The trial has begun of four men accused of a firebomb attack on a Romany
family’s home that left a small child fighting for her life. The four
accused of throwing three petrol bombs into the house in the north
town of Vítkov in April last year. Many people in the Czech Republic were
shocked by the attack, which left Natálka Siváková, who is now three,
with burns on 80 percent of her body. Her parents were also injured.
The accused, believed to be neo-Nazis, could face 15 years or more in jail if found guilty of multiple charges of attempted racially motivated murder. The trial is expected to last for up to one month.
The Czech prime minister, Jan Fischer, says the financial crisis in Greece may lead to a tightening of the criteria for states adopting the common European currency. Mr Fischer made the comment in a lecture in Paris. He said the Maastricht criteria, which have up to now been used to determine whether a country can adopt the euro, will probably be supplemented by additional readiness tests. Mr Fischer also said the Greek crisis had strengthened the camp of those in the Czech Republic opposed to the country joining the eurozone.
The French government backs Czech efforts to win the right to host the Galileo global navigation satellite system, Jan Fischer said after talks on Tuesday with his French counterpart, Francois Fillon. Prague has been lobbying for some time to become one of the bases for the Galileo system, which is currently being developed by the European Union and the European Space Agency. The Czech prime minister also held talks with France’s minister of economic affairs, Christine Lagarde.
A man has been arrested on charges of killing his mother and another woman, the news website idnes.cz reported. Police apprehended the man after finding the bodies of his mother, aged 78, and a woman of 64 in a house at Úvaly near Prague on Monday. The two victims were reported to have not been seen leaving the house in some time, while local people said the man, who is 50, had previously been in trouble with the law.
Police have arrested a woman of 21 accused of abandoning her new-born baby outside in the snow in the town of Příbram in March. The infant survived after being found by a passer-by who called the emergency services. The police used DNA evidence from items left with the child to trace the woman, who will face charges of attempted murder. They said she had likely given birth on her own and did not have an accomplice.
The Ministry of Finance is planning to create a special new tax office to deal with 800 or so of the Czech Republic’s biggest companies, Hospodářské noviny reported. The Chamber of Deputies has already approved the change as part of an amendment on budgetary rules and the Senate should vote on it this month, the newspaper said. A ministry representative said the move could lead to a fall in tax evasion, while Hospodářské noviny said many companies welcomed the idea.
Jan Hřebejk is in the frame to direct a film version of Simon Mawer’s novel The Glass Room. Rudolf Bierman, who produced the Czech director’s last film, said he had acquired the rights to the book and would like Mr Hřebejk to helm the adaptation. The Glass Room is set at the Tugendhat Villa in the Moravian capital Brno, and Mr Bierman said part of the film would have to be shot there, once renovation work is completed in 2012. Jan Hřebejk has made ten movies, including Cosy Dens and Divided We Fall. Simon Mawer, who is British, is due to attend Prague’s Book World trade fair this week.
Customs officers in Břeclav, south Moravia have seized the skins and meat of two brown bears being carried in the vehicle of two Czechs entering the country from Slovakia. The brown bear is a strictly protected animal. The two said they had bought the skins, complete with heads, in a pub. The meat had been salted and another treated and evidently older bear skin lay across the back seat of their SUV. Customs say they will propose charges once an investigation has been completed.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey players have been beaten 3:2 by Norway at the World Championship in Germany, missing out on their first chance to guarantee themselves a place in the next phase of the competition. Previously the best the Norwegians had achieved against the Czechs was two draws. Both the Czechs’ goals were scored by star forward Jaromír Jágr. Their next game is against Sweden on Thursday.
A testimonial game for the Czech soccer player Vladimír Šmicer is being held at Prague’s Eden stadium on Tuesday. A Slavia 11 will take on a Sparta 11 in the charity match, which takes place six months after the midfielder retired at the age of 36. Šmicer, who began and ended his career at Slavia, won a Champions League medal with Liverpool in 2005 and played 81 times for the Czech national team.