Prime Minister Petr Nečas again rejected any suggestion that former
justice minister Jiří Pospíšil was recalled from his post last month
because he had planned to name respected state prosecutor Lenka
Bradáčová to head Prague’s State Attorney’s Office. The prime
minister sent a written statement to the Czech news agency on Friday,
saying claims otherwise were unacceptable and speculative; on the same day
new Justice Minister Pavel Blažek, who succeeded Mr Pospíšil, revealed
he would not name Ms. Bradáčová even though she had received a
recommendation from the Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman. The new
minister is considering the option of a regular competition for the post.
Jiří Pospíšil, who concentrated on fighting alleged corruption at the State Attorney’s Office in Prague, was dismissed by the prime minister last month for managerial failures.
Three young men, estimated at 20 years of age, were killed near Tábor in the early hours of Saturday morning, after their vehicle skidded off the road and hit a tree, police said. A fourth person, an 18-year-old female, was injured. The tragedy took place shortly before six am near a local railway crossing, the spokeswoman for the South Bohemian police force Lenka Holická confirmed. It is one of the worst accidents on South Bohemian roads so far this year, ČTK reported. In another crash, on June 7 near Jindřichův Hradec, three men between the ages of 30 and 64 lost their lives when their vehicle collided with a bus.
Czechs most value the work of doctors, scientists, nurses and university professors a new poll conducted by the CVVM agency suggests. Respondents in the survey ranked 26 professions on a 99-point scale. The worst-ranked on the scale were MPs, government ministers and cleaning personnel. According to CVVM, the result shows that doctors’ reputations were unhurt, for example, by a long-term campaign to boost salaries. More than 500 people aged 15 and higher took part in the poll, which was conducted in June.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday that 11 new ambassadors will soon take up their posts. Martin Povejšil is to replace Milena Vicenová as ambassador to the EU, while Jiří Šedivý will take up Mr Povejšil’s post in NATO. The naming of both men was expected. Others named by the Foreign Ministry include Martin Košatka, who will serve in Croatia, and Milan Dufek who will head the Czech mission in Norway. Personnel changes at missions in South American countries were also announced. On Thursday, news site E15 reported that Petr Kolář would leave as ambassador to Russia this fall, before his mandate was up. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, however, would not confirm the move.
The Foreign Ministry has said despite continuing violence and fighting in Syria the Czech embassy in Damascus is not under imminent threat. The ministry was replying to an enquiry by the ČTK agency; according to officials, appropriate security steps have been taken, and the situation is monitored around the clock. On Thursday in Syria, more than 300 people were reported killed in the conflict; central Damascus remains under control of government forces, Czech diplomatic sources said.
Czech-American economist Jan Švejnar has not taken a final decision yet on whether to run in next year’s presidential election, the first time Czech voters will choose their president directly. Mr Švejnar, considered a possible strong contender according to numerous opinion polls, will reportedly decide over the remainder of the summer. Originally, Mr Švejnar said he would announce his intentions after a procedural bill on the upcoming election was passed in Parliament; that took place earlier this week. Now the bill must be signed by President Václav Klaus who completes his final term in March 2013.
Czech entertainer and musician Ivan Mládek, who turned 70 earlier this year, will go on tour this autumn, with dates in nine towns and cities. He will perform well-known hits, including Jožin z bažin as an encore, with the Banjo Band, the Czech news agency reported. The first concert of “The Last Tour”, as it has been called, has been set for October 17. Mládek is the author of more than 400 songs. In the ‘90s he starred in a popular TV variety show.
Justice Minister Pavel Blažek said on Friday he would not appoint Lenka Bradáčová chief Prague prosecutor. Ms Bradáčová, who oversaw the corruption case of former prominent Social Democrat politician David Rath, is considered a champion of anti-corruption efforts in the Czech judiciary. Mr Blažek’s predecessor, Jiří Pospíšil, who was dismissed last month, was going to appoint Ms Bradáčová to the post, and some observers noted his dismissal was a move to prevent getting Ms Bardáčová appointed to the post. Justice Minister Pavel Blažek said he will fill the position of chief Prague prosecutor in a regular competition.
The Czech Senate on Friday rejected a bill aimed at promoting foster care and reducing the number of children in institutional care. The draft legislation, prepared by the government, would professionalize foster parenting and increase foster parents’ salaries. However, some senators warned the bill could destroy the current system of institutional care and commercialize foster parenting. The bill will in September return to the Lower House which can overturn the Senate veto.
During his visit to the Temelín nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia on Friday, President Václav Klaus said the plant’s expansion was a “rational move”. Mr Klaus also dismissed objections to the planned construction of two new blocks at Temelín, and said all Czechs should appreciate that the plant was an extraordinary achievement of the country’s industry. After visiting the plant, the president praised the state-owned energy firm ČEZ for the preparation of the expansion, and said the company has to make sure the project does not exceed the costs of 300 billion crowns.
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