The Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court has sided with parents who refused to inoculate their child with the mandatory hexa-vaccine. In the ruling, the judge said that the inoculation was not only a question of religion, but also a question of conscience. Some parents believe that the vaccine which targets serious diseases including Hepatitis B, can pose a risk to the children’s immune systems. Under Czech law, anyone failing to vaccinate their child in such cases risks a fine of up to 10,000 crowns. In the particular case which was discussed on Wednesday, each parent had previously been fined 4,000 crowns by Prague City Court for refusing to vaccinate their child.
The British prime minister, David Cameron’s meeting with his Czech counterpart, Bohuslav Sobotka, in Prague on Friday has been confirmed. The meeting will also be attended by the Minister of Social Affairs Michaela Marksová and the country’s State Secretary for European Affairs Tomáš Prouza, Czech government spokesman Martin Ayrer said on Wednesday. The talks will be dominated by Britain’s proposals for EU reform, its future in the EU, the migration crisis and business and security cooperation. Mr Cameron is also due to meet with Czech President Miloš Zeman.
Prague hotel U Zlaté studně has been voted Europe’s number one luxury hotel in Europe by the tourist website TripAdvisor, which provides recommendations for hotels, resorts, inns, vacations and travel packages around the world. The five-star hotel, situated in the district of Malá Strana, was placed third in the worldwide ranking. Another Prague Hotel, Alchymist Grand Hotel and Spa, finished in the 11th spot.
Sales of new passenger cars on the Czech market are expected to rise this year by about five percent, the head of Škoda Luboš Vlček said on Wednesday. Sales could reach 220,000 to 240,000 cars compared to last year’s 230,000. Estimates of the international consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers are more optimistic, putting the growth at 10 to 15 percent. Last year, local car sales were up by 20 percent with Škoda taking around a third of the local market for new car sales.
Former mayor of České Budějovice, Juraj Thoma, has been sentenced to five years in prison for abuse of office. The court has also ordered him to pay 12.5 million crowns in damages and banned him from holding any public office for the next five years. Mr. Thoma is believed to have signed a highly disadvantageous contract worth 37 million crowns for the city over IT services in 2012 without calling a public tender. It was overpriced by some estimates to the tune of 12 million crowns. Mr Thoma is likely to appeal the verdict.
The overall Czech advertising market climbed last year by around 8 percent to 65 billion crowns according to figures released by the agency Nielsen Admosphere. Television grabbed the biggest slice of the market with revenues rising to 35.5 billion crowns. Radio ad income rose by around 5 percent to 6.0 billion but revenues for newspapers and magazines were flat at just short of 18 billion crowns. There was no separate breakdown for internet ad income.
The film Ztraceni v Mnichově (Lost in Munich) by Petr Zelenka has received 15 nominations for this year’s Czech Lion domestic movie awards. The film tells the absurd story of the French prime minister’s parrot, a witness to the Munich Conference, who reveals its secrets decades later. Kobra a užovky (The Snake Brothers) by Jan Prušinovský has 12 nominations, followed by Slávek Horák’s Domácí Péče (Home Care) and Sedmero krkavců by Alice Nellis with nine nominations. The Czech Lion awards are voted on by the Czech Film and Television Academy. The event will take place at Prague’s Rudolfinum on March 3.
In football, Sparta Prague lost 3:1 in a friendly against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night. The Prague team drew level at shortly after half time with David Lafata finding the net but then conceded two more goals in the second half. The high profile match was the first appearance for new signing, striker Josef Šural, recently acquired from Liberec. Second in the German Bundesliga, Dortmund were preparing for the start of the new German season on Saturday.
The chairman of the Czech Bishops Conference, Cardinal Dominik Duka, has called on the government to return land to small farmers without delay. In a statement, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Czech Republic said it was disrespectful to original owners and their descendants that property seized during the collectivisation of agricultural land under communism had not yet been handed back. He said lengthy bankruptcy proceedings involving the successors of collective farms were mainly to blame for the situation.
Tomáš Berdych has reached the third round of the Australian Open. The Czech men’s number one overcame the Bosnian player Mirza Basic without great difficulty 6-4 6-0 6-3 on Wednesday to advance in the first Grand Slam of the year. Berdych made the semi-finals in Melbourne in 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Czech women’s number one Petra Kvitová has been knocked out of the second round of Australian Open by local hope Daria Gavrilova. Another Czech, Kristýna Plíšková, has also failed to reach the third round.