A survey conducted by the polling agency SANEP suggests that nearly two-thirds of Czechs support a proposal by the Ministry of Transport to base fines for driving violations on the personal wealth of the driver. According to SANEP, the proposal put forward by Minister Vít Bárta last week had the support of 62% of respondents. Four-fifths of respondents said they believe that the current maximum fines are not a burden on wealthier drivers, who they also believe are more prone to violating the rules of the road – a view shared by the traffic police. Some 49% were not bothered by the possibility of police determining the personal wealth of traffic offenders – an idea opposed by 41% of the respondents. Prime Minister Petr Nečas is strongly opposed to the proposal.
A state of emergency following last month’s flash floods in the region of Liberec ends at midnight Sunday night. Record levels of rainfall left 79 communities in the region severely inundated. Five people were killed and damages have been calculated at 5.4 billion crowns and rising. Most of the material damages have now been eliminated, most of the roads in the region are open again and the army has built a number of temporary bridges; seven bridges were destroyed in the flooding while another 112 were damaged.
The number of Czechs who prefer being employed has risen over the last six years from 55 to 62%, according to information gathered from the Gallop Organisation at the end of in 2009 and published now by the magazine Komora.cz. The percentage of people who prefer being self-employed has also risen by two percentage points to 32%. In terms of preference for self-employment the Czech Republic is thus near the bottom of scale in the EU in 24th place, followed only by Denmark, Belgium and Slovakia. 45% of EU citizens prefer self-employment on average while 49% choose employment.
Dozens of monuments and museums in Prague that are normally not open to the public will be made available for the annual European Heritage Days between September 11 and 19, some for the entire week and some for the weekend. Some of the venues include the 18th century townhouse U Bílého lva at Prague Castle, the presidential salons at the train stations Hlavní nádraží and Masarykovo, and the Buquoyský Palace where the French Embassy is located. Technical monuments will also be opened, such as the 1932 gas container at Libeň, a watermill at Troja and a forge in Kozí St in Old Town. The event is organised by the Association of Historical Settlements in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia.
This year‘s CIAF international aviation festival in the city of Hradec Králové was visited by more than 50,000 people according to organisers. The event is the largest exhibition of military aviation technology in the Czech Republic; planes of all categories were on display, from transporters to turboprops and jets from 14 countries. Altogether some 100 vehicles and machines were on site. The show was the first in Hradec Králové since the festival relocated temporarily to Brno after 2002.
A monument to the two characters of the renowned 1960s animated series “Pojďte pane, budeme si hrát” was unveiled in the town of Kolín on Sunday, where the two bears met one day according to the story. Hundreds of people attended the unveiling of two stones symbolising the two figures, including their creator, puppeteer and filmmaker Břetislav Pojar and Oscar-winner director Jan Svěrák, whose own movie about a stuffed bear, Kuky, is currently in cinemas.
Cyclist Roman Kreuziger took second place on Sunday in the 9th stage of the Vuelta a España, the same result as he achieved in the tour last year. The Czech racer was bested on the 187-km track only by Spaniard David López, who was six seconds ahead of 24-year-old Kreuziger into the destination city of Alcoy.
The Prague chapter of the Civic Democratic Party met on Saturday to discuss its platform for upcoming local elections and its work at city hall over the last four years. The meeting did not result in the announcement of who would be the party’s candidate for mayor of Prague. The only mention of the issue was made by the sitting mayor and former chairman of the party’s Prague chapter, Pavel Bém, who said in a speech to the assembly that there were several potential mayors in the room. The current chairman, Boris Šťastný, wants to discuss the selection with Prime Minister and Civic Democrat Petr Nečas, who has criticised him for a lack of activity on the question. Local elections in the Czech Republic are to be held in October.
The opposition Social Democrat and Communist parties say that the candidates being considered for the post of ombudsman are worse than in the first vote. Both parties had supported the former deputy ombudsman Anna Šabatová, who lost by a few votes and was not re-nominated by the Senate. The two parties will decide on who to put their votes behind at meetings of their parliamentary clubs on Tuesday. The heads of the coalition parties have recommended that their members of parliament support former constitutional judge Pavel Varvařovský, who will win the post if they do so on Tuesday.
Hundreds of former political prisoners from the Czech Republic and Slovakia have gathered at the pilgrimage site of Svatý Hostýn to commemorate deceased dissidents. Another roughly 2000 visitors attended a mass held by the Archbishop of Prague, Dominik Duka. Archbishop Duka recalled that there were more than a quarter of a million political prisoners in former Czechoslovakia, and that the event was a vote of thanks for their freedom. 2,400 former political prisoners are still alive today, according to the Confederation of Czech Political Prisoners, which organised the event.