News Teachers’ unions criticise government plans to freeze salaries while increasing pay of other public servants

13-05-2014 13:13 | Ian Willoughby

Teachers’ unions have criticised a government plan to freeze their salaries next year while increasing the pay of other public sector workers. Union representatives called for an increase in the overall amount allocated for teachers’ wages and said they wished to discuss their demands with the minister of finance, Andrej Babiš, and the prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka. The programme for government had promised an increase in teachers’ salaries, which last year reached an average of just under CZK 26,000 a month. The unions also want other employees working in the education sector to get a pay rise.

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Taxi drivers protest in Prague

07-07-2015 16:54 | Ruth Fraňková

Hundreds of taxi-drivers protested in Prague against a plan proposed by Prague mayor Adriana Krnáčová to tighten up the rules for giving licences to taxi drivers and to re-assess those who already have licenses. The drivers will be required to undergo topographic and psychological tests. Hundreds of taxi drivers met at Prague’s Strahov stadium and drove to Prague Town Hall, where they handed a petition to the mayor. There are currently around 4,000 taxi drivers registered in the Czech capital. 

Court in Hradec Králové opens case of child pornography

07-07-2015 15:53 | Ruth Fraňková

The trial of four people charged with production and distribution of child pornography began at a court in Hradec Králové on Tuesday morning. The group allegedly abused over a hundred children, taking their photos and making video recordings in a studio in Červený Kostelec, in east Bohemia, and then selling them abroad. They earned up to five million crowns. One of the accused is a mother of two of the abused children. Police had been monitoring the group since 2013 and detained them in March last year. If convicted, they would face up to fifteen years in prison. 

Health Minister proposes ban on re-export of particular drugs

07-07-2015 14:37 | Ruth Fraňková

Price regulation of medical devices, drafted by the Czech Health Ministry, should bring the health sector savings of up to six billion crowns, Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček said on Tuesday. The ministry is also planning to adopt measures against re-exporting cheaper medicines abroad. Mr Němeček said the ministry was forced to impose a temporary ban on the export of certain drugs in recent months due to their sudden absence on the market. The Health Ministry along with the State Institute for Drug Control is currently drafting a list of drugs that could not be reexported in the future. The prices of drugs in the Czech Republic are lower than in many other European countries. As a result, some drugs imported to the country are sometimes re-exported for higher prices. 

Heavy storms expected to hit Czech Republic on Tuesday afternoon

07-07-2015 13:51 | Ruth Fraňková

Forecasters are warning of heavy storms across the Czech Republic on Tuesday, predicting torrential rain, strong wind and hail in places. The heat storms are expected to hit western parts of the country on Tuesday afternoon, when temperatures should reach up to 37 degrees Celsius. The belt of rain will move eastward overnight, reaching Moravia and Silesia on Wednesday morning. The heatwave should break with the coming rain but above average temperatures are predicted to last for the entire month of July. 

Over 82,000 tickets sold at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

07-07-2015 12:39 | Ruth Fraňková

Over 82,000 tickets have been sold so far at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film festival which is underway in the West Bohemian spa town. According to the film festival’s press department, nearly 11,000 people accredited for the event and more than 200 screenings have already taken place. The audience poll is headed by Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, followed by Czech film Domácí péče or Home Care by debuting screenwriter and director Slávek Horák. The festival runs until Saturday. 

Tennis: all Czech singles knocked out of Wibledon

07-07-2015 12:33 | Ruth Fraňková

All Czech tennis players were knocked out of the Wimbledon singles competitions after the last two Czech hopes, Lucie Šafářová and Tomáš Berdych, lost their fourth-round matches on Sunday. The French Open runner up Lucie Šafářová was beaten by unseeded American Coco Wandeweghe 6:7, 6:7 and Tomáš Berdych lost to Gilles Simon of France 3:6, 3:6, 2:6. Šafářová remains at Wimbledon competing in doubles with US partner Bethanie Mattek-Sand, after easing past the British duo of Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith 6:3, 6:0. 

Medical expert in Kramný case says daughter died as a result of heart failure brought on by an electric shock

07-07-2015 09:52 | Daniela Lazarová

A medical expert called to give testimony in the case Petr Kramný, who is accused of killing his wife and ten-year-old daughter while their were holidaying in Egypt in 2013, told the court on Tuesday that he was convinced that Kramný’s daughter died as a result of sudden heart failure brought on by an electric shock. Marek Dokoupil who performed an autopsy on the child’s body after it was brought back to the Czech Republic said all his findings supported the theory that ten-year-old Klára died after getting a strong electric charge. The state attorney has accused Kramný of killing his wife and daughter by means of an electric shock. Klára is thought to have died after grabbing hold of her mother. Kramný denies the accusations and is sticking to his original story that all three of them suffered food poisoning and he alone recovered. 

Supreme Audit Office finds serious irregularities in work of State Fund for Transport Infrastructure

07-07-2015 08:57 | Daniela Lazarová

An inspection by the Supreme Audit Office has revealed serious irregularities in the work of the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, the ctk news agency reported. According to inspectors the fund spent 3.5 million crowns on outsourcing for work which was meant to have been done by its own staff. Moreover the work was commissioned without tenders. The fund has not yet responded to the accusations. 

Six people drowned, many collapsed in tropical heatwave

06-07-2015 18:00 | Daniela Lazarová

Six people drowned in the course of the three-day weekend, a police spokeswoman told the ctk news agency. The tragic statistics are believed to be the result of a combination of alcohol and the tropical heatwave that hit the Czech Republic several days ago. The health authorities also reported an increased number of emergency calls to people who collapsed in the heat. People have been advised to increase their intake of liquids and restrict physical activities until the heat abates. Temperatures are expected to drop by about ten degrees on Wednesday. 

PM says government committed to improving conditions for Czech filmmakers

06-07-2015 16:46 | Daniela Lazarová

Meeting with Czech filmmakers at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reaffirmed his government’s commitment to securing stable financial support for Czech cinematography as of next year. A proposed amendment to the audiovisual law approved by the government last week should bring the State Cinematography Fund annual state subsidies of up to 390 million crowns as of 2016. The money should enable Czech filmmakers to launch more ambitious projects and co-productions and make better use of the potential of the Czech film industry. Another fundamental change concerns the provision of film incentives for foreign crews, part of a long-term effort to bring Prague back on the list of Europe’s most attractive film destinations alongside London, Berlin and Budapest. The bill has yet to be debated in Parliament but the coalition’s comfortable majority in the lower house should ensure its smooth passage. 

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