News Mystery Czech built up debt in the Czech Republic, news website reports

17-04-2014 15:17 | Jan Velinger

A Czech man found last December in Oslo suffering from amnesia, had past debts in the Czech Republic amounting to around 400,000 crowns, news website iDnes reports. The website reported that the Czech – who has been going by the name John Smith after he was rescued laying in a snowdrift in December and suffered memory loss – was employed for four years as a web administrator for the Czech Interior Ministry and was formerly officially listed as a legal expert in cybernetics. Distraint procedures were launched against him in 2012 after he failed to pay off bills including his monthly mortgage, he explained in an interview for TV Barrandov; his apartment was confiscated and sold off, he said. Mr Smith – or Michal P. as he is being referred to by iDnes – has suggested he will not return to the Czech Republic for fear of his life. He maintained earlier he had been held against his will and sexually assaulted before he was found. He had no recollection of how he ended up in Norway. The Norwegian police are running an investigation.

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Czech army's Chief of Staff to hand over his post by end of May

01-02-2015 15:46 | Ruth Fraňková

The Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army, Petr Pavel, wants to vacate his post at the end of May. Mr Pavel is set to become the head of the oldest permanent body in NATO, the Military Committee. He told the Czech TV on Sunday that the date would allow him to complete his work and get ready to take over the Military Committe. He also said that his successor, Josef Bečvář, has already agreed with the date. 

Voter turnout in do-over local elections around 25 percent

01-02-2015 14:23 | Ruth Fraňková

Voter turnout in the do-over local elections in 15 municipalities around the Czech Republic, that took place on Saturday, was around 25 percent. Around one fifth of voters came to cast their ballot in the fresh round of elections in Chomutov and Bílina, where previous election results had to be cancelled due to fraud. On the contrary, participation in the local elections in 13 smaller municipalities, which didn't have enough candidates in October, was very high, reaching 70 percent on average. 

Poll: ANO would win general elections

01-02-2015 13:55 | Ruth Fraňková

The ANO party of the centre-left ruling coalition would come first in general election with 30.5 percent of the vote, suggests a poll by TNS Aisa released on Sunday. The Social Democrats, who are the largest party in the coalition government, would finish second on 19 percent, the survey indicates. TOP 09 would place third, with ten percent of the vote, just ahead of the Communist Party (9.5 percent) and the Civic Democrats (9 percent). The Christian Democrats would also pass the five-percent threshold to enter the lower house, unlike the Greens and the Dawn party. 

Prague's Main Train Station arrival hall to undergo reconstruction

01-02-2015 12:18 | Ruth Fraňková

The arrival hall of Prague's Main Train Station is set to undergo an extensive reconstruction, which is to start on Monday. The work will involve a complete replacement of glass panes and painting of the steel construction. Some 15 railway lines replaced by buses or redirected to Prague's Masaryk Station. The reconstruction, which is estimated to cost around five billion crowns, should be completed by May 2017. 

Car thefts in the Czech Republic continue to drop

01-02-2015 11:37 | Ruth Fraňková

The number of car thefts in the Czech Republic has gone down by a third over the past ten years, the Czech television reported on Sunday. According to the police statistics, some 8,700 cars were stolen last year, which is half as much as in 2008. The most often stolen car brand is Volkswagen, namely Škoda Octavia, which amounts to five percent of all the vehicles stolen. David Schön, spokesman for the police presidium, says police have been more succesul in uncovering car-stealing gangs. He also said people have been securing their cars better than in the past. 

Czech Airlines introduce wage cut of up to 40 percent

01-02-2015 10:34 | Ruth Fraňková

The Czech national carrier Czech Airlines has lowered their staff's salaries by around 40 percent as of Sunday, introducing new cost-saving measures. According to the Czech Airline unions, the drop in wages is higher than it was previously agreed. The airline in October agreed on a wage cut of around a third and 180 redundancies. The trade unions representing the company's pilots and stewards have already filed a complaint over the new collective agreement and are considering the option to strike. 

Police search for missing girl from Prague

01-02-2015 10:06 | Ruth Fraňková

Police are searching for a 13-year old girl from a village on the outskirts of Prague, who has been missing since Saturday. The teen, called Lucie Lorenzová, left home on Saturday afternoon to visit her grandmother in Prague, but failed to get there by the evening. A goodbye letter has been found among her thigs at home. Investigators are asking the public to share any information about the missing girl. 

More than 2,000 visitors attend carnival in Hlinsko

31-01-2015 17:09 | Ruth Fraňková

A record number of visitors on Saturday came to see the carnival at the open-air museum at Veselý Kopec, near Hlinsko in eastern Bohemia. More than 2,000 people watched a group of young men from a village called Vortová, performing a procession with masks. The centuries-old folk tradition, which remained intact in several communities in the area, was added to the UNESCO list of world heritage in 2010. 

Do-over local elections take place in Bílina and Chomutov

31-01-2015 16:00 updated | Ruth Fraňková

People from the north Bohemian municipalities of Bílina and Chomutov are casting their ballot in a fresh round of municipal election, after a regional court cancelled the previous election results due to fraud. Several people from the region have already been charged with vote buying. Police and members of anti-corruption initiatives are overseeing the voting. The voter turnout has been very low so far. Local elections also take place in 13 municipalities, which didn't have enough candidates in October. 

Czech woman dies in bus crash in Slovakia

31-01-2015 15:51 updated | Ruth Fraňková

Two women, one of them Czech, were killed and 24 injured in a bus crash in Slovakia in the early hours of Saturday. The accident happened on the D1 motorway near the village of Spišský Štvrtok in the Levoča district in eastern Slovakia. The regular coach bus, heading from Prague to Uzghorod in Ukraine, swerved off the snow covered road and hit a utility pole. The cause of the incident is being investigated but it is likely that it was caused by the driver, who was going too fast for the conditions. 



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