News Environment minister gets down to brass tacks

10-03-2014 16:50 | Jan Velinger

The Environment Ministry is investigating 21 suspicious contracts worth 173.3 hundred million crowns. The ministry is also examining current tenders and computer equipment orders, Environment Minister Richard Brabec told reporters on Monday. Changes are also planned to make more effective the drawing of the funds. The minister made clear he was cleaning house 39 days after taking up the post, saying he didn’t want to wait until a significant date to implement changes. Since taking up the job, he replaced all five deputies as well as several section directors.

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President’s chancellor still waiting for security clearance

29-08-2014 09:54 | Daniela Lazarová

President Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, will not be accompanying the Czech head of state to the NATO summit in Great Britain next week, the ctk news agency reports. The chancellor said he had another important appointment on his agenda, but there has been speculation that he would not be able to attend the NATO meeting due to the fact that he lacks security clearance. The fact that someone so close to the head of state has not received security clearance has come under fire from many sides, but President Zeman has so far tolerated the situation on the chancellor’s assurance that he requested security clearance last December and the National Security Office had so far failed to process his request. 

Czech PM says developments in Ukraine cause for deep concern

29-08-2014 09:29 | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has expressed serious concern with regard to the deepening crisis in Ukraine. In a written statement published by the Office of the Government Mr. Sobotka said that if Kiev’s claim of a Russian invasion into Eastern Ukraine were proved true it would be another flagrant violation of international law by Moscow. Prime Minister Sobotka said he welcomed the fact that a special meeting of the European Council, scheduled for Saturday, would enable EU leaders to coordinate their stands and agree on an adequate response. 

Czech base jumper Martin Trdla dies in tragic accident

28-08-2014 17:44 updated | Daniela Lazarová

The country’s leading base jumper Martin Trdla died in an accident on Snežka mountain on Thursday, the ctk news agency reported. Trdla apparently lost control after jumping from a powered hand glider and fell from a height of several hundred metres, landing on the Polish side of Snežka mountain. A mountain rescue team confirmed his identity. 

Police release fresh details on acid attack case

28-08-2014 17:04 | Daniela Lazarová

Police on Thursday released fresh details on the case of a woman who suffered an acid attack in Prague earlier this week. The woman was allegedly attacked by her ex-boyfriend whom she had broken up with shortly before the incident. It took the police some time to track the man down since he had been living with the woman under a false name. He has been charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm for which he could be sentenced to 12 years in prison. The woman remains in hospital in serious condition. 

President says country needs strong national supermarket chain

28-08-2014 16:24 | Daniela Lazarová

President Miloš Zeman has come out in support of a strong national supermarket chain which would favour Czech-made products and help local producers. Speaking at the opening of the annual agricultural food fair Země Živitelka on Thursday, criticized to sales policy of supra-national chains and their growing profit margins. He noted that while 15 years ago the profit margin on a bread roll was around 15 percent, now it is 63 percent and pretty much the same goes for other commodities. At present the only national chain is Coop which is too small to stand up to the supranational giants on the market. 

Petition asks pardon for nurse who is suspected of having performed euthanasia

28-08-2014 14:17 | Daniela Lazarová

Several dozen people have signed an internet petition requesting a presidential pardon for the nurse who is said to have performed euthanasia on a terminally ill patient. Among the signatories are both people who claim to know her in person and complete strangers. The case has triggered a heated debate about euthanasia on social networks. The nurse who allegedly gave her patient a higher amount of drugs to assist her death, has been charged with murder. If convicted she would face a sentence of up to 18 years. 

Czech living standards drop slightly

28-08-2014 14:16 | Daniela Lazarová

Living standards in the Czech Republic dropped slightly last year as compared to the original 15 eurozone countries, with the country’s per capita GDP dropping to 74.1 percent of the EU average, the Czech Statistics Office reported. The figure had been at 75 percent for the three previous years. Czech households recorded the third consecutive decrease in net incomes last year. According to Czech Finance Ministry estimates living standards in the Czech Republic are expected to see moderate growth again this year. 

Social Affairs ministry wants more support for parents of multiples

28-08-2014 12:39 | Daniela Lazarová

The Social Affairs and Labour Ministry is drafting a proposed amendment to the law which should help the parents of twins, triplets and other multiples who are financially disadvantaged under the present system of state aid. Under the proposal the state would cover the expenses for a nanny and increase the one-off state bonus for the birth of two or more children. According to Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksová Tominová it is unfair and illogical that the parents of more children from one birth are financially worse off than parents who have the same number of children in succession. The problem was highlighted in particular with the birth of quintuplets to a Czech mother last year. 

Human rights activists protests against Chinese Investment Forum

28-08-2014 12:02 | Daniela Lazarová

Two dozen human rights activists gathered outside Prague Castle on Thursday morning to protest against the Chinese Investment Forum taking place there. Among the protesters, who held banners reading "China stop shooting Tibetans", was former environment minister Martin Bursík. Mr. Bursík slammed the government for allegedly putting economic interests above human rights. Chinese businessmen arriving at the conference ostensibly ignored their presence. 

Police crack down on large-scale supplier of materials for illicit drug-production

28-08-2014 11:52 | Daniela Lazarová

Detectives from the national anti-drugs squad have cracked down on a large scale-supplier of materials for the illicit production of drugs. The forty-one year old owner of a chain of shops selling chemical supplies was arrested at the end of July, but the police have only now revealed details of the case which is unprecedented on Czech scale. The chain of shops around the country served as a smoke screen and all contained large quantities of chemicals needed for the illegal production of crystal methamphetamine. According to a police spokesman the chemicals confiscated during the police raids could have made drugs with a street value of two and a half billion crowns. 



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