The Chamber of Deputies is to hold its first discussion of the Treaty of Lisbon next week, the deputy chairman of the lower house’s foreign affairs committee told reporters. Also known as the Reform Treaty, the document amends the existing treaties of the European Union and replaces a failed EU constitution. However after the Czech lower house’s first reading of the treaty, the matter will be put on ice, possibly until after the summer. If all 27 members of the EU ratify the document, it should come into effect at the start of next year, during the Czech Republic’s presidency of the union.
Ceremonies have been held at most of the military bases in the Czech Republic to mark the ninth anniversary of the country joining NATO. The Czech Army has undergone significant reform since the country became a member of NATO in March 1999, with the biggest single change the ending of compulsory military service and the creation of a fully professional army.
A Czech court has for the first time sentenced somebody for entering into a fake marriage, Právo reported. A 35-year-old woman from Plzeň was given a suspended sentence after receiving around CZK 35,000 for marrying a Pakistani man so he could get permanent residence in the Czech Republic, the newspaper said. The Czech woman met the man for the first time shortly before their wedding ceremony at a registry office in Ukraine. A law came into effect last July making it illegal for Czechs to enter into such a union.
Industrial output rose by 9.3 percent year-on-year in January, according to figures just released by the Czech Statistical Office. That growth was mainly driven by increased production of electrical and optical instruments and transport equipment. Industrial revenues were up by 8.5 percent in constant prices and 8.8 percent in current prices in the first month of this year.
The Czech currency the crown has reached another new high against the US dollar, trading at 16.17 to the dollar at lunchtime on Wednesday, the financial news website Patria Online said. The crown fell slightly to the US currency in afternoon trading. It has also set record highs against the common European currency the euro in recent weeks.
A taxi driver in Český Krumlov shot dead a passenger who tried to rob him early on Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the South Bohemian police said. The passenger, who was 19, threatened the driver with a gun and a knife. The latter produced a gun of his own and fired two warning shots into the air. When his assailant ignored those shots the driver fired at him; the young man died at the scene.
The Brazilian film Behave has taken the main prize at the One World festival of human rights documentary films in Prague. The picture, by director by Maria Ramos, is about juvenile delinquents who are tried in a youth court for their wrongdoings. China’s Zhao Liang won best director award for Crime and Punishment, while a special award was given for Citizen Havel, which was begun by the late Pavel Koutecký and completed by Miroslav Janek.
The so-called Devil’s Bible, created in a Bohemian monastery in the 13th century, has returned from Prague to its permanent home at the Royal Library in Sweden’s Stockholm. Over 60,000 people saw the gigantic medieval book during a three-month exhibition in the Czech capital. The bible – which features a striking painting of the devil on its cover – was stolen from Prague by the Swedish army in the Thirty Years’ War of the 17th century.