News City Hall announces planned changes to blue zones

16-06-2014 16:35 | Jan Velinger

City Hall has announced planned changes to Prague’s parking system: until now, so-called blue zones were reserved for local residents and businesses but a new phone app will make it possible for motorists to pay and park in blue-marked spaces for up to two hours. The planned change is primarily to make life easier for entrepreneurs who have found it exceedingly difficult to park in areas during the day. In addition, parking spots will also be labelled in orange and purple: purple will be for residents or for non-residents who pay via parking meter. The system should be broadened to districts that did not use blue zones until now. The proposal will still have to be passed by city councilors.

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Education ministry: Czech schools should not limit use of religious symbols

29-05-2015 10:06 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech schools should not insist on any general limitation of the use of religious symbols by their students in their school rules, the Education Ministry said in a manual for school principals released yesterday. They can only do so for the sake of security and health protection in a specific situation, the manual says. Headscarves have become an issue in the Czech Republic after a medical school in Prague banned two students from wearing them more than a year ago. Ombudsman Anna Šabatová then demanded that the school rules be changed, arguing that the school indirectly discriminated against the girls. 

PM Sobotka wants to dismiss education minister Marcel Chládek

29-05-2015 10:06 | Ruth Fraňková

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has announced his intention to dismiss the Minister of Education, Marcel Chládek. Mr Sobotka made the announcement on Thursday in a press release, citing the daily Mladá Fronta, which claimed that the minister was bullying his subordinates at the ministry. According to the daily, nine women at the ministry who had been in daily contact with Mr Chládek have given notice in the past 16 months. He will be the first minister for the Social Democrats to lose his post in the current coalition government. 

CVVM poll: ANO would win general election

28-05-2015 18:16 | Ruth Fraňková

The ANO Party lead by businessman Andrej Babiš would come first in the general election with 33 percent of the vote, according to a poll by the CVVM agency released on Thursday. The Social Democrats of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka would finish second with 29.5 percent, the survey indicates. The Communist Party would come third with 13 percent of the vote, followed by TOP 09 with seven percent, Civic Democrats with 6.5 percent and Christian Democrats with five percent. The Greens, Pirates and the Dawn Party did not pass the five-percent threshold to enter the lower house. 

President Zeman says his reasons not to appoint professors are serious

28-05-2015 17:53 | Ruth Fraňková

President Miloš Zeman is due to meet the minister of education, Marcel Chládek and rectors of two universities on Thursday over the three academics he refuses to name professors. Mr Zeman said on Thursday that he will hand over the heads of Charles University and the University of Economics classified materials which prove that the candidates cooperated with the communist secret police. The president said he is convinced that the rectors will understand his decision not to appoint the three candidates, Ivan Ošťádal, Jiří Fajt and Jan Eichler, professors. 

Kvitová reaches third round at French Open

28-05-2015 16:41 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has reached the third round at French Open for the third time in her career. Kvitová, who is seeded fourth, overcame Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain 6-7 6-4 6-2 on Thursday at Roland Garros. Another Czech, Karolína Plíšková, has failed to advance to the third round, losing to Romania’s Andreea Mitu 6-2 6-7 4-6. 

Prague 6 cleared to drink tap water again

28-05-2015 16:22 | Ruth Fraňková

Tap water in Prague 6, which was contaminated by coliform bacteria, is drinkable again. Prague chief hygiene officer Zdeňka Jágrová made the announcement at a meeting at Prague City Council on Thursday. At least 460 people were treated for diarrhoea, vomiting and fevers between Friday and Thursday after drinking the contaminated water.

According to the head of the Prague Waterworks company, Petr Mrkoš, said the tap water was contaminated by the sewage water from a nearby construction site, where a sewage pipe has been damaged by construction workers. The company on Monday said they will pay each resident who suffered health problems 5,000 crowns in compensation, on the basis of a doctor’s certificate, and those who were hospitalized an even higher sum. 

Czech exports to Russia drop by 35.8 percent in first quarter of 2015

28-05-2015 14:36 | Ruth Fraňková

Czech exports to Russia dropped by 35.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced on Thursday. In that period Czech companies exported goods to Russia worth nearly 18 billion crowns. The decline was mainly due to EU sanctions against Russia but also due several large contracts being completed by the end of 2014. According to the expectations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the overall result for 2015 should not be so dramatic, although it is likely to exceed last year’s figure. In 2014, Czech exports to Russia dropped by 2.7 percent. 

Twenty people evacuated in Pilsen over unexploded anti-tank missile

28-05-2015 14:18 | Ruth Fraňková

A man died on Thursday morning after jumping out of a window of an apartment house in Pilsen. Some twenty people subsequently had to be evacuated from the house after the police found an anti-tank missile in the man’s apartment. According to a Pilsen police spokeswoman, the 42-year-old man, who allegedly suffered from mental problems, committed suicide. 

Study: Czech families with three or more children most threatened by poverty

28-05-2015 13:22 | Ruth Fraňková

Around a third of Czech families with children have serious problems making ends meet, according to data released by the Czech Statistical office on Thursday. Some 45 percent of families with three or more children and 55 percent of one-parent families have insufficient income and are threatened by poverty, the study suggests. At the same time, the real earnings of Czech households have gone up. In 2013, the average income per person reached 153,300 crowns, increasing for the first time since 2009. 

Radek Jiránek to head Czech government Agency for Social Inclusion

28-05-2015 12:10 | Ruth Fraňková

Radek Jiránek, head of the crime prevention department at the Czech Interior Ministry, has been named the new head of the Czech government Agency for Social Inclusion, which is aimed at helping integrate Roma and other deprived groups, into mainstream society. He is to take up the post on June 5. Mr Jiránek, will replace the agency’s long-time head Martin Šimáček, who was recently sacked by the Minister for Human Right, Jiří Dientsbier, who cited poor communication and the fact that Mr. Šimáček had refused to discuss a planned reorganization. 



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