Czech police seized more marihuana last year than ever before. According to
the annual report of the Anti-Drug Centre released on Wednesday,
authorities confiscated 1.1 tonnes of the plant and uncovered 305
plantations, both of which are historical records.
The police also seized more than 93 kilos of pervitin and closed 264 make-shift labs where the methamphetamine was being cooked. After marihuana, pervitin is the most widespread drug in the Czech Republic. It is regularly smuggled into neighbouring Germany and Austria, but also as far as Scandinavia.
Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath fame will perform in
Prague on Wednesday evening. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and
Grammy-winning singer and songwriter is currently on the Europe leg of his
“Farewell World Tour”, which began in May and wraps up in 2020.
Osbourne is celebrating more than five decades as a stage performer. His special guests include The Hollywood Vampires, an American rock supergroup formed in 2015 by Alice Cooper, the actor Johnny Depp, and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry to honour the music of rock stars who died from excess in the 1970s.
Black Sabbath bid farewell to its fans with their own trek, “The End”, which ended in February 2017 in Birmingham, England.
One in five young adults in the Czech Republic is at risk of falling below
the poverty line, according to the local branch of Caritas, an
international Catholic relief and development charity. Some 300,000 people
between the ages of 18 and 30 are essentially living from pay packet to pay
packet, according to a survey conducted by the Median Agency released on
According to the Median Agency findings, 22 per cent of young adults are at risk. Women are at greater risk than men of both falling below the poverty line and remaining there for longer, the survey found. This is partly due to the gender pay gap, and partly because women are far more likely to be rearing children alone than are men. Broken down by gender, 18 per cent of men over the age of 25 are at risk compared to 27 per cent of women.
The Prague Municipal Council has rejected a proposed discount on public
transport for students aged 15-26. The author of the proposal, Deputy Mayor
Petr Dolínek, suggested students be offered annual passes for 365 crowns,
roughly equivalent to 1.2 euros a month, to encourage them to use trams,
buses and the metro more often.
Other city councillors argued that Prague could ill afford losing an estimated 300 million crowns in annual revenue. As a compromise, students will be allowed to pay for annual passes, which as of January will cost 1,200 crowns, in monthly instalments.
Former political prisoner František Suchý has died at the age of 91. As a
teenager Mr. Suchý helped his cremator father keep clandestine records of
the names of people executed by the Nazis and the Communists. The pair also
hid the ashes of many victims of those regimes.
In later years Mr. Suchý was sentenced to 25 years in a communist jail for aiding a people smuggler working with the US intelligence services. Last year he received a Memory of Nations award recognising his resistance to totalitarianism.
The Czech prime minister designate, Andrej Babiš of ANO, is hoping that
President Miloš Zeman will come to the lower house in person to support
his second attempt to form a government, Czech Television reported. Mr.
Babiš’s planned government should undergo a confidence vote in the
Chamber of Deputies on July 11.
The outcome of such a vote will depend on whether the membership of the Social Democrats opts to enter a minority coalition with ANO that would be backed during crucial votes by the Communists. The result of the Social Democrats’ ballot is due on Friday.
Mr. Babiš said Mr. Zeman had expressed interest in attending the lower house confidence vote, which would precede a NATO summit he is set to attend later that day.
Czechs regard the 1989 Velvet Revolution as the highlight of their
nation’s greatest moment since the foundation of Czechoslovakia a century
ago, while for the Slovaks their proudest hour was the Slovak National
Uprising in 1944. That is according to parallel opinion polls conducted in
both states and published on Tuesday.
Some 72 percent of Czechs polled rated the revolution as the “most positive” moment of the last century. By contrast, Slovaks placed the events of 1989 third among great moments since 1918, behind the Slovak National Uprising and the establishment of independent Slovakia.
The opposition Christian Democrats plan to call on the government to drop a
plan to reduce housing benefits for those on social welfare during a lower
house session on Thursday. The party have been joined in their petition by
the Pirates, TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents.
The Christian Democrats’ Jan Čižinský said the Ministry of Labour proposal was targeted at the poorest in Czech society. He said cutting such benefits would lead to people being forced to leave their apartments and live in shelters.
The Social Democrats, who seem headed for a coalition with the Ministry of Health-helming ANO, say they are against such a debate but still have objections to the proposal.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, says he regards a meeting on
Tuesday between the leaders of the United States and North Korea
positively. Mr. Babiš told reporters that he hoped the summit between
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore would produce results and remove
the risk of war in the region.
Prime Minister Babiš said it would be a great success if North Korea gave up its nuclear weapons. He said it was a pity that similar conflicts had not been resolved in the past and that Western states had attempted to bring about regime change by force rather than negotiation.