News Civic Democrats file complaint with Constitutional Court over charging of Nečas

25-03-2014 13:38 | Ian Willoughby

The Civic Democrats have filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court over the charging of former party leader and prime minister Petr Nečas on suspicion of bribery. Twenty-seven MPs from the deputies groups of the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 have signed the complaint, a spokesperson for the former party said on Tuesday. Mr. Nečas is accused of having bribed three then Civic Democrat MPs with lucrative posts at semi-state companies in 2012 for not toppling his government. The three were charged with bribe-taking last summer but released under parliamentary immunity. Mr. Nečas’s government fell in the wake of the police operation, in which his then chief aide and future wife Jana Nagyová was also charged.

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Former president comes to Forejt’s defence

07-12-2016 16:17 | Jan Velinger

Former president Václav Klaus has published stinging criticism on his website attacking the manner in which the head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, had – in his view – been targeted. The response came a day after the release of incriminating material which allegedly showed Mr Forejt snorting an illicit substance. Mr Klaus defended the official, whom he worked with for 10 years, by saying steps taken against him “undeserved”. He also praised Mr Forejt's knowledge of protocol and suggested a replacement would not be found easily. 

State Prosecutors Office should investigate incriminating Forejt material, says interior minister

07-12-2016 14:44 | Jan Velinger

The State Prosecutors Office should investigate whether incriminating material (allegedly showing the head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, snorting an unidentified substance) could have been used to try and blackmail the official, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has said. According to the minister, the video should also be investigated by the National Security Authority. The minister stressed that key questions remained over whether the video was created for the purposes of blackmailing Mr Forejt or others in his circle, or for other criminal purposes. He added that the method by which the material had been offered for sale to media sites was also unusual. Following the publication of screenshots from the video online, Mr Forejt tendered his resignation, citing personal and health reasons. 

Czech National Bank: Second biggest intervention to keep crown weak carried out in October

07-12-2016 14:16 updated | Jan Velinger

In October, the Czech National Bank (ČNB) carried out its second biggest intervention on the currency markets since launching a policy to keep the Czech crown weak against the euro in November 2013. The central bank put some 107 billion crowns (around 6.3 billion euros) into ensuring the crown remained at around 27 to the common European currency, officials revealed. The Czech National Bank board has signalled that it will not abandon the policy, which benefits exporters, before the middle of 2017. 

Weather forecast

07-12-2016 13:46 | Jan Velinger

Thursday should be mostly cloudy. Temperatures during the day should reach highs of around 4 degrees Celsius. 

Former Czech PM bestowed with the French Legion of Honour

07-12-2016 11:24 | Jan Velinger

On Tuesday, France, represented by French Ambassador to the Czech Republic Charles Malinas, bestowed former prime minister Vladimír Špidla with the Legion of Honour, the country’s highest distinction. Mr Špidla received the honour for his role in furthering Czech-French relations and for his long support of European integration. Vladimír Špidla headed the Czech government at the time of the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union, in May 2004. He later served as European Commissioner for Employment, Social affairs and Equal Opportunities. He is currently a chief aide to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. 

President backs outgoing protocol head for Vatican post

07-12-2016 11:11 | Jan Velinger

The outgoing head of protocol at Prague Castle, Jindřich Forejt, who asked to leave his post citing personal and health reasons on Tuesday after images were released by a news website allegedly showed him snorting an unidentified white substance, would be the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the Vatican, if it were up to the head of the state. President Miloš Zeman told reporters it was his “personal wish” that Mr Forejt, who he praised for his past work, to hold the post, but made clear that would depend on the Czech Foreign Ministry and whether Forejt received an agrément. The president said he had not spoken with Mr Forejt, who is currently on sick-leave. The head of protocol is to step down on December 31 of this year. 

Zeman: Periods of economic growth should see budget surplus

07-12-2016 11:03 | Jan Velinger

Addressing lawmakers in the lower house on Wednesday, President Miloš Zeman said that in the time of economic growth the state budget should see a surplus. He made the statement ahead of the debate on the government’s draft budget for 2017, which is counting on a deficit of 60 billion crowns (the equivalent of around 2.22 billion euros). The head of state has backed the proposal and had praise for the handling of the budget this year; he suggested the government look for additional cost-saving measures in the areas of subsidies for renewables and some social benefits. 

Tickets for Rammstein Prague concerts go quickly

07-12-2016 10:29 | Jan Velinger

Organisers this week added a second Prague date – May 29, 2017 – for the legendary German industrial band Rammstein, after a first concert to be held a day earlier at the city’s Eden Stadium quickly sold out. The last time the band performed in the capital was in 2011. Czech Radio reported that prices by re-sellers online had risen as high as 26,700 crowns (the equivalent of almost 1,000 euros). Official distributors Ticketpro and Ticketportal have warned buyers not to purchase from third parties, at the risk of buying forged, and therefore useless, tickets. 

Barrister wins appeal over fine for alleging bias of expert

07-12-2016 07:45 | Ian Willoughby

Barrister Petr Kočí has won an appeal against a fine he received for suggesting a court expert was biased because of his alleged Jewish background in a case in which Mr. Kočí was defending a far-right extremist, Lidovky.cz reported. The appeal court has not yet published the reasons for its decision. The barrister received a fine of CZK 100,000 from the Czech Bar Chamber. Mr. Kočí was representing a member of the Workers’ Party of Social Justice on trial for promoting Nazism and anti-Semitism at a public meeting. 

Pražský výběr set for biggest concert of 40-year career

07-12-2016 07:31 | Ian Willoughby

The rock group Pražský výběr are set to play the biggest concert of their 40-year career at Prague’s O2 Arena on Wednesday night. Pražský výběr will be accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra while a number of guests, including former members of the band, David Koller, Vojtěch Dyk and Monkey Business, will join them on stage. The group were founded by Michael Kocáb, who entered politics following the Velvet Revolution, overseeing the departure of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia. 

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