Additional cuts in the civil service will affect all government ministries Deputy Prime Minister Karolína Peake has revealed. Speaking to journalists the head of the smallest party in government, LIDEM, said a major cut in funds might be needed at the Culture Ministry while the Ministry for Regional Development might be closed entirely. She stressed what was key was not the closing of ministries per se but a reduction in their agendas. A report compiled by the deputy prime minister will be discussed at the cabinet level; she said in advance she expected to be met with resistance from individual ministries. In June, the government assigned Mrs Peake the task of proposing cuts in areas of the civil service; under the plan, almost 12 billion crowns are to be saved in 2014 and as much as 25 billion crowns one year later. According to the deputy prime minister, the ministries together have only proposed cuts of 1.6 billion crowns.
Karel Randák, the former head of Czech counter-intelligence, has confirmed his intention to run for the post of Czech president. Mr Randák said as a single individual he did not have enough opportunities to combat corruption in the Czech Republic; he added that he would discontinue his membership of the board of businessman Karel Janeček’s anti-corruption fund. The former intelligence chief said that along with collecting signatures, he would address independent senators. He will need either to secure support from members of Parliament or at least 50,000 signatures. More than 20 candidates have now announced they are running; numerous polls have placed former interim prime minister Jan Fischer and former Social Democrat prime minister Miloš Zeman at the forefront.
Prague’s Ruzyně international airport is preparing steps ahead of its planned renaming after Václav Havel. The step will officially take place on October 5th – the day the ex-president, who died last December, would have turned 76. According to organisers, a special ceremony marking the occasion will be attended by diplomats serving in the Czech republic as well as key political and cultural figures. The new name of the airport will be visible not only from the front of the building, ČTK reported, but also from the airfield itself. An exhibition of photographs honouring the Czech Republic’s first president will also open on the same day in Terminal 2.
The funeral for legendary Czech actor Radoslav Brzobohatý, who died this week at the age of 79, will be held on Friday, September 21st in Prague-Strašnice. It is not yet clear whether the ceremony will be private or open to members of the public. Mr Brzobohatý was widely recognised as one the country’s finest actors, starring in seminal Czech New Wave films such as All My Compatriots and The Ear, as well as the TV series F.L Věk. Czech TV has honoured the late actor by broadcasting several of his films; on the day of his passing, the broadcaster aired All My Compatriots as well as a 2009 documentary by director Jiří Strach.
September 14th marks 75 years since the death of Czechoslovakia’s first president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. A strong advocate of Czechoslovak independence during World War I, Masaryk was key in the country’s founding in 1918. He was elected president on November 14, 1918 and was re-elected in the years 1920, 1927 and 1934. Masaryk died in 1937 - less than two years after leaving office, at the age of 87. On Friday, historians in the Czech media recalled his many contributions to the state not only as president but as a philosopher and humanist.
Members of the Czech tennis team began their Davis Cup semi-final against Argentina on Friday, with Radek Štepánek facing Juan Martin del Potro in Buenos Aries. The players have faced each other on four previous occasions with the Czech winning three times. But Štepánek on Friday in the first rubber fell to his opponent by a score of 4:6, 4:6,2:6. Earlier this week it was unclear whether Del Potro, who is battling a wrist injury, would be ready to play.
Hockey legend Jaromír Jágr and Kladno will play several league matches at a Prague’s O2 arena this season, reports news website idnes. The reason is to allow a far greater number of fans view the club’s league matches, including one of the sport’s biggest stars. According to the daily, other Czech players like Tomáš Plekanec, Marek Židlický and Tomáš Kabrle could also play in the Czech league given developments in the NHL where a lockout appears increasingly likely as time for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement runs out.
Methanol-laced bootleg liquor claimed its 18th victim in the Czech Republic when an older man died on Wednesday in his apartment in Havířov, in the north east of the country. Another five cases of suspected methanol poisoning have been registered in the country over the last 24 hours, Health Minister Leoš Heger said. One man has been hospitalized in Písek, in southern Bohemia, the first case registered in the region. The authorities continue to collect and test samples of spirits; more than half of 57 spirits samples collected in the Moravian-Silesian regions tested positive for methanol.
The police in Zlín in eastern Moravia on Thursday discovered a warehouse with suspicious alcohol in bottles without tax stamps along with thousands of counterfeit labels. The proprietor of the warehouse had been arrested earlier. The warehouse was set up in a garage in the part of town where several people bought methanol-contaminated alcohol. The head of local police said however they had no evidence the man was the main distributor of bootleg liquor in the area.