A new advisory body of the Czech government to deal with family issues and children’s protection should be established by the end of this year. Minister for human rights and minorities Džamila Stehlíková announced the plan after the meeting of the commission of experts on Saturday. The new government council will be part of the new national strategy for the prevention of violence against children. It will comprise ministers who have these issues on their agenda. Mrs Stehlíková also plans to launch a campaign against maltreatment of children to change the public tolerant stance on physical punishment of children.
Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has called on the Christian Democrats to fulfil the government program; if they don’t support it, they should leave the ruling coalition. Speaking at the national congress of the Christian Democratic Party in Pardubice, Mr Topolánek said the government programme, including the health care reforms, reflects the party’s priorities, adding that the Christian Democrats should prove this by their votes. Mr Topolánek also thanked the party for supporting Václav Klaus in the presidential election in February.
The Christian Democrats have rejected the sale of health insurance companies, but they are not against their transformation into joint-stock companies. The delegates made the conclusion at the party’s national congress in Pardubice, that ended on Sunday. The Christian Democrats haven’t approved the proposal to abolish health care fees for some groups of patients. Health care fees will be on the agenda of the next congress in May.
The delegates to the national congress of the Christian Democratic Party have decided that the list of candidates for the European parliament election, which is to be held in 2009, will be headed by MEP Zuzana Roithová. Number two on the list will be her colleague Jan Březina. The Christian Democrats finished fourth in the first EP election in the Czech Republic four years ago, gaining two seats.
The Czech Police Presidium has decided to buy 16 new cars for police officers operating on motorways to chase “road pirates”. The cars will be selected in a tender to be called in a couple of days. The police presidium is willing to pay up to 800,000 crowns per one car and another million for their special equipment.
Around 1,500 people came to see the Liechtenstein collection of art in Prague’s Nostic Palace on Saturday. Valuable paintings, tapestries and other items were acquired by the Czech state at an auction held by the Liechtenstein Prince in Amsterdam in early April. The objects were taken from Czechoslovakia when the Liechtenstein property was confiscated after the Second World War. The ministry of Culture put them on display on the occasion of the International Heritage Day.
Around two thousand people have gathered to protest against the planned US radar base in Míšov near the Brdy military zone, where the base is to be built. The rally, which was organized by the Communist party, was one of the largest protests against the planned stationing of a US radar base on Czech soil. The protesters, carrying banners and flags, marched from Míšov to the border of the military grounds. Police were on hand to prevent any incidents, but they didn’t interfere.