The Senate on Wednesday approved a “conscription” bill, which enables Czechs to voluntarily register in the military by asking to take part in a military exercise. The new legislation also enables members of the Army’s active reserves to take part in foreign missions. The government originally proposed compulsory drafting, but the idea was rejected by deputies. The legislation, which still needs to be signed by the president, should come into force in July.
Historians from the East Bohemian Museum in Pardubice on Wednesday presented a unique treasure consisting of silver coins from the turn of the 10th and 11th centuries that was discovered by archaeologists last autumn. The treasure, which has become part of the museum collections, contains more than 400 coins and over 300 coin fragments. According to the historian Petr Vorel, somebody hid them during the rule of Boleslaus II or Boleslaus III. The coins will now be now thoroughly analysed before going on display in autumn this year.
The Czech embassy in Damascus may become the exclusive distributor of EU humanitarian aid to Syrians based on a request made by EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini during her visit to Prague on Monday, the Czech News Agency has reported. Mrs. Mogherini has reportedly asked Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek to look into the possibilities of providing humanitarian aid in Syria where the Czech embassy is one of few EU diplomatic missions that are still operating.
Meteorologists have issued a snow warning for most parts of the Czech Republic, which will stay in place until Thursday morning. Weather experts have also warned against strong winds and snowdrifts. Heavy snowfall in the mountainous areas has already brought up to 20 centimetres of fresh snow and another 15 centimetres are expected to fall by Wednesday night.
The Czech government will support the call of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico for an extraordinary EU summit to tackle the growing influx of migrants across Europe's borders, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Wednesday, adding that he sees the proposal as an attempt to speed up the creation of a joint EU border force. The call came in reaction to the news about sexual assaults in Cologne and elsewhere on New Year's Eve. The coalition Christian Democratic Party has already expressed their support for a special meeting of EU leaders.
The Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment which enables municipalities to regulate the use of Segways and requires drivers to clean their vehicles from snow and ice, in case it impairs their vision. The new legislation also requires pedestrians to wear reflective materials when walking on roads outside municipalities. The legislation will now have to be signed into law by the president.
Prague 6 will rent an apartment to one of the Syrian families, who were granted asylum in the Czech Republic in October last year, spokesman for the municipal authority Martin Churavý told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. The Kurdish family comes from Afrin, near the town of Aleppo, and is currently staying in an asylum house in Ústí nad Labem. The Czech government has pledged to accept 1,500 migrants by the year 2017. Some 1,100 of them should come from Italy and Greece, which are facing the biggest influx of refugees. The remaining 400 will come from refugee camps in the Middle East.
The government on Wednesday passed a regulation on export of certain drugs, in an attempt to prevent their so-called re-export and their sudden absence on the market. The list of drugs, concerning mainly patients suffering from cancer, heart and neurological diseases, will be put together by experts based on reports from pharmacies, Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček explained. The prices of drugs in the Czech Republic are lower than in many other European countries and as a result, some drugs imported to the country are subsequently re-exported for higher prices. The amendment still needs to be approved by parliament before coming into force.
The Czech Republic’s Police Presidium is planning to draft 4,000 new police officers in the next four years, despite the country having more policemen per head than neighbouring Germany and Poland. According to a development plan for the next four years, the overall number of Czech police officers should reach 44,000. The strengthening of the police force is expected to cost over eight billion crowns. According to the Police Presidium, the current police force has problems tackling the increasing number of crimes, including drug abuse, terrorism and computer hacking.
Czech skier Šárka Strachová finished second in a slalom World Cup event in Austria’s Flachau on Tuesday, only a week after achieving the same result in Italy’s Santa Catarina. The 30-year-old former world champion finished behind Slovakia’s Veronika Velez-Zuzulová and is currently second overall in the World Cup standings.