The government has approved new legislation which would ban armed paramilitaries and vigilante groups pursuing a religious, nationalist or similar agenda. Those who break the law would pay a substantial fine. Meanwhile, unarmed communal groups aimed at strengthening local security, such as neighbourhood watches, will continue to be legal and state security forces members will have greater freedom to use their weapons.
Czechia's regions and its capital Prague will be able to draw on CZK
52 million of funding from the Ministry of Interior to use on protection of
their "soft targets", a 30 percent increase compared to the
previous year, Czech Television reported on Friday. Largest investments in
this area are expected from Prague, as well as the Vysočina and Olomouc
The subsidy program of the Ministry of the Interior is intended to increase the protection of schools and public spaces from armed attacks. The grant can be used for the reimbursement of expert studies, the creation of security plans, but also educational and training events.
A soft target is an individual or object that is not heavily protected, but can be especially vulnerable to a military or terrorist attack.
The deadly attack in Ostrava’s university hospital in which a gunman killed six people and injured three others on Tuesday, shocked the nation and opened up many questions regarding security around so-called “soft targets”. I spoke to former Czech Military Intelligence chief Andor Šándor about the present state of security in Czech hospitals, what more can be done to increase it and the lessons to be learnt from Tuesday’s attack.
The celebrated Czech-born writer Milan Kundera received Czech citizenship forty years after it was revoked by the communist regime. The author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being was stripped of his citizenship after going into exile in France and his works were banned in his homeland until the 1980s.
One of the most famous and influential Czech writers, Milan Kundera, has
received Czech citizenship, 40 years after it was revoked following his
emigration to France, the daily Právo reported on Tuesday. The 90-year-old
Mr. Kundera received the official paperwork in his Paris flat from Czech
ambassador to France, Petr Drulák, on November 28.
Mr. Kundera was a reform communist writer during the 1960s and remained committed to reforming Czechoslovak communism even after the Warsaw Pact Invasion of 1968. Eventually, however he relinquished his dreams of reform and emigrated to France in 1975. Four years later he was stripped of his Czechoslovak citizenship.
He remains perhaps the most famous Czech writer currently alive with his works having been translated into a myriad of world languages.
The integration of Western Balkan countries into the European Union is in
the economic and security interest of the EU, Hungarian Foreign Minister
Peter Szijjarto told journalists in Prague after talks with his Czech,
Polish and Slovak counterparts on Monday. Szijjarto said the accession
talks with these countries had seen little progress in the last six months,
which he considered to be one of the biggest mistakes of the European
Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, who hosted the Visegrad meeting of foreign ministers, likewise expressed support for faster negotiations with the Balkan states. Petříček said he hoped that accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia would be launched next year.
Prague police have asked the municipality for a green light to activate automatic facial recognition cameras at six locations. That’s a red flag for some personal privacy advocates, who fear a Big Brother scenario. But law enforcement officials say an upgrade of the Czech capital’s closed-circuit television system is overdue, and controls will be put in place to prevent any abuse.
The Senate has passed a draft law that would make it easier for the children and grandchildren of exiles from Communist Czechoslovakia to obtain Czech citizenship. The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by the president, pertains to descendants of those stripped of their own citizenship prior to 1989. ‘Krajané’ – Czech compatriots and their descendants – have long lobbied for the move, and hundreds are expected to apply.
The Senate has passed a draft law that would make it easier for the
children and grandchildren of exiles from Communist Czechoslovakia to
obtain Czech citizenship.
The legislation pertains to descendants of Czechs stripped of their Czechoslovak citizenship prior to 1989. Applicants must provide documentation detailing when and how their parent or grandparent lost their citizenship in order to be eligible.
The bill, which went through several readings in both houses of Parliament, must be signed by the president to become law.
According to the Interior Ministry, the change in law could lead to applications from hundreds of people, including families of former Czechoslovak citizens living in crisis-torn Venezuela.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery