the price rise.
The combination of the Christian Democrats and mayors and independents, STAN, would have won support from 9.5 percent of Czechs according to a survey carried out by the Median survey agency up till 24 July. The coalition was called off by the Christian Democrats following fears that they would not reach the 10 percent target for support needed to win seats in the lower house of parliament. The poll put ANO in the lead with 27.5 percent support, followed by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia with 14.5 percent, and the Social Democrats with 14 percent. Support for the centre-right Civic Democrats was registered at 11.0 percent and for the TOP 09 party at 7.5 percent.
League newcomers Baník Ostrava won the first game of the new Czech football season. Former Czech international Milan Baroš helped the visitors beat Zbrojovka Brno after coming on as a substitute in the second half and putting the game beyond Brno with a third goal when they threatened a comeback. The final score was 1:3. Baroš joked that he hoped Ostrava would stay at the same position at the top of the league for the rest of the season. The remaining league games take place over the weekend.
Around four fifths of Czechs regard drug use as a problem according to a survey carried out by the CVVM agency. Half of the respondents, however, regarded the responsible institutions are dealing with the question adequately. Two fifths also said they believed that treatment for addicts should be free. The survey was carried out in May. The latest figure of 82 percent regarding the issue as a problem is a slight fall on the 2015 figure when 88 percent said drug use was a serious issue.
The Czech minister of agriculture, Marian Jurečka, said Friday that a state of emergency should be declared in the Zlín region by the regional governor. The comments followed a meeting between the minister and experts regarding the ongoing risks stemming from African swine fever. The declaration should, according to the minister, allowed the threat to be tackled better. One of the measures that could be taken is enclosing an around 20 kilometre square area with an electric fence aimed at keeping wild boar in place.
Police have shelved their investigation into whether a crimal act was performed when former finance minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš was secretly recorded, Czech Television has reported. It cited the state prosecutor for Prague 5, Martin Černý. Proceedings were initiated by Babiš but the prosecutor said that recording someone without their permission could not be regarded as a criminal act. A former reporter for the Babiš owned newspaper, Dnes, was implicated in the recording during which the former minister rubbished some of his Social Democrat colleagues and discussed the time of printing news that could damage them.
The Czech Republic could become the dustbin of Europe with regard to sub-quality foodstuffs brought into the country without the help of the European Union, the Czech Secretary of State for European Affairs, Aleš Chmelař, commented on Friday. Chmelař added that only the EU could take a position on whether cross border discrimination existed or not. The issue of lower quality foodstuffs being sold in Central Europe was taken up by the V4 grouping of countries last week at a meeting in Budapest. Chmelař said that Visegrad leaders would address the issue again in September and hoped to see progress being made.