An extremist group is holding an anti-Roma demonstration in the north-Bohemian town of Duchcov on Wednesday afternoon in response to an attack on a couple by a group of Romanis in the town. Media has reported that the main organizer of the demonstration has placed racist and violent remarks on his Facebook page. The police said that they are looking into the posts to see if they are in breach of the law on inciting hatred towards a group. The man also admitted that he is a member of the extremist Workers Party of Social Justice.
A Czech-made methamphetamine known as pervitin has in recent years spread to a number of other European states, the national anti-drug coordinator Jindřich Vobořil said at the release of a European report on drugs in Prague. Pervitin addicts have been registered in the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Germany. German officials say dealers and users cross the border to buy the highly addictive drug at markets at Asian-run markets in the Czech Republic. However, Mr. Vobořil rejects a charge from politicians in Bavaria that the Czechs take an overly liberal approach to the matter.
Police in Jeseník, north Moravia have found a man who was missing for 20 years and had been pronounced dead, a spokesperson said. The man, who is 43, had been living under a false identity since disappearing in 1994 in order to avoid a prison term for theft. He apparently came forward in mid-January in the hope of qualifying for an amnesty declared by the former president at the beginning of the year.
During renovation works at the Clementinum complex in central Prague, archeologists uncovered four Jesuit classrooms from the 16th century and the remains of 11 graves from the early Middle Ages. The current buildings making up the Clementinum, which now houses the National Library, were built between the mid-17th and mid-18th centuries by the Jesuits as a dormitory and school. The order took over the location from the Dominicans in the 16th century. The graves that were found in two different parts of the complex come from the 9th or 10th centuries. Most of them, though, were partly damaged during building construction in later centuries. After documenting all the findings, archeologists will close up the site in order to preserve it as a part of the Clementinum national cultural landmark.
Seventh-seeded Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová defeated France’s Aravane Rezai in three sets at the Roland Garros French Open on Wednesday. Kvitová struggled during the match but finally beat Rezai 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in her first-round game in Paris. Four other Czech female players lost their first-round matches. On the other hand, Jan Hájek and Petra Cetkovská will be moving on to the second round together with Kvitová.
Meteorologists are warning of rainstorms with strong winds and possible hail in most of Bohemia and southern Moravia on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday will see heavy rain showers that could possibly raise the water level in rivers in the north and northwest of the country. Flood warnings have been issued for the Ústí nad Labem and Liberec regions.
The Czech Trade Inspection Authority has imposed a CZK 2.5 million fine on a company that runs product demonstration events aimed at senior citizens. The state agency found the firm 1. Česká reklamní společnost (First Czech Advertising Company) guilty of manipulating and exerting aggressive pressure on seniors in order to get them to buy its wares. It is the biggest fine levied to date for such practices, which have been highlighted in a campaigning documentary film entitled Šmejdi (Crooks) and have received a good deal of media attention in recent months.
If general elections were held now, the Social Democrats would come first
with 32 percent of the vote, suggests a newly released opinion poll from
the Median agency. After slipping markedly in recent polls, the
main force on the Czech right, the Civic Democrats, would finish second
with 18.5 percent backing, the new poll indicates. The Communists would
place third with 15.5 percent, just ahead of TOP 09 with 15 percent. The
poll was conducted between mid-April and mid-May. Elections are expected
just over a year’s time.
Vehicles in Nečas motorcade collide in Russia
Two vehicles in a motorcade taking Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas and others to the airport in Russia’s St. Petersburg collided on Tuesday. At least one person suffered minor injuries in the crash, which was likely caused by a technical fault. It was not the Czech delegation’s first problem with transport during their visit to Russia; the windshield of one of two planes carrying them to Moscow on Sunday cracked in the middle of the flight. The four-day visit, which has been primarily focused on business ties, concludes in the city of Yekaterinburg on Wednesday.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has said he regrets the EU’s failure to renew an arms embargo on Syria. Mr. Schwarzenberg told Czech Radio that since the EU had failed to achieve unity on the issue, responsibility would now rest with individual members. The Czech Republic, together with Austria, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands, fought to extend the arms embargo; they argued that more weapons would only lead to further violence and that it would be hard to control where the arms ended up. Although Britain and France stood firmly against the embargo they have made a commitment not to deliver arms to Syria for the time being.
Politicians, veterans and members of the public gathered in Ostrava on Tuesday to pay their last respects to Brigadier General Zdeněk Škarvada, who died last week at the age of 95. General Škarvada, who flew with the RAF, was one of the country’s last surviving war heroes. He was captured by the Nazis in 1942 and was held in several prisoner-of-war camps before surviving a 1,000 km death march. After the Communist coup in 1948 he was demoted and forced to work in mines. General Škarvada received a number of decorations for valour.