Czech Post will join Tuesday’s one-hour strike in protest against the
government’s reforms in one of the largest protests since the fall of
communism. The state-owned Czech Post, one of the country’s largest
employers with 37,000 workers, will join the strike symbolically so as not
to hamper the company’s operation. Employees will display protest texts
on their counters, wear ribbons and sign petitions.
The strike has been called by the Czech and Moravian Confederation of Labour Unions in protest against government’s reforms. The labour union of another large Czech employer, Czech Railways, has announced they will not join in.
The head of the opposition Social Democrats Jiří Paroubek has accused the ruling Civic Democrats of pressuring a Social Democrat MP Petr Wolf into quitting his party because they needed votes for the coalition. Mr Paroubek also called on the renegade MP to renounce his mandate. Petr Wolf left the Social Democratic MP club at the weekend and later gave up his party membership, citing political pressure and threats to himself and his family. Mr Paroubek’s allegation has been rejected by the head of the Civic Democrat MPs club, Petr Tluchoř.
The National Guard, a paramilitary unit set up by the extremist National Party, will start patrolling outside an elementary school in Karlovy Vary on Tuesday, according to the National Party website. The far-right group say they will protect children who have allegedly been repeatedly attacked by a gang of Roma children. The school’s director said no talks were held with the National Guards, but refused to comment further due to a “tense situation” in the neighbourhood. Interior Minister Ivan Lager said the National Guard only sought publicity while a spokesperson for the local police said the police will not interfere as long as the patrols do not breach the law.
The reactor at the Temelín nuclear power plant’s second block began operation on Sunday, after a two-month shutdown. The reactor had been shut down in the beginning of May for refuelling. The power plant staff will now carry out a series of experiments at the reactor’s lowest output before it will be put to full operation again. The reactor was refuelled with 43 fuel assemblies from the U.S. Westinghouse company; one reactor at the Temelín nuclear power plant has 163 of these rods with 92 tons of fuel.
A TV commercial for Škoda Fabia, in which bakers, confectioners and chocolatiers build a full-size cake replica of the car, has won the Golden Lion award for the best advertisement at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported on Monday. The spot, made by a London-based advertising company, also won a British TV commercials award last year.
The Czech internet group Centrum Holdings has acquired a 75-percent share of the Croatian website net.hr, the most visited site in the country. No financial details of the purchase were given. The news and entertainment net.hr website receives around 725,000 visitors a month; its acquisition will place the Czech web tycoon Centrum Holdings among the largest web companies in central and eastern Europe with nearly 6.5 million visitors a month.
City Hall in Olomouc, central Moravia, has agreed to name two new streets in its neighbourhood of Nový Svět, or New World, after the discoverers of America. The streets will be called Kolumbova, or Columbus’ Street, and Vikingská, or Viking Street. The Columbus Street will be only the second street in the country to bear the name of the Italian seafarer.
Prague police have accused the head of the Czech-Afghan Chamber of Commerce Fawad Nadri of extortion, a Czech TV station reported on Sunday. Mr Nadri was allegedly one of several people who organized extortion of a Czech entrepreneur; they were trying to force him to sing a bill for 850,000 crowns, or more than 50,000 U.S. dollars.
A 36-year-old Czech tourist died in the Romanian mountains of Faragas, the news website Novinky.cz reported on Monday. The woman set out on a hike in the mountains with her husband but slipped in the snow and pulled her husband with her to an abyss. While the woman died immediately, the 32-year old man was taken to a hospital; his condition is reported to be stable.