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 country’s transport minister, Daniel Ťok, has said the D8 motorway to Germany will be completed by Christmas of 2016. He made the statement after meeting with his German counterpart Alexander Dobrindt on Friday. The Dresden (or Teplice) motorway was originally to have been completed by 2010 under the original plans, but the project met with delays, protests by environmentalists and even a landslide. Before the summer holidays, the government took steps to remove all administrative obstacles, Minister Ťok said. Companies taking part in the construction work have also pledged to stick to the deadline, he said.
Some 200 Czech personnel will take part in a NATO rapid reaction force exercise in neighboring Germany in September, the Czech Army has confirmed on its website. The operation, entitled ‘Strong Sword’ will take place from September 14 to October 2. In all, some 2,000 soldiers from several NATO countries are taking part. In a mock scenario, Strong Sword will require rapid response units to come to the “defense” of a NATO ally under Article 5.
Czech and Arsenal stars Petr Čech and Tomáš Rosický will face Bayern Munich, Greek club Olympiakos Pireus, and Dinamo Zagreb in the group phase of football’s Champions League. The draw was made Thursday. Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League by the German champions in both 2013 and 2014. Petr Čech has mixed memories of Bayern. He was the hero of a penalty shootout which helped former club Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy in 2012. But Chelsea lost in the Super Cup staged in Prague against Bayern a year later.
In football, Sparta Prague, Viktoria Plzeň, and Liberec met with success in the second legs of the Europa League games on Thursday night to proceed to the main competition. Sparta drew 3:3 against Swiss club Thun, Plzeň beat Novi Sad 2:0, and Liberec won 1:0 against Hajduk Split. All had notched up victories in the first leg. The only Czech casualty on the night was Jablonec which was unlucky to end with a goalless draw against Ajax Amsterdam at home with a penalty missed and the Dutch team down to 10 men. Jablonec lost the away leg by a sole goal.
The city of Ustí nad Labem has put a 300 crown price tag on the heads of wild pigs which are increasingly invading the streets in search of easily available food. The city has also widened the areas where the pigs can be shot to include areas which were hitherto not included in the shooting zones. Wild pigs have increasingly invaded the outskirts of the city from the surrounding countryside in recent years. But they are now becoming a problem in the city centre centre. In April this year, of example, one group of pigs made its way into a polyclinic in the city centre.
The former deputy mayor of the west Bohemia spa town of Mariánské Lázně was handed down a two year prison sentence on Thursday for tunneling a company. Former Social Democrat deputy mayor Petr Horký was sentenced at the Karlovy Vary regional court. He had pleaded not guilty. The charges are connected with Horký’s appointment as a liquidator for a company which owned a portfolio of flats and other property. Horký, who said he was not an expert in such affairs, then paid out more than 1.34 million crowns to a consultancy company to help him in the task. In a separate case, he faces charges that he helped pay bribes to local media. Horký can still appeal the latest court verdict.
An abandoned truck in which Austrian police believe up to 50 immigrants might have suffocated to death bore the name of a Slovak company which belongs to Agrofert, the Czech flagship company of ANO leader and minister of finance Andrej Babiš. But Agrofert bosses in the Czech Republic have said that the Hyza chicken lorry was not theirs but was sold in 2013 or 2014. All their six lorries were accounted for and they do not deliver in Austria, they said. The lorry was found on a layby not far from the Slovak and Hungarian borders after being spotted by the Austrian highway authorities. Police originally said on Thursday that between 20 and 50 immigrants could have died. The Hyza company dropped an ill timed advertising spot bear a stop migrants image from its web page Thursday. The migrants in this case apparently referring to cut price chicken imports.
Doctors from the Prague Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) say they have performed a unique liver transplant operation to save the life of a man who overdosed on paracetomol after suffering from a fever. The say a combination of complex operations in a short space of time managed to save the life of the 34-year-old man who faced almost certain death from the overdose. Such a complex transplant had never been attempted before in the world and although the costs were around twice those of a normal liver operation, they have now proved that it can be done.
The Ministry of Finance has been forced to retreat on a proposal to scrap around 25 of its around 200 local offices around the country in a bid to save money. The proposal was opposed by local mayors and also finally by prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Mayors protested that local people would face long journeys to seek advice or fill in declarations at other offices. But the finance offices that have been saved will open for only two days a week in the future. The compromise to keep the local offices open was reached by coalition party leaders.
At least eight Czechs have been arrested in different parts of Europe during an international swoop on a cocaine smuggling ring. Three of those arrested in the Czech Republic included one boss responsible for hiring drug couriers for operations across the globe. Two Czechs were detained at Frankfurt airport with cocaine hidden in their boots and baggage. Another Czech was stopped in Spain as he flew in from Brazil. A further Czech was stopped in Vienna. The international police operational covered seven countries and involved the European police organization Europol.