The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is to double the number of social service inspectors in the Czech Republic, Minister Petr Šimerka said on Thursday. The number of inspectors currently monitoring the standards of social services in the Czech Republic is ‘absolutely insufficient’ said Mr Šimerka, though he refused to say how many such inspectors were currently being employed. According to the minister, due to understaffing, it is practically impossible for social service inspectors to do their job properly at the moment. An amendment to the law on social services, which will come into effect on August 1, outsources more of the monitoring of social services to regional councils around the Czech Republic.
A man who was arrested on Wednesday in connection with three bank robberies in Prague has been charged by police on eight counts of such theft. The 34-year-old man is thought to have robbed eight banks over the past three months. Police said he could have stolen as much as 1 million crowns (54,200 USD) over this period. If found guilty, he could face up to 12 years in prison, Prague police spokesperson Tomáš Hulan said on Thursday. The man was arrested after failing to rob one bank in Prague 10 on Wednesday morning, and making away with tens of thousands of crowns from two other banks in Prague 3 later on.
Less than one half of Czechs trust the police, suggests a new poll conducted by the STEM agency and published on Thursday. According to STEM, the public’s attitude towards the police remains unchanged since the last such poll was conducted in 2004. The poll also suggested that only one third of Czechs have faith in the country’s judicial system, with only 28 percent of Czechs saying they believed that this country’s courts were doing a good job. A mere two percent of those questioned said that they believed Czech judges were working well and in a trustworthy manner.
In Sport, Slavia Prague coach Karel Jarolím has said that he will not become the coach of the Czech national team alongside FA head Ivan Hašek, as many had predicted. At a meeting with Hašek on Wednesday, Jarolím said that he appreciated the offer, but that he had to dedicate his time to training last year’s Gambrinus league winners Slavia. New head of the Czech Football Association, Ivan Hašek, had said repeatedly over the past couple of days that Jarolím was his number one choice for national coach. Immediately after his appointment to the helm of the FA last weekend, Hašek fired former coach František Straka, who had been in charge of the Czech team for just one match. Hašek was hoping that Jarolím would take over the national team as well as continuing to train league-winners Slavia.
Ottawa could reinstate a visa requirement for Czech visitors due to the
high number of Czech Romanies applying for asylum in Canada, the Czech
foreign ministry said on Wednesday. The Czech foreign minister, Jan
said Canada’s immigration minister, Jason Kenney, had told him a few
ago that Canada was considering measures in reaction to the number of
asylum seekers, including reintroduction of a visa requirement. The Czech
newspaper Lidové noviny reported that Ottawa would reimpose visas from
next Tuesday, though Canada’s embassy in Prague would not confirm
such a decision had been taken.
If the change is introduced, the Czech government could respond by making Canadian diplomats get visas to enter the Czech Republic, the Czech News Agency reported. A blanket visa requirement for all Canadians would contravene a European Union directive.
While 861 Czech Romanies applied for asylum in Canada in the whole of 2008, over 1000 did so in the first three months of this year. Thirty-four of those who applied between January and April were granted asylum. The asylum seekers say they have been the subject of discrimination in the Czech Republic, a view supported by human rights agencies.
In 1997 Canada brought back a visa requirement for Czechs because of the number of Czech Romany asylum applicants. It dropped the condition in 2007.
The number of people who died on Czech roads in the first half of 2009 is the lowest for the same six-month period in 15 years, a police spokesperson said on Wednesday. There were 380 road deaths between the start of January and the end of June, down from 441 in the first half of 2008. The transport ministry is aiming to bring the annual number of deaths down to a maximum of 650 by the end of next year.
Social Democrat Bohuslav Sobotka has admitted to abusing transport and housing perks he received as an MP to help pay for an apartment in Prague, Mladá fronta Dnes reported. However, he told the newspaper he had not broken the law, adding that he did not know of any constitutional official who would divide their salary and perks. Mr Sobotka, who frequently comes near the top of most-popular-politician polls, was finance minister from 2002 to 2006.
Police in Prague arrested an armed man alleged to have robbed three banks in the city on Wednesday. The man failed to take any money from the first bank in Prague 10, before making off with hundreds of thousands of crowns from two banks in Prague 3. He was apprehended soon afterwards and the money retrieved.
Seven percent of workers in the Czech Republic have undeclared earnings on which they do not pay income tax, according to a study by the EU agency Eurofound. That is two percent higher than the average in the European Union, suggests the study conducted in 2006 and 2007. Sixty-six percent of Czechs who admit to illegal earnings work for family, friends or neighbours, the highest percentage in this category in the EU, the study found.