The minister of health, Svatopluk Němeček, says he is not in favour of euthanasia. Speaking on a Czech Television discussion show on Sunday the Social Democrat said that human life was sacred. His comments came two days after police charged a former nurse with murder following the death of a patient at a hospital in Rumburk, North Bohemia from a suspected overdose of potassium. Police suspect the nurse of euthanising the 70-year-old cancer patient out of sympathy for the woman’s critical condition.
This year’s forecast of 3 percent expansion of Czech gross domestic product can be attributed to an intervention to weaken the crown by the Czech National Bank in November, the bank’s vice governor Vladimír Tomšík said on a Czech Television discussion show on Sunday. Mr. Tomšík said the central bank aimed to ensure the currency remained at above 27 to the euro through 2016 and would intervene again if necessary to achieve this. The head of the Bohemian-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, Josef Středula, said the intervention had harmed employees and that the Czech National Bank’s claim it would create 30,000 jobs had proved false.
The body of its German pilot was found in the wreck of a small plane near Modrava in South Bohemia at lunchtime on Sunday. German and Czech police had been looking for the aircraft since it went missing on Saturday evening. A Czech police helicopter spotted the plane in a forested area in the Šumava. The pilot, aged 38, had been flying from Passau in Bavaria.
The Czech women’s tennis number one Petra Kvitová triumphed in the Connecticut Open in New Haven on Saturday with 6-4 6-2 a win over Slovakia’s Magdaléna Rybáriková. It was her second title in New Haven, a warm-up for next week’s US Open. Meanwhile, Czech men’s player Lukáš Rosol beat Pole Jerzy Janowicz 3-6 7-6 7-5 on Saturday to win the Winston-Salem Open, the second ATP tour title of his career.
The Czech translator, essayist and literary historian Jindřich Pokorný has died at the age of 87. His death was reported by Revolver Revue, a journal which he had been associated for many years. Pokorný translated works by authors such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Rainer Maria Rilke, as well as the drama Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. A one-time Czechoslovak Radio employee, he was involved in dissident activities and the production of samizdat literature under communism.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of foreigners applying for Czech citizenship this year, the news site iDnes.cz reported, quoting a spokesperson from the Ministry of the Interior. Following the introduction in January of legislation under which such applicants do not lose their original citizenship their number reached 4,380 in the first seven months of 2014. The figure for the same period last year was 1,266. The most frequent applicants are Ukrainians, Slovaks, Russians and Vietnamese.
Scores of Ukrainians marked the 23rd anniversary of their country’s independence in Prague on Sunday. With some participants wearing Ukrainian folk costumes or carrying national symbols, the group marched across Charles Bridge to náměstí Kinských in Prague 5, where they laid wreathes at a monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. The gathering was intended to celebrate Ukraine’s independence in 1991 and to highlight the current crisis in the country, where armed conflict with pro-Russian rebels is continuing in the east. A further gathering of Ukrainians in Prague was planned for Wenceslas Square later on Sunday.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, discussed a NATO summit planned for next month with the country’s minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, and minister of defence, Martin Stropnický, at his Lány summer residence near Prague on Saturday. All three will be attending the conference in Wales on September 4 and 5. Mr. Stropnický told reporters that the main aim of Saturday’s meeting was to ensure the Czech delegation spoke with one voice at the summit, which is expected to discuss NATO’s future and financing, as well as the situations in Ukraine and Iraq.
The first statue of the literary character Josef Švejk in the Czech Republic was unveiled in Putim on Saturday, the Czech News Agency reported. Švejk’s wanderings took him through the south Bohemian town in Jaroslav Hašek’s classic 1923 novel The Good Soldier Švejk. There are 12 statues of the literary character, famously illustrated in the book by Josef Lada, in other parts of the world. The South Bohemian regional authority and CzechTourism helped finance the bronze statue in Putim, which holds a Švejk festival every year.
A doctor responsible for a patient who died of a suspected overdose of potassium has quit working at the hospital in Rumburk in North Bohemia where the death took place, the news site Aktuálně.cz reported. On Friday police charged a former nurse at the hospital with murder in connection with the case. Petr Vondráček said he was leaving the hospital after its director, Darek Šváb, said the doctor had given liver failure as the cause of death, failed to order a post mortem and did not contact the police despite the suspicion that a crime had been committed. Dr. Vondráček denied these accusations at a hastily arranged news conference. Police suspect the nurse of euthanising a 70-year-old cancer patient out of sympathy for the woman’s critical condition.