News Supreme Audit Office finds costly register of public buildings unusable

30-06-2014 12:07 | Daniela Lazarová

An electronic register of public buildings and office space which cost millions of crowns to set up is incomplete and practically unusable, according to the Supreme Audit Office. The system which was to bring greater transparency and order into the use of public buildings and save money on rented offices is not only incomplete, since many public institutions failed to deliver the respective information, but unreliable since offices which are obviously vacant have been listed as being used, the Supreme Audit Office reports. The deadline for providing the respective information was June of 2013 and many public institutions have failed to deliver it to date.

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Fine for firm that posted photo of thief on Facebook page lifted

27-05-2015 13:00 | Ian Willoughby

A Czech court has rescinded a fine on a company that posted on the internet a photo of a man who stole a bicycle from its shop. The Office for the Protection of Personal Data had fined the firm Ekolo.cz CZK 5,000 after it put a picture of the alleged thief on its Facebook page. A judge at the Prague Municipal Court said there was no reason to protection should be provided to the perpetrator of a crime, adding that the company had merely attempting to recover its property. After Ekolo.cz posted the image on Facebook in November 2011 the bike was recovered the next day at a second-hand shop. 

Bolt achieves best time of year in 200m in Ostrava

27-05-2015 11:38 | Ian Willoughby

The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, ran his quickest 200 metres of the year at Ostrava’s Golden Spike athletics meeting on Tuesday. The Jamaican won the race in 20:13 seconds, shaving seven tenths of a second of his previous best of 2015. World champion Zuzana Hejnová came first in the 400 metres hurdles, the first time she had taken part in the event in almost a year due to injury problems. Hejnová finished just ahead of Czech compatriot Denisa Roslová in a time of 55:13 seconds. 

Number of ghettos up as poor move away from urban centres

27-05-2015 11:32 | Ian Willoughby

The number of spots designated as ghettos in the Czech Republic has doubled since 2006, according to a report prepared for the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs by the company GAC. There are now 606 poverty-stricken buildings, streets and districts in the country, the study said. An estimated 115,000 people, many from the Roma minority, live in places designated as socially excluded, compared to 80,000 nine years ago. The authors of the report said the change had come about in part because people were moving from urban centres to outlying areas, leading to more but smaller ghettos. 

Czech trauma team ends mission in Nepal

27-05-2015 09:44 | Daniela Lazarová

The Czech trauma team which has been helping to deal with the consequences of the devastating earthquake in Nepal has concluded its mission and is due to return home on Friday, the ctk news agency reports. The 30-member team was made up of twenty doctors and nurses and ten firefighters who helped bring the injured down from hard-to-reach villages in the mountains. Since it started work on May 1, the trauma team provided medical assistance to over 1,100 people. It is leaving much of its equipment and medical supplies in Nepal for the use of the local health authorities. 

Problem with contaminated tap water in Prague 6 still unresolved

27-05-2015 09:32 | Daniela Lazarová

The problem with contaminated tap water in Prague 6 has not yet been resolved. A spokesman for the Prague Waterworks said on Wednesday it could be several more days before the water, contaminated with coliform bacteria, is once again safe for consumption. Waterworks employees are still searching for the dead-end pipe which is believed to have caused the problem. The water in neigbouring districts is reported to be safe. Meanwhile Prague Waterworks announced on Tuesday they would compensate all those who suffered health problems as a result of the contamination. The fall-out has affected 32,000 residents. 

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s government survives no-confidence vote in Parliament

26-05-2015 22:34 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s government on Tuesday survived a no-confidence vote in the lower house of Parliament. Out of 184 lawmakers present only 47 supported the no-confidence motion,105 voted against and 32 abstained.

Opposition parties tabled the motion in protest against a bill approved last week which would extend state support for bio-fuel, which they claim serves the business interests of Finance Minister Andrej Babis. Mr. Babis said that he had not at any point abused his position in the government .During the debate in Parliament Prime Minister Sobotka accused the opposition of being hypocritical, saying that what offended them was not a conflict of interests as they claimed but the changes that were being affected by the centre-left administration. 

Prague ready to negotiate nuclear power issues with Vienna

26-05-2015 18:23 | Daniela Lazarová

Prague is ready to negotiate the planned extension of the Dukovany and Temelin nuclear power plants with Vienna, Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek said on Tuesday in reaction to neighbouring Austria´s threat to sue the Czech Republic over the plan. Speaking at the European Nuclear Forum in Prague, the Czech industry minister said he would discuss the matter with his Austrian counterpart at a meeting in Český Krumlov, south Bohemia, on June 1. Austria has not ruled out filing a lawsuit against the Czech Republic at the European Court of Justice over the government’s plan to expand both of its nuclear power plants in the coming years. 

Prague Waterworks ready to compensate those who were taken ill after drinking contaminated tap water

26-05-2015 16:41 | Daniela Lazarová

The Prague Waterworks will pay compensation to all those who were taken sick after drinking water contaminated by coliform bacteria in Prague 6, an official for the waterworks announced on Tuesday following a meeting with the Prague City Council. The contamination of tap water in Prague’s Dejvice district has come under fire from its residents who say they were not warned in time about the danger. Close to 200 people were treated for diarrhoea, vomiting and fevers between Friday and Monday after drinking tap water. The Prague Waterworks says it will pay each resident who suffered health problems 5,000 crowns in compensation, on the basis of a doctor’s certificate, and those who were hospitalized an even higher sum. 

Food served in hospitals not up to nutrition standards

26-05-2015 16:06 | Daniela Lazarová

The food in Czech hospitals, maternity clinics and homes for senior citizens does not meet the required nutrition and health standards, according to the results of an inspection by the Hygiene Office. The results, presented by the health minister at a press briefing in Prague on Tuesday, show that food served to patients and the elderly is not nutritionally balanced, is deficient in fresh fruit and vegetables and contains too much salt. Inspectors also found a lack of variety in the menus. Inspections were made at 33 hospitals, 25 maternity clinics and 53 old peoples homes around the country. The minister said that the heads of these institutions would receive instructions on how to correct the problem and inspectors would remain vigilant. 

Court sends notorious fraudster to 11 years in jail

26-05-2015 14:55 | Daniela Lazarová

A Prague court has sent the notorious fraudster Vladimir Prokop to 11 years in jail for embezzling close to nine million crowns from the National Museum of Agriculture. Vladimír Prokop served as the museum’s chief economist for a number of years after applying under a false name and lying about his qualifications. Ironically, this happened at a time when he had escaped from jail where he was serving a sentence for the same crime. He had previously stolen 10 million crowns from the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, in many cases abusing large donations from sponsors. 

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