News Talks on new civil service law remain deadlocked over “super bureaucrat”

05-08-2014 10:20 | Daniela Lazarová

Talks between government representatives and opposition leaders on the shape of a new civil service law on Monday failed to break the deadlock over the main point of dispute –the creation of an all-powerful top civil servant. Under the proposed amendment the official tasked with managing the new civil service would have a seven year term in office and a position proofed against political interference. The coalition parties, who insist on the creation of this post, say it is essential to the process of de-politicizing the civil service, while the opposition parties claim that this position would create a fortress for a bureaucratic elite which would not serve the public but its own best interests.

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Capacity at Bělá pod Bezdězem asylum camp increased as more migrants detained

02-08-2015 11:02 | Ian Willoughby

Capacity at an asylum facility in Bělá pod Bezdězem, East Bohemia has been increased to 700, a police spokesperson said on Sunday. Around 100 illegal migrants detained by the police in recent days are to be transferred there today, increasing the current population to around 450. During a visit on Friday Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and Police President Tomáš Tuhý said officers from surrounding regions would be used to boost security at Bělá pod Bezdězem. Rioting occurred there at the end of last week and some families with children were moved to another facility for safety reasons. A new asylum facility with a capacity of 1,200 should be built in the Czech Republic by the end of the year. 

Underground corridor with moving walkways between two Prague railway stations considered

02-08-2015 09:59 | Ian Willoughby

The Railway Infrastructure Administration is considering linking Prague’s Main Train Station and the nearby Masarykovo nádraží station by means of an underground corridor fitted with moving walkways of the type found in airports. The project, which would cost around CZK 400 million, would ease connections between the city’s two busiest railway stations. It is part of a plan to build a new rail connection to Prague Airport and the town of Kladno, a spokesperson for the Railway Infrastructure Administration said. 

5,500 attended this year’s Uherské Hradiště film school, say organisers

02-08-2015 09:45 | Ian Willoughby

Five and a half thousand people attended this year’s Summer Film School in the south Moravian town of Uherské Hradiště, which came to an end on Saturday. Numbers were down on last year, which organisers attributed to the fact that the event was celebrating 40 years of existence in 2014. The annual festival offered screenings of over 200 films – including retrospectives dedicated to Orson Welles, Polish cinema and the Berlin School – as well as accompanying events such as exhibitions, concerts and lectures. 

Unions want to challenge amount paid for those in state health insurance scheme at Constitutional Court

02-08-2015 09:38 | Ian Willoughby

Medical trade unions want to challenge the amount paid in health insurance for those in the state insurance scheme at the Constitutional Court, Czech Television reported. The unions want the government to increase the amount it pays in insurance premiums for pensioners, children, the jobless and mothers on maternity leave, which they say is too little in comparison with the amount paid by those in employment. The head of the Czech Doctors’ Trade Union, Martin Engel, said he would discuss backing for the plan with the chairman of the Senate, Milan Štěch; the support of at least 17 senators would be needed to force the Constitutional Court to consider the matter. 

Around 4,000 attending techno festival billed as far smaller event

02-08-2015 08:56 | Ian Willoughby

Around 4,000 people are attending a free techno music festival on the site of a former refugee camp in Červený Újezd in North Bohemia. The organisers had informed the local authority that they were planning a private event for 400 people. The local mayor said the techno festival had led to traffic and noise problems, adding that participants were camping and sleeping where they liked and not respecting private property. The event, which has reportedly drawn people from around Europe, is due to end on Monday. 

One of Europe’s oldest theatre festivals underway in Hronov

01-08-2015 18:12 | Ian Willoughby

One of Europe’s oldest theatre festivals, Jiráskův Hronov (Jirásek’s Hronov), got underway in the Northeast Bohemian town on Saturday. The event, which began in 1931 and has taken place every year since, is named after the locally born Alois Jirásek, who is regarded as among the greatest of Czech novelists. The programme of the week-long festival includes a broad range of theatrical productions, including experimental, student and puppet shows. 

Temperatures for August set to be above average

01-08-2015 16:50 | Ian Willoughby

Temperatures in the Czech Republic will be above average in August, according to a regular four-week forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Saturday. The coming week will be the warmest of the month, with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius, the forecasters said. There will also be relatively little rain in the next seven days, which will further exacerbate the worst drought felt in the country in over a decade. 

Monkeys return to enclosure at Olomouc after escaping during official opening

01-08-2015 14:16 | Ian Willoughby

Several rhesus macaque monkeys that escaped from their new enclosure at the zoo in the Moravian town of Olomouc have returned. Seven of the monkeys came back to the enclosure in the night but two more were reported to still be outside its fence on Saturday; a zoo official said, however, that they were sticking close to the enclosure. Evidently disturbed by the commotion, the monkeys surprised zookeepers by managing a six-metre jump into a group of trees during its official opening on Friday. 

Czech mountain climber dies after fall in Austrian Alps

01-08-2015 13:05 | Ian Willoughby

A Czech mountain climber died in the Austrian Alps on Friday after falling on an ascent near the village of Leoben in the Styria region, the APA news agency reported on Saturday. The man, who has not been named, was one of a group of three attempting an 860 metre climb; in the final part he fell around 300 metres and was already dead when a rescue helicopter arrived at the scene. The Austrian police are investigating the accident. 

Migrants moved to second facility for safety reasons after rioting

01-08-2015 11:47 | Ian Willoughby

Around 30 migrants from an asylum facility in Bělá pod Bezdězem, East Bohemia have been transferred to another facility at Zastávka near Brno for safety reasons, the Czech News Agency reported. More than 50 migrants at the facility attempted to break out on Thursday and about 100 rioted in protest at being held there on Friday following a visit by the Czech interior minister, Milan Chovanec, and police president, Tomáš Tuhý. A bus carrying families with children and a pregnant woman left Bělá pod Bezdězem for Zastávka on Friday evening. A spokesperson for the police’s foreign department said the Bělá facility had been calm on Friday night. 

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