The scandal surrounding former Central Bohemian governor David Rath of the Social Democrats has cost the party voters, a fresh poll by the Milward Brown agency suggests. One in two voters who had previously planned on casting their ballot for the opposition party has changed their mind after Mr Rath was caught with 7 million crowns in cash on his person and charged with corruption. Regional elections are set to take place in the fall. The majority of respondents said they believed the former governor would be handed a prison sentence at court.
The Sudetengerman group Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft, which on Saturday
kicked off its annual meeting in Nuremberg, has awarded the writer and
painter Max Mannheimer, who was born in Czechoslovakia, with its Karl IV.
prize. The 92-year-old Mannheimer, who was born in Nový Jičín, is a
Jewish Holocaust survivor. He said in his acceptance speech that he felt no
hatred towards either the Czech or the German nation for what he had
The award is meant to honor contributions to the Czech-German dialogue and good relations between both countries as well as people who fight against extremism and intolerance.
The number of senior citizens who are living on their own is on the rise in the Czech Republic. While in 2000, some 13.9 percent of over-65-year-olds lived in one-person households, the figure has now increased to 15.5 percent of the country’s overall population. Some 1.5 million seniors in the Czech Republic are living by themselves, the majority of them women. According to experts, the figures are worrying especially because most of those senior citizens not only live alone but are largely isolated and do not have anyone who looks after them.
Two people have been killed and three injured severely in a traffic accident near the Central Bohemian town of Kladno on Saturday. The victims of the accident, which happened in the afternoon in the town of Slaný, were both women, one of them aged seventy. A 9-year-old girl and two other persons who were injured in the crash were brought to hospital by helicopter and are being treated. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
A pedestrian was hit by a car and killed in the Moravian city of Ostrava in the night from Friday to Saturday. Paramedics arrived at the site of the accident but were unable to save the man, who had been hit by a 36-year-old driver. Police are investigating the case. If found guilty, the driver could face up to six years in prison.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych lost the first finals game against the Serbian Janko Tipsarević 5:7, 6:7 at the Power Horse World Team Championship in the German city of Düsseldorf. After the Czech defeat, Serbia now leads by 1:0 in the finals. For the Czechs to advance, Radek Štěpánek has to beat his opponent Viktor Troicky in the second game of the finals.
The EU Court of Auditors has accused Czech officials of systematically fixing the results of audits on the use of EU funds. Czech auditors allegedly decreased the number of errors in their annual audit reports to the two percent limit or lower, thus masking nearly 40% of mistakes. The Finance Ministry however has rejected the claims, which first appeared in the website Aktualne.cz. Moreover they say that there is no thought of the EU cutting its subsidies on the basis of what is only a preliminary finding.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas held a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican on Friday. The visit was meant to mark the start of one year until the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaries Cyril and Methodius in Great Moravia. Mr Nečas offered the pontiff a rare copy of the illustrated Strahov Evangeliary from the 9th century. The Pope in turn gave the prime minister a pen. Earlier in the day Mr Nečas laid flowers at the tomb of Czech Cardinal Josef Beran, who died in exile in Rome in 1969 and paid homage to Czech patron Saint Wenceslas at his altar in St Peter´s Basilica. Celebrations for Cyril and Methodius include dozens of events culminating in July 2013 at the Velehrad pilgrimage site in South Moravia. Benedict XVI has been invited to attend the celebrations, but his visit has not been confirmed as yet.
The upper house of Parliament has backed two proposals to change legislation regarding MP immunity. Under the first, which was drafted by the opposition Social Democrats, TOP 09 and the Christian Democrats, MPs could be criminally prosecuted even while they are serving as deputies and without being stripped of their immunity or prior approval from the chairman of Parliament. The Civic Democrats have criticized this proposal as “legally faulty”. Under their draft, MP immunity would be restricted significantly, and only apply to acts of speech and voting in Parliament. Deputy leader of the Social Democrats Jiří Dienstbier has labelled this proposal “absurd”.
The military airport in Časlav in eastern Bohemia is open again after an accident on board a Russian plane on Wednesday. Operations had been suspended at the airport until Russian investigators could arrive to study the scene and the plane. When landing the plane apparently suffered damage to its front landing gear. It swerved off the runway and a fire broke out on board. Of the 23 passengers and crew, two Russian soldiers and one Czech remain in hospital with serious burn injuries. The accident prevented Czech fighters from taking off and Czech airspace defence had to be taken over by neighbouring countries.