News PM Bohuslav Sobotka says committee will continue to monitor restitution

24-07-2014 11:47 | Chris Johnstone

Ongoing problems with the restitution of church property will be resolved by a government committee prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka told the lower house of parliament on Thursday. Sobotka intervened in a debate over the controversial subject called jointly by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and the Dawn party. The prime minister attacked the deal to compensate churches and religious group for confiscations undertaken by the former Communist regime, saying that mechanism were lacking to check that property was not given back which religious groups had not owned in the first place. Sobotka’s Social Democrat party has attempted to reopen the restitution settlement agreed by the former centre-right coalition government without success.

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Austrian anti-nuclear organizations determined to prevent Temelín expansion

25-01-2015 14:57 | Daniela Lazarová

Anti-nuclear organizations in Upper Austria have jointly filed a complaint against Czech plans for the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant by another two reactors, the APA news agency reports. The news was confirmed by Upper Austrian Environment Minister Rudi Anschober who said that all possible steps would be taken to prevent the project. Anti-nuclear organizations on the Czech side –South Bohemian Mothers Against Temelín, the Civic Initiative for Environmental Protection and Calla – have also filed a complaint against the State Institute for Nuclear Safety for approving the expansion plans. For the present time the project has been put on hold for financial reasons. 

Food Inspection Office warns against consuming Alnatura sesame paste

25-01-2015 14:42 | Daniela Lazarová

The Food Inspection Office has issued a health warning about a sesame paste sold on the Czech market which was found to contain salmonella bacteria. The product, sold under the name Alnatura Tahin Bio Sesammus, sells in the Globus supermarket chain. 

Petr Václavs social drama The Way Out dominates Czech Film Critics’ Awards

25-01-2015 14:24 | Daniela Lazarová

Petr Václav's social drama "The Way Out" (Cesta ven) won the fifth annual Czech Film Critics’ Awards on Saturday night, picking up prizes for Best Film, Best Direction and Best Screenplay. Klaudia Dudová, who is not professionally trained, won the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of a young Roma woman seeking security and a better life. The award for Best Documentary went to director Martin Dušek and producer Kamila Zlatušková for their story about people who customize cars, "Into the Clouds We Gaze" (K oblakům vzhlížíme). The award for Discovery of the Year was given to Jiří Mádl for his directorial debut "To See the Sea" (Pojedeme k moři). 

Snow warning issued for Moravia and Silesia

25-01-2015 13:59 | Daniela Lazarová

Meteorologists have issued a snow warning for Moravia and Silesia. Heavy snowfall is expected overnight with up to 20 centimetres of fresh snow in places. Drivers have been warned to expect snowdrifts and the fact that less frequented roads may be impassable. Night time temperatures should fall to minus 6 degrees C and day temperatures are expected to remain below freezing point. 

Newly-elected head of Green party wants to convince people Green solutions work

25-01-2015 13:51 | Daniela Lazarová

The newly elected head of the Green Party Jana Drápalová has said she wants to unite the party and lead it to success in next year’s regional elections. Ms. Drápalová, who is mayor of the Nový Lískovec district in Brno, said the party must convince people that Green solutions are beneficial and would improve the quality of life for them and their children. Her chief rival for the post Petr Štepanek was elected deputy chairman. 

Jana Drápalová elected head of Green Party

24-01-2015 22:54 updated | Daniela Lazarová

The Green Party elected Jana Drápalova party leader at a two-day conference in Brno over the weekend.Ms.Drapalova was elected by 115 out of 198 votes. The party has been without a proper leader since Ondřej Liška resigned as its head in June of last year following the Greens poor showing in elections to the European Parliament, where they won a mere 3.7 percent of the votes. The Green Party participated in the centre-right coalition government between 2007 and 2009, but their influence on Czech politics has been marginal since and they failed to win a single seat in the lower house in the last general election. 

Prague mayor moves to dispel concern over possible reintroduction of paper coupons in city transport

24-01-2015 16:20 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has moved to dispel public concern with regard to the possible re-introduction of paper coupons in the city’s public transport. The mayor said that all present holders of Opencard could rest assured that nothing would change for them and that if Prague City Hall were to re-introduce paper coupons for a certain period, as a last resort, it would only be for new clients. City Hall only has licensing rights to issue another 60,000 Opencards after which it would be forced to resort to paper coupons. According to Prague City Hall the 60,000 Opencards should last until mid-summer by which time the leadership hopes to have found a solution to the drawn-out dispute over rights with the company eMoneyServices. 

Over 500 foreign guests to join Prague events marking Auschwitz liberation

24-01-2015 14:40 | Daniela Lazarová

Over 500 foreign guests, including 30 heads of parliament, diplomats and cultural figures are expected to take part in next week’s commemorative events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz at the end of World War II. The events include an international forum on anti-Semitism and extremism to be held at Prague Castle on Monday and a tribute to Holocaust victims in Terezin, north Bohemia on Tuesday. Extensive security measures involving hundreds of police will be in place at both venues. 

Zlín referendum on gambling ban declared invalid due to low turn-out

24-01-2015 13:53 updated | Daniela Lazarová

A referendum on a blanket ban on gambling in the city of Zlín has been declared invalid due to a low turnout. Only 11.7 of the city’s inhabitants came to cast their vote with the vast majority of them supporting the ban. A thirty-five percent turn-out was required for the vote to be valid. Like many other towns in the country Zlín has been taking steps to curb the number of slot machines and gambling houses in the city. 

Smog alert called off in Moravia and Silesia

24-01-2015 13:39 | Daniela Lazarová

The quality of air in the industrial regions of Moravia and Silesia is reported to have improved significantly in the past 24 hours, prompting the authorities to call off a high smog alert. The amount of industrial dust and exhaust fumes in the air is now within set limits at most monitoring stations and weather conditions should help improve the situation further. Air pollution is a serious problem in the eastern part of the country aggravated by the fact that many inhabitants in the region use coal for heating. 



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