The country’s ombudsman (or public defender of rights) Pavel Varvařovský, in a written statement, has said that that the Employment Bureau should take into account personal factors in some cases when it comes to helping the unemployed. The ombudsman was referring to a case where a woman seeking employment was struck off the bureau’s list after failing to show up for a prearranged meeting. The client was unable to make the date due to personal difficulties: within a period of one month she had lost her job, received an eviction notice, faced financial problems and was visited by the social services, the ombudsman noted. While he recognised that the Employment Bureau had acted within its rights under the law, Mr Varvařovský made clear that it needed to be more flexible. The woman in question later apologised for her failure to show up and also took her case to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
Several Czech soldiers were promoted and decorated during a ceremony in Prague on Friday, which is Veterans Day. Senate deputy leader Přemysl Sobotka spoke on the occasion, remembering how the former communist regime neglected or failed to show respect to the country’s heroes. A total of six soldiers were promoted on the occasion, including Robert Chudý who was seriously wounded while on a mission in Afghanistan. Despite the injury, he still serves in the Czech military. Chudý was promoted to the rank of major.
More than 300 diamonds of various sizes from one to 22 carats, worth half-a-billion crowns, went on display in Prague on Friday – the largest exhibition of diamonds in the country’s history, organisers from Diamonds International Corporation told reporters. The exhibition, which runs until November 22, is located near Prague’s Old Town Square. The touring event offers exhibits that were loaned from the prestigious Diamond Bourse in Antwerp, Belgium. They were flown to Prague from Bratislava where the exhibition was held previously. Afterwards, the display will be presented in Karlovy Vary, West Bohemia, and then in Warsaw. The exhibition is being protected using extraordinary security measures, the organisers said.
Five people were injured – at least one of them seriously – on Friday in a seven-car pileup in the east of the country. The accident took place on a road between Jablunkov and Třinec shortly before three pm, when a truck hit a car head-on leaving additional cars no room to manoeuvre. Rescue crews had to work carefully to free the most seriously injured motorist from his vehicle: he was airlifted to a hospital in Ostrava. The extent of two peoples’ injuries, meanwhile, has not been reported.
Specialists at Prague Zoo on Friday twice attempted but failed to reunite a newborn gorilla with its mother, the zoo’s director Miroslav Bobek has said. The mother, named Bikira, has shown no interest in the baby, which until now has been kept in an incubator. On the second attempt, Bikira was tranquilised and zookeepers tried to put the baby closer to the mother for feeding but were equally unsuccessful. The three-day-old newborn will be moved to another facility where he could be raised among different gorillas.
The Czech national football team played its best match to date under coach
Michal Bílek on Friday defeating Montenegro 2:0 in the first-leg of their
playoff for Euro 2012. The match, played at Sparta’s stadium on Letná
plain, was scoreless after the first 45 minutes, with Czech goalie Petr
Čech – playing with a partial facemask after breaking his nose –
helping quash a number of chances.
The second half saw goals from Pilář and Sivok as well as tireless play from team captain and key playmaker Tomáš Rosický. The 2:0 win leaves the Czech Republic in good shape ahead of the rematch in Montenegro on November 15. The team that triumphs in the playoff will head to the European Championships to be held in Ukraine and Poland next year.
Czech downhill skier Ondřej Bank has expressed satisfaction after training at Pitztal, Austria, this week – his first time on skis since suffering from a recent illness. At the beginning of the summer Bank came down with an unknown disease after returning from a holiday in Thailand. He spent weeks in hospital – suffering high fevers, weakness and weight loss of 15 kilograms. To date, a series of tests was unable to reveal the cause. The skier joked about his situation at one point saying he no longer knew who to call and might try “Doctor House” – referring to the popular television series starring Hugh Laurie. Bank is reportedly leaving his options open regarding the FIS World Cup.
Three people are reported dead and one injured after a man went on a shooting spree on the grounds of Aircraft Industries in Kunovice on Thursday. The attacker shot dead two men and injured one woman before turning the gun on himself. According to media reports the attacker was the brother of the arms magnate Pavel Musela who suffered irreparable brain damage during an accident at a hunt in 2008. Police are searching for a likely motive and there is speculation that it could have been revenge in connection with his brother’s accident.
One of the legends of the Czech underground, poet Ivan Martin Jirous known to his friends as Magor, has died at the age of 67. The author of numerous poetry collections (first published in samizdat in the 1970s and 1980s) Ivan Jirous is perhaps best-known as the artistic manager and spiritual leader of the underground rock band The Plastic People of the Universe. His battles with the communist regime resulted in eight and a half years behind bars. In 2006 he was awarded the Jaroslav Seifert Prize for literary achievement, among others for a 500-page collection of his letters from prison.
The European Commission has revised downward its growth forecast for the Czech economy for both this and next year. According to figures released on Thursday the EC expects the Czech economy to grow by a mere 1.8 percent this year, from an earlier 2 percent forecast, while next year’s growth estimate is now at 0.7 percent down from a previous 2.9. The predictions are more dire than those released both by the International Monetary Fund and the Czech Finance Ministry. The ministry’s latest growth predictions speak of a 2.1 percent growth this year and a 1 percent growth in 2012. However Finance minister Miroslav Kalousek said that a worse result could be expected next in view of the economic slow-down in Europe.