News Fresh charges filed against former Prague hospital chiefs under investigation for corruption

02-08-2014 13:16 | Ian Willoughby

Fresh charges have been filed against the former director of Prague’s Na Homolce hospital, Vladimír Dbalý, and his onetime deputy, Michal Toběrný, Lidovy noviny reported on Saturday. The two, who were already under investigation for manipulating a CZK 57 million digital medical records tender, have now been charged with demanding a kickback in connection with the CZK 140 million purchase of a Leksell Gamma Knife in 2009. Some estimates put the amount paid at around a third more than the normal price in other countries, Lidovy noviny said.

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Blažek to head committee looking into police reorganization plans

01-07-2016 15:54 | Jan Velinger

Former justice minister Pavel Blažek will head an investigative committee in the lower house looking into reorganization plans in the Czech police forces which were recently approved by the interior minister but led to a temporary standoff between the two senior parties in government and the resignation of Robert Šlachta, head of the special police unit for combatting organised crime. Mr Blažek received backing from 89 MPs of 163 present in a second round of voting. Former police officer Zdeněk Ondračka received 61 votes in the secret ballot. 

Storms expected across most of Czech Republic on Saturday

01-07-2016 15:40 | Jan Velinger

Storms are expected across much of the country on Saturday with heavy rainfall, strong winds, and even hail in places, meteorologists have said. Temperatures in the regions of Zlín and southern Moravia could reach highs of 33 degrees Celsius. 

Czech president reiterates support for referendum bill

01-07-2016 15:24 | Jan Velinger

Czech President Miloš Zeman has reiterated support for a bill on national referenda which was approved by the government last year. Several months ago, the head of state spoke in the Chamber of Deputies recommending they pass the legislation; the bill needs three-fifths support in both chambers. On Friday, Mr Zeman said he would not even be against Czechs voting on leaving the European Union, although he would vote to remain. He said that the Czech Republic received 200 billion crowns more from the union than it gave back, saying “only a crazy person would give up so much money”. The head of state admitted it was “a cynical reason” but called it a reason just the same. 

Former parking lot on Prague square to be used for cultural events

01-07-2016 14:07 | Jan Velinger

An area of Prague’s picturesque Malostranské naměstí in the historic centre which served as a parking lot has changed status and will now be used for cultural events, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová confirmed. The site is now to undergo renovation and repairs. The former parking lot is located around the corner from the lower house of Parliament and was reportedly used at times by MPs. 

Property bill passes in lower house

01-07-2016 13:48 | Jan Velinger

Lawmakers on Friday passed legislation in a final reading which will require owners to explain how their assets increased out of all proportion to their declared earnings, based on a difference of at least seven million crowns. The tax office will in future be able to levy strict fines in cases where owners were not able to explain the source of assets or were unwilling to cooperate. The bill passed by a wide margin; and it will now be sent to the upper chamber for debate. 

Charges against one of two Czechs suspected of having thrown eggs at president dropped

01-07-2016 12:39 | Jan Velinger

State prosecutors have dropped legal proceedings against one of two Czechs suspected of having thrown eggs at Czech President Miloš Zeman during a 2014 ceremony marking 25 years since the fall of communism in Europe. The news was confirmed by the Czech News Agency on Friday. The second suspect is still under investigation. Two years ago, on the occasion of November 17th (which marks the beginning of the Velvet Revolution in 1989) Mr Zeman was jeered by hundreds of demonstrators who expressed protest over the head of state’s alleged close ties to Russia, fondness for alcohol and use of expletives in a now infamous interview for Czech Radio. There were calls for him to step down and his security detail used umbrellas to deflect eggs pelted by unknown assailants. 

Norwegian court confirms decision to remove sons from Czech mother

01-07-2016 09:10 | Ruth Fraňková

A Norwegian court on Thursday upheld its earlier decision regarding Czech mother Eva Michaláková to remove her parental rights for her two sons, Czech Television reported on Friday. However, the judge refused to let one of the sons be taken for adoption. The two children, who are now 10 and eight years old, were taken into care by Norwegian social services five years ago following suspicions of abuse. The case has become a major media and political issue in the Czech Republic with past interventions by head of state Miloš Zeman, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other politicians. Mrs Michaláková, who is seeking to get her sons returned, can appeal the verdict. 

Members of Czech Olympic team to undergo Zika virus tests

01-07-2016 09:10 | Ruth Fraňková

All members of the Czech Olympic team will undergo free tests for the Zika virus immediately after their return from Brazil, Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček announced on Thursday. The tests will be carried out by a laboratory at the Health Institute in Ostrava, north Moravia. The ministry has also issued recommendations for visitors to the Summer Olympic Games, which are to be held in Rio de Janeiro on from August 5 to August 21. 

Black Sabbath to perform in Prague on Thursday night

30-06-2016 17:51 | Ruth Fraňková

The legendary heavy metal band Black Sabbath is set to perform at a sold-out Prague’s O2 Arena on Thursday night. The concert is part of an alleged final concert tour. The line-up includes three out the band’s four original members: frontman Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bass guitarist Terrence ‘Geezer’ Butler. The final European tour of the legendary band started on June 20. Black Sabbath last performed in the Czech Republic three years ago. 

Czech improves figures on Czech economy growth

30-06-2016 17:50 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech Republic’s Gross Domestic Product rose by 4.5 percent year-on-year in 2015 and by 2.7 in the previous year, according to the revised data released by the Czech Statistical Office on Thursday. The revised figures are slightly higher than the previous estimates, according to which the Czech economy grew by 4.2 percent last year and by 2 percent in 2014. 

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