The national vehicle registration system is reportedly in working order after weeks of malfunctions. A deputy to the transport minister said the parties involved in the problem had held an all-night crisis meeting and that all stations were now processing applications successfully. Nonetheless, officials at the stations say the system remains slower than the original one. The Transport Ministry claims the most recent problems were caused not by the faultiness of the new system itself but by overloaded servers at the Police Presidium, which handle the Schengen Information System. The failing system has caused major problems for drivers since it was launched on July 9. Prime Minister Nečas has given Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš until Friday to resolve the problem or else resign.
The transport ministry said on Thursday that it was prepared to compensate town halls and individuals for the problems caused by the malfunctioning register and provide extra funds for overtime hours in order to satisfy all clients in the coming days. Many people complained the problems had ruined their holiday plans since they could not use their car to travel. Some have already taken their case to court.
The newly emerging party LIDEM around Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake has expressed great dissatisfaction with the introduction of the new vehicle registration system and demanded an explanation from party member and Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš. Ms. Peak, who earlier indicated that Mr. Dobes should accept political responsibility for a bungled job, voiced fears that the problems surrounding the register would reflect badly on the new party’s image. She has made it clear that if Mr. Dobeš should go LIDEM would expect to fill the post within the framework of the coalition agreement.
Justice Minister Pavel Blažek has explained his reluctance to appoint popular prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová to the post of Prague High State Attorney. In an interview for Thursday’s Hospodarske Noviny the minister said he was determined to avoid a war of prosecutors at the Prague State Attorney’s Office and feared that the forthright Bradáčová would unleash a cleansing orgy at the institution. Mr. Blazek stressed that he wanted a high state attorney who would unite, rather than divide, the Prague State Attorney’s Office. Although the minister has hesitated for over three weeks with the appointment he admitted that Ms. Bradáčová remains the best-qualified candidate for the post. Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman who recommended her for the post has refused to comment.
Experts have recommended postponing a planned overhaul of the Prague public transport network, the internet daily idnes reported on Thursday. The extensive changes in public transport, aimed at saving 400 million crowns annually, were to have been introduced in September but a commission of experts said the planned changes had been poorly communicated and that not everything had been adequately prepared for a smooth transition. The overhaul of the system includes changes to bus and tram lines and the introduction of mini-buses mainly in the suburbs. The city hall is to make a final decision on the proposed postponement in mid-August.
Czech car maker Škoda Auto is reported to have sold around 408,000 cars in the first half of 2012, a year-on-year growth of 12.6 percent. The company’s sales revenue rose by 6.6 percent to 145.7 billion crowns or 5.7 billion euros in the same period. Operating profit rose by 9 percent to 449 million euros. The Roomster, Yeti and Octavia are the best selling models.
A Prague court has ordered insolvency proceedings against the company E Side Property which owns the football stadium in Eden, home to the Slavia football club. The bankruptcy order was lodged by the Sokolov city hall on the grounds that E Side Property owes the city a debt of several million crowns which it has proved unable to repay. A representative of the Cyprian firm Kingwater Holdings which is the new owner of E Side Property said the order was unnecessary since Kingwater Holdings was taking steps to repay the debt.
Czech cinemas report increased profits after a record slump in attendance in 2011 that proved to be the worst in six years. According to the Association of Film Distributors an influx of Czech films in the first six months of this year attracted over 5 million cinema-goers bringing a 17 percent increase in profits year on year. The movie that generated the biggest interest was the Czech comedy You Kiss Like the Devil.
Czechs are placing bets on the outcome of the Olympic Games in London, putting their money on hot favourites such as Bara Spotakova, Petra Kvitova or Katerina Emmons. Betting companies say that while the interest is not as great as in football or hockey championships as far as Olympic events go this is definitely a winner. The overall sum is expected to reach 130 million crowns.
International canoe authorities have cancelled a six-month doping ban on a member of the Czech Republic's sprint kayak crew. Jan Šterba tested positive for a banned stimulant during an Olympic qualifying event in Poland on May 17, receiving a six month ban. He appealed the decision saying he was unaware that a food supplement he used contained a banned substance. The Czech Canoe Federation has welcomed the decision. Šterba is part of the K4 crew.