News Minister prepares compensation law for sterilized women

01-08-2014 11:00 | Chris Johnstone

Compensation of between 100,000 crowns and 150,000 is likely to be offered to women who were sterilized without their consent under a law being prepared by the minister for human rights, Jiří Dienstbier, the daily Lidový Noviny reported on Friday. The sterilizations, mostly of Roma women, took place from 1972 until 1991. Many of the woman signed forms consenting to the operations but said afterwards that they did not realize what was being proposed. The Czech Helsinki Committee estimates that around one thousand women could qualify for compensation. Some women in the past won court cases that they were wrongfully sterilized but were not awarded compensation.

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Inspection authority orders faulty alcohol-free beer to be taken off store shelves

06-05-2016 19:13 | Jan Velinger

The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority has ordered retailers to pull an alcohol-free beer from their shelves which tests showed contained more alcohol than advertised or allowed. Samples of a beer called Vyškovské pivo Alkostop, the news site Novinky.cz reported, were found to contain 1.6 percent alcohol - far higher than than the maximum 0.5 permitted in alcohol-free beer. Further tests have been ordered with costs reportedly to be covered by the producer. The spokesman for the authority said that the higher percentage of alcohol could lead to problems, were, for example, a consumer to get behind the wheel. 

Moneta Money Bank makes solid debut on Prague Stock Exchange

06-05-2016 13:51 | Chris Johnstone

Friday saw the launch of trading of the banking share Moneta Money Bank on the Prague Stock Exchange. The shares were offered at 68.53 crowns a share and immediately jumped around half a percent at the start of trading. Around 260 million shares have been offered on the market representing around 51 percent of the value of the bank. Monet was formerly GE Money Bank with the shares launch part of the US parent company’s to get out of financial services and focus on industrial production. 

Police likely to be given powers to confiscate owners’ guns in homes

06-05-2016 13:32 | Chris Johnstone

Police will probably be given the right to seize guns where the owner lives following a debate on proposed changes to gun license rules in the lower house of parliament. Seizure should be allowed if the mental state of the owner has changed to such an extent that they could be a danger to the public. But a proposal to cut the current gun permits from 10 years to five will not now probably be passed. The news rules are being prepared followed the Uherský Brod shooting in February 2015 when eight people were shot dead by a sole gunman. The Senate still has to debate the final shape of the law. 

Twelve construction companies fined for cartel activity

06-05-2016 13:32 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech competition office has announced a fine of 278 million crowns on a group of 12 construction companies. The ČTK agency said that the largest fine, amounting to tens of millions of crowns, had been imposed on the Hochtief company. The Polish-based building company, Swietelsky, had cooperated with the competition watchdog in a bid to reduce its fine, the agency added. The cartel allegedly covered building contracts in South Bohemia and the Vysočina. The companies can still appeal the fines and findings of the authority. 

CNB reports zero foreign currency intervention in March

06-05-2016 13:31 | Chris Johnstone

The Czech National Bank reported Friday that it did not intervene in the foreign currency markets in March to maintain its low crown policy. In February the central bank intervened to the tune of 623 million euros and in January by just over 2.15 billion euros to keep the crown near or lower than 27 crowns to the euro. Since the start of the low crown policy at the end of 2013 it has spent around 19 billion euros on maintaining the target exchange rate. The bank says it will maintain the low crown policy until at least the middle of next year when it hopes inflation will approach its annual target rate of 2.0 percent. 

Police say damage to power transmission poll was intentional

06-05-2016 12:10 | Daniela Lazarová

Police have confirmed that the damage to a power transmission poll in the Teplice region last Thursday was intentional and was caused by an explosive. Experts are now ascertaining whether the blast was caused by a home- made explosive device and whether there is a potential link to a solar power plant located in the immediate vicinity. No one was injured in the incident. 

Croatian foreign minister holding talks in Prague

06-05-2016 11:55 | Daniela Lazarová

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac is on a two-day working visit to the Czech Republic. On Friday he is due to meet with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek to discuss the migration crisis, security issues, cooperation with the Visegrad group states and bilateral relations. Minister Kovac’s visit to the Czech Republic reflects his government’s efforts to strengthen ties with the countries of Central Europe. 

Police uncover illegal marihuana plantation in south Moravia

06-05-2016 11:38 | Daniela Lazarová

Police in southern Moravia have uncovered one of the biggest illegal marihuana plantations on Czech territory in recent years. Officers confiscated over 2,000 marihuana plants and over 18 kilograms of dried marihuana intended for the Austrian market. The plantation was allegedly run by a group of foreign nationals from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Three people are in detention. 

Freedom celebrations get underway in Pilsen

06-05-2016 09:51 | Ruth Fraňková

Four-day Freedom Celebrations got underway on Thursday in Pilsen to mark the liberation of the city by the US army in 1945. The event started with a reading of the names of Holocaust victims’ in the city centre on the occasion of Yom Ha Shoah, the day of remembrance of Holocaust victims. This year’s celebrations will offer commemorative meetings, military presentations, concerts, exhibitions, as well as meetings with veterans. A Ride of Freedom, including historical Jeeps with war veterans, will cross the town centre on May 7. 

Hockey: Jágr signs new one-year deal with Panthers

06-05-2016 09:48 | Jan Velinger

Legendary Czech forward Jaromír Jágr, 44, has signed a new one-year contract with the Florida Panthers. ESPN quoted general manager Dale Tallon as saying Jágr had been a “great fit with the organisation”; the veteran player had 27 goals last season and is 19 points shy of tying Mark Messier’s all-time points record, behind only Wayne Gretzky. Jágr was recently profiled in an article by the New York Times focussing on his extraordinary training regimen; he is the oldest active player in the NHL. 

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