News Human rights minister wants foreigners with permanent residence to get right to vote in Czech Republic
The minister for human rights, Jiří Dienstbier, wants foreigners who live permanently in the Czech Republic to be allowed to vote, the news website Lidovky.cz reported. Under a plan put forward by Mr. Dienstbier the 200,000 foreigners with permanent residence would first be able to vote in local elections and then at the national level. At present only residents from EU countries can vote and then only in local elections. NGOs have welcomed the suggestion but politicians have reacted cautiously to the idea, Lidovky.cz wrote.
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The Czech authorities have as yet been unable to reach 10 Czechs who were in Nepal at the time of Saturday’s devastating earthquake in the country, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. A total of 255 Czechs were in the area of Nepal most affected by the disaster and dozens have so far managed to leave the South Asian state. The Czech ambassador to India, Miloslav Stašek, said the unaccounted for Czechs had been in mountainous areas where there was never a mobile telephone signal. A plane from the Czech Republic carrying a 36-member rescue team and aid to Nepal was due to take off on Tuesday but its departure has been delayed until Wednesday.
Around 15 people, including some children, are reported to have been injured when a tram and a bus collided in the Prague district of Modřany at about 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon. None of the injuries were serious, a spokesperson for the city’s rescue services told the news website iDnes.cz. The no. 17 tram, which was of the T15 type, and the articulated bus collided at the intersection of the streets Generála Šišky and Československého exilu.
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and his German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere have signed a treaty in Prague allowing for both countries’ police forces to work more closely together. Mr. Chovanec said the deal was one of the most modern in Europe. It allows for rapid cross-border operations in the other state without prior permission if life or health is threatened, while police on both sides will be able to continue car chases across the border.
The Czech police’s organised crime unit carried out a series of raids around the country targeting suspected extremists on Tuesday. Explosives were uncovered in an operation in the Brno district of Královo Pole, where police sealed off the area, evacuated people and sent in pyrotechnics specialists. Novinky.cz reported that around 10 people had been detained. Police were refusing to release further information on Tuesday as the operation was ongoing.
President Miloš Zeman says the Czech Roman Catholic Church should broaden its range of social, health and other services. Speaking on a visit to the Central Bohemian Region on Tuesday, he said the church cannot claim a lack of funds after the restitution of property seized by the communists. Mr. Zeman said an amendment to that affect was being prepared for a planned treaty between the Czech Republic and the Vatican. Under divisive legislation, assets valued at CZK 75 billion are being handed back to church groups, along with CZK 60 billion in financial compensation in lieu of properties not being returned.
President Miloš Zeman says a Prague district that refused to take any legal action after eggs and other objects were thrown at him is militantly right-wing. Speaking on Tuesday, Mr. Zeman said if eggs had been thrown at a right-wing head of state, Prague 2 would have acted differently. The president came under a hail of missiles while speaking at an event in the district marking the 25th anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution in November, hours after another protest against him in the centre of the city.
Renovation work has begun on the dilapidated Art Nouveau Hotel Evropa on Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The overhaul of the once famous hotel should be completed in a year and a half. Alongside the renovation of the listed building an entirely new construction is set to go up in the courtyard it shares with a number of other buildings. Opened in 1872, the hotel was renamed Grand Hotel Evropa after being nationalised soon after the communist takeover.
The respected film and stage actress Iva Janžurová is set to receive an award for contribution to Czech cinema at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the organisers said on Tuesday. Other guests at the jubilee edition of the festival have not yet been announced, but Mel Gibson, who last year received Karlovy Vary’s Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema, will appear in this year’s trailer, following in the footsteps of Jude Law and other recipients of the award.
The number of fatal work-related accidents in the Czech Republic has dropped by half over the last 13 years, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions announced Monday, citing statistics by the Czech Office of Labour Inspection. While in 2002 there were 206 fatal accidents in the workplace, the number last year was 105. Over the entire period, there were 1,952 work-related deaths in the country. The highest number of deaths occur in construction, forestry, in factory jobs, transportation and storage and warehouse work. April 28th is International Workers’ Memorial Day remembering those who lost their lives in work-related accidents.
Czech rookie Petr Mrázek has been a major asset in goal for the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs but wasn’t able to stop the Tampa Bay Lightning from notching up a 5:2 win against his club on Monday to force a deciding Game 7. Mrázek stopped 23 shots on the night and robbed Brian Boyle with a phenomenal stick save that made all the highlight reels, keeping the Red Wings in the game temporarily but Detroit were unable to capitalise. Mrázek, 23, hails from Ostrava and has gotten the nod ahead of veteran goalie Jimmy Howard, earning two shutouts in the series. The winner of Game 7 will face the Montreal Canadiens in the next round.