Traffic and public transport at Prague’s Letná will see restrictions that began on Saturday as major road, tram line, and sidewalk repairs get underway. Letná tunnel will closed to motorists for a number of weeks. The extensive renovation project will last throughout – and should be completed by the end of - the summer holidays.
Three Czech students reached the final round in an international competition (Social Impact Award) recognizing socially-beneficial projects, idnes reports. The three – all students at Charles University – came up with a project called Pragulic (a play on the word Prague and the Czech word for street), by which homeless people could give foreign tourists somewhat atypical tours of Prague: namely of areas they know well. The students behind the project say they want to begin looking for reliable candidates soon. Similar projects already exist in London and Munich, the daily notes.
World-renowned tenor José Cura will perform in a sold-out concert in Olomouc on Saturday. Some 2,600 tickets for the performance were bought. The concert will also see Korean soprano Wonsin Lee perform. Mr Cura will return to the Czech Republic again in two months to perform in a Ruggero Leoncavallo opera to be staged in Český Krumlov.
The Czech national football team lost its final friendly on Friday in the run-up to the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland which begins next week. On Friday evening the squad – minus team captain Tomáš Rosický (still recovering from injury) - faced Hungary at Letná stadium in Prague. Hungary opened the scoring after just six minutes: Balazs Dzsudzsak's free kick from just outside the penalty area caught the Czechs out as they organised their defence. The hosts, who created a number of chances, equalized with a Michal Kadlec penalty midway through the first half after striker Milan Baroš was brought down inside the area. Although the Czechs largely dominated, Hungary struck again late in the game with a goal by Adam Gyurcso. The Czech’s first game at Euro 2012 takes place next Friday against Russia.
Prosecutors from Ústí nad Labem transferred the case against former governor David Rath – remanded in custody over suspected corruption – to the region of Central Bohemia on Friday. It is there, in the town of Rudná, that Mr Rath is suspected of having accepted a bribe related to a corrupt tender and the planned renovation of Buštěhrad castle. News website tyden.cz reports that supervision of the case has been taken over by Petr Jirát, an expert in economic corruption at the state prosecutor’s office in central Bohemia. The Social Democrat MP and former governor David Rath was arrested in mid-May with seven million crowns on his person; eight others were also charged in the case. Police wiretaps, a small part of which were published by the press on Friday, showed Mr Rath and a colleague expressing glee over illicit funds.
Patients at Czech hospitals will be able to opt for surgeons or specialists of their choice by paying a fee between five and 15 thousand crowns as of Friday. Facilities, however, will still have to provide top quality service even for those who “opt out”. In Prague, the Royal Vinohrady Teaching Hospital is one of the facilities providing the service; not all facilities will. The head of the Royal Vinohrady Teaching Hospital, Marek Zeman, has said that doctors booked by patients would receive 50 percent of the fee, while the rest went to the hospital budget. Lawyer and former head of the Constitutional Court, Eliška Wágnerová, has interpreted the service differently, saying the entire fee will go to hospitals in question and not be divided with specialists.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg on Friday presented 12 laureates with the Gratias Agit award for promoting the good name of the Czech Republic abroad. Among those awarded this year are former figure-skating champion Ája Vrzáňová, UK-based architect Eva Jiřičná, and composer Antonín Tučapský. Three foreign nationals were recognised, including Nazmi Akiman of Turkey, a former diplomat who is now the chairman of the Czech-Turkish Business Council. The awards are held annually in the Great Hall at Czernin Palace – the headquarters of the Czech Foreign Ministry.
Traffic and public transport at Prague’s Letná will see restrictions beginning on Saturday as major road, tram line, and sidewalk repairs get underway. Letná tunnel will closed to motorists for a number of weeks. The extensive renovation project - as a whole – will continue through the summer holidays.
Chile’s president, Sebastián Pinero, has been sent a ceremonial pen to replace one pocketed by the Czech head-of-state last year. Video of President Václav Klaus taking the pen while Mr Pinero was speaking in Chile went viral on the internet and the incident was reported on by many media outlets. The sending of replacement pen was Euro MP Edvard Kožušník’s idea: a humorous gesture by the member of the Civic Democratic Party originally founded by Mr Klaus. The Czech news agency reported that the new pen, manufactured in the Czech Republic, cost 12.000 crowns.
A new poll conducted by the Factum Invenio agency suggests that presidential hopeful Jan Fischer, a former prime minister, and Czech-American economist Jan Švejnar would get the most votes in the first round of next year’s presidential election. According to the agency, Mr Fischer, who led an interim government following the fall of Mirek Topolánek’s government in 2009, would receive 24.1 percent in the first round, while Mr Švejnar would receive 15.8. The latter, however, has not yet officially announced. Former prime minister Miloš Zeman placed third but has picked up growing support, sources like Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes noted, suggesting he could be competitive in the contest. So far independent candidates have gotten the most support with analysts suggesting that many voters are ‘fed up’ with traditional party candidates.