News Backing of former TOP 09 supporters helped Free Citizens into European Parliament, finds study

27-05-2014 12:31 | Ian Willoughby

The Free Citizens’ Party – one of six Czech groupings that won seats in the European Parliament in elections last weekend – attracted votes from people who backed TOP 09 in October’s general elections, suggests a study of voting patterns released by the group The Pirate Party, who were less than one percentage point away from taking a seat, took votes from the Green Party, according to the study. The Communists and the Christian Democrats had the highest percentage of votes from people who also supported them in the general elections. By contrast, ANO, who came first in the Euro elections, lost many previous voters to smaller parties.

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Czech Airliners unions cancel strike after deal with management

24-10-2014 15:15 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Trade unions at the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines have cancel a strike planned for next Thursday after they reached a deal with the firm’s management. Earlier this week, the troubled firm announced salary cuts and massive layoffs; some 170 of the airline’s 400 cabin crew members are set to lose their jobs under the plan. After negotiations with the trade unions, the management promise to “limit the impact” of the restructuring. However, the agreement will not affect the basic features of the plan, Václav Řehoř, the head of Czech Airlines’ mother company, Czech Aeroholding, said. 

UK cancer patient Ashya King completes proton therapy treatment

24-10-2014 12:23 | Jan Richter

Five-year-old British cancer patient Ashya King will receive a final dose of proton beam therapy on Friday, concluding his six-week long treatment at Prague’s Proton Therapy Centre, doctors at the facility said. The boy has coped well with the treatment, and is now able to eat and sit by himself and move his hands, the doctors said. He is now set to return to Spain for rehabilitation. The physicians are optimistic about the boy’s prognosis but said they would only be able to say whether the treatment has been successful in several moths’ time.

Ashya King’s story received global attention after his parents took him from a UK hospital in August without his doctors‘ consent. They took him to Spain where they were arrested before being allowed to come to Prague for the special treatment. 

MPs postpone vote on controversial child care bill

24-10-2014 12:09 | Jan Richter

The lower house of the Czech Parliament has postponed a vote on controversial child care legislation. The bill would require all nurseries, kindergartens and informal babysitting groups to comply with strict hygiene rules which critics say would threaten their existence. It would also most likely lead to the closure of some 120 outdoor nurseries known as forest kindergartens. The bill, approved by MPs last month, returned to the lower house after a presidential veto and a new vote on the legislation was on Friday. But the coalition Christian Democrats said MPs should first determine whether the bill should be amended. 

Poll: Most Czechs consider Russia “future threat”

24-10-2014 11:56 | Jan Richter

Some 65 percent of Czechs consider Russia a threat for their country’s future, according to a poll by the STEM agency. Since last year’s poll that asked the same question, their number has risen by 29 percentage points. Around 46 percent of those polled also said that Russia posed a direct threat for the Czech democracy. A majority of Czechs, 80 percent, consider the crisis in Ukraine to be a threat for peace in Europe. However, 72 percent of people who took part in the survey said they did not believe that EU sanctions against Russia would help bring the conflict in Ukraine to an end. 

Václav Klaus to head National Council for Education

24-10-2014 10:00 | Daniela Lazarová

Ex-president Václav Klaus is to head the planned National Council for Education which is to be established in 2015, Education Minister Marcel Chládek told journalists on Friday. The 15-member council is expected to issue recommendations and draft a long-term strategy which would improve the quality of education across the country. Vaclav Klaus has in the past expressed serious reservations regarding the national curriculum, the quality of education provided at Czech schools and the manner in which the performance of different learning institutions is evaluated. 

Czech National Anti-Drugs Coordination head: We need to tackle all forms of addictions

23-10-2014 17:42 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech Republic will step-up its efforts to fight all forms of addictions including drinking and smoking, National Anti-Drugs Coordination Centre head Jiří Vobořil told journalists on Thursday. Mr. Vobořil said that in the past the accent was on fighting drug additions with drinking, smoking and gambling getting significantly less attention. The authorities are particularly concerned about the number of young people who drink and smoke regularly ranking the country among the worst in Europe. 

Senate approves government’s foreign military missions plan

23-10-2014 16:48 | Daniela Lazarová

The Senate has approved the government’s foreign military missions plan for 2015 and 2016. According to the proposal Czech troops should continue to serve in international missions in Afghanistan, Mali and the Balkans. The lower house should vote on the bill next Wednesday. A decision on whether Czech soldiers should serve in the United Nations mission in the Golan Heights has been shelved for the time being. 

Kvitová keeps hopes alive of advancing at WTA Finals

23-10-2014 15:13 | Daniela Lazarová

Petra Kvitová beat world number two Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-2 in a 75 minute game at the WTA Finals in Singapore on Thursday, keeping alive her hopes of advancing in the tournament. Sharapova started well winning the opening two games, but Kvitová proved to be in top form and quickly turned the match around winning 11 of the next 12 games. Kvitová said she was feeling burnt out during her first-round loss to Agnieszka Radwanska, so decided not to practice ahead of Thursday’s game and spent the time relaxing instead. On Friday Kvitová will play against Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacka. 

Czech Airlines start handing out notices to staff

23-10-2014 13:53 | Daniela Lazarová

The national air carrier ČSA which earlier announced plans to lay-off a third of its staff started handing out notices on Thursday. The company is planning to let go 77 pilots and close to 200 flight attendants. Flight attendants’ trade unions are threatening strike action. 

Parties agree on division of posts in Prague City Council

23-10-2014 12:57 | Daniela Lazarová

The ANO party, along with the Social Democrats and the three-way coalition of the Greens, the Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents, who are holding talks on forming a coalition in Prague, have reached agreement on a division of seats in the City Council. The winning ANO, which will fill the post of mayor, is expected to hold the city’s finances, security, health and housing. The Social Democrats should get transport, social policy and European funds while the three-way grouping should take the environment, culture and infrastructure. ANO’s Adriana Krnáčová is expected to fill the post of mayor. The agreement on the division of posts has yet to be sealed by the parties’ leaderships. 



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