The Plzen law faculty which unexpectedly received an extended 4-year lease on life from Education Minister Josef Dobeš on Friday says it will not take in new students without getting a green light from the ministry. The faculty’s right to take in new students was put on hold last year as it awaited the verdict of the Czech Accreditation Commission regarding its future. However after the Accreditation Commission refused to extend the faculty’s accreditation past this autumn, the education minister unexpectedly countered the order, extending the law faculty’s undergraduate programme until 2016 in order to give some 1800 students the chance to finish their education at their alma mater. The decision has come under fire from lawyers and the head of the Accreditation Commission Vladimíra Dvořáková said she would take the matter to court.
The Association for Integration and Migration is fighting for the rights of foreign nationals who work as house-cleaners helpers and maids in the Czech Republic. In a campaign called “Do you know who cleans your house?” the association points to the fact that many of the approximately 27, 000 foreign employees from non-EU member states are heavily exploited by home cleaning services. Fearful of losing their jobs, many work for less than the minimal wage, are maltreated and even sexually harassed. The campaign targets both the public with an appeal for people to be more vigilant and the foreign workers themselves informing them about the existence of a help-line where they can seek advice.
The legendary 1933 US Double Eagle, the most expensive gold coin ever sold on auction, is to be shown in Prague over the next two days. The coin which is on a seven-nation European tour arrived in Prague on Sunday amidst tight security. The coin is to be shown to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday at Prague’s National Museum. This is the first time that a 1933 double eagle has been publicly exhibited in Europe and the artefact has incited enormous interest. In July 2002 one single 1933 Double Eagle gold coin was sold for a staggering 7, 6 million dollars. The precious gold coin is touring: London, Dublin, Brussels, Prague, Warsaw, Oslo and Helsinki.
According to the results of a poll conducted by the CVVM agency 96 percent of Czechs fear a global economic crisis and perceive it as a greater threat than organized crime which received a 91 percent rating. 87 percent of respondents said they feared a natural disaster and a similar number of respondents said they feared a terrorist attack. Only 18 percent of respondents said they feared a possible war.
The Supreme Court has upheld a 12 and two 14 year sentences handed to three men who were found guilty of murdering an 18- year-old girl who would not be forced into prostitution. The girl was brutally beaten up, strangled and her body was thrown into a nearby lake. Although two of the men pleaded innocent the third broke down and related how she had been killed. An autopsy showed that the girl died of suffocation by strangling, but the culprits were unsure and tied her arms and legs before throwing her body into the lake.
Police are searching for a pensioner who used his crutches to beat a man senseless in a fit of rage in the Prague metro. Camera footage of the incident has appeared on some news websites showing the two men exchanging words at the bottom of the escalator and the pensioner raising first one crutch and then another and dealing strong blows to the head of the other passenger. The victim is seen falling to the ground where he remains inert while the pensioner strides away. The incident happened on January 27th and the police have now asked the public for help in the search for the aggressor.
Czech football national side captain Tomas Rosicky on Monday signed a new contract with England’s Arsenal. The club did not specify the length of the contract saying it was delighted that Rosicky had committed to the club at a time when he was enjoying a great run of form, which has seen him score twice in the last three games, against Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan. Rosicky joined Arsenal in May of 2006.
The results of this weekend’s election in Slovakia should be a lesson to the Czech right-wing government, says Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The Social Democratic party headed by former Prime Minister Robert Fico won a landslide victory amid high voter turnout, allowing a single party to control parliament for the first time since the Velvet Revolution. In a statement, the Foreign Minister said the result indicated that reasonable right-wing policy does not stand a chance of success among voters if it is accompanied by corruption and scandals.
Slovak prime minister designate Fico will in all likelihood make his first trip abroad to Prague, he told Czech Television on Sunday. Mr Fico said the Czech and Slovak Republics had always had an excellent relationship regardless of the orientation of their governments. Marking a shift from outgoing PM Iveta Radičová, he said he would not criticise the Czech Republic for its reticence to join the EU fiscal responsibility treaty. Fico, who was prime minister of Slovakia from 2006 to 2010, said he had always respected the internal affairs of the Czech Republic and that it was not for him to comment on such issues. Prime Minister Radičová ruffled feathers in the Czech government in early March, when she described the Czech rejection of the treaty as not fair or honest.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas says he sees six options for increasing pensions next year. Saying he does not want a complete freeze, the PM told Czech TV that slowing down the growth of pensions should only be a temporary measure for the period of economic stagnation. The cabinet is planning cuts and other measures across the ministries in order to maintain planned budgets and avoid further indebtedness; any government, he said, would have to accept slowing down the growth of pensions amid such a poor economic forecast. The prime minister said the coalition was getting ready to discuss the exact formula for calculating the adjustment of pensions. The opposition and unions have criticised the plans.