Addressing an ideological conference of the Civic Democratic Party on Saturday party leader and Prime Minister Petr Necas outlined the party’s main economic priorities in the face of Europe’s economic downturn. Mr. Necas said the party’s main aim was to support the creation of new jobs and the introduction of job sharing schemes as well as reducing the administrative burden for businesses. He also stressed the need to continue cutting state expenditures in order to gradually lower the deficit in public spending to below 3 percent of GDP.
The Christian Democratic Party, which lost its seats in the lower house in the 2010 general elections, is seeking new impetus and emphasizing the party’s traditional values in preparation for the regional and senate elections this autumn. At the party’s weekend conference its leader Pavel Bělobrádek said the Christian Democrats had learned from their mistakes and were ready for a comeback. He said the party would draft a new policy programme based on the party’s traditional values and the society’s present needs. The Christian Democrat leader slammed the ruling parties for conducting what he called “cynical, unscrupulous and confrontational” politics.
Over 1300 Czechs have received a warning from the police regarding theft of their personal data by hackers. Commercial TV Nova, which aired the story on Friday evening, said the theft occurred in an attack on the US security firm Stratfor in late December and the stolen information allegedly includes people’s bank account numbers. People whom it concerns have been asked to contact their banks and not open suspicious-looking mails which could contain viruses. This is the first time ever that the police has contacted so many people on an individual basis rather than issuing a mass warning.
Police are searching for a hit and run driver who killed a 72-year-old cyclist in the early hours of Saturday. The incident happened near the town of Třebon and the police believe the cyclist was hit by a pick-up which was damaged in the collision. The cyclist was left lying on the road where he succumbed to his injuries. The police have asked possible eyewitnesses to come forward.
A fire is reported to have destroyed large parts of St. Sebastian Hotel in the Chomutov region. The fire was reported at around 11 am on Saturday and although six fire brigades fought and eventually contained the blaze most of the roof and the upper floor were completely destroyed. There were only six guests in the building at the time of the fire and all were evacuated in time. No injuries are reported. Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
Second seed Petra Kvitova blasted into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday when Russian Maria Kirilenko retired with a leg injury after the first game of the second set of their third round match, having lost the first 6-0. Kvitova had torn through the first set in 34 minutes and then broke Kirilenko in the first game of the second before the 29th seeded Russian walked to the net and shook hands with the Czech. Kvitova will next play either former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic or Vania King in the last 16.
Meteorologists warn that the weather could bring serious complications in different parts of the country over the weekend. Some of the smaller rivers in southern Bohemia are swollen after several days of rain and a number of towns are on second-degree flood alert. Meanwhile heavy snow and strong winds in the higher altitudes are expected to worsen the situation on many Czech roads. Meteorologists expect between 10 and 30 centimeters of fresh snow in the next 24 hours. Maintenance crews are reportedly working around the clock to keep the main roads clear. Drivers have been warned not to set out for the mountains without winter gear.
Romany representatives on Friday established a Party for Equal Opportunities. At the party’s constituent session in Prague its newly-elected leader Stefan Tisher said its aim was to defend not just the interests of the Romany minority but that of all socially weak citizens. With that in mind the party’s founders abandoned the proposed name for the party Adaj –meaning “we are here” in Romany – in favour of a more neutral title. Its founding members will now travel around the country to drum up support for the new political entity. The party aims to run in the autumn 2012 regional elections.
A group of 34 patients with Alzheimer’s disease who were denied
biological treatment for lack of money have been assured they would get it
after threatening to take a health insurance company to court. The
insurance company Krajská zdravotní a.s. said it had come to an agreement
with the largest health insurer in the country VZP on covering the cost of
There are approximately 18,000 Alzheimers sufferers in the Czech Republic with around 1,000 more diagnosed every year. Around 800 of them stand to benefit from biological treatment and those who were put on a waiting list for financial reasons protested for fear that putting it off would lead to their health deteriorating faster.
A requiem mass for the former Czech president Vaclav Havel was celebrated in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on Friday. The mass, celebrated by Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, was attended by around a hundred guests among them foreign diplomats from the United States, Canada and Europe. The late president’s widow Dagmar Havlova was unable to attend for work reasons. Mr. Havel died in his sleep at his country cottage on December 18th at the age of 75.