A cross-party group of senators have asked the Czech Constitutional Court to rule on the validity of the presidential amnesty declared on January 1 that saw over 7,000 prisoners released and halted long-running court cases, several involving massive corruption. The 29 senators want the Constitutional Court to rule out the latter part of Mr Klaus’s amnesty, arguing that it contravenes the rights of plaintiffs and hinders them from enforcing their claims. However, the court’s chief justice, Pavel Rychetský, said on Sunday that there was no precedent in the matter and that he was unsure as to whether it had the authority to rule on presidential amnesties.
All the Czech tennis players who have so far played in this year’s Australian Open will be going on to the second round. Tomáš Berdych, Klára Zakopalová, Lucie Hradecká, Radek Štěpánek and a first-timer Kristýna Plíšková won their first-round matches. Tuesday will see six more Czechs play their first games at the grand slam, including Petra Kvitová and Lucie Šafářová.
Snow has been falling heavily across most parts of the Czech Republic, for most of the day on Monday. Meteorologists have warned that as much as 15 centimeters of snow will fall over the course of the day in some areas. The wintery conditions have complicated traffic on Czech roads especially in southern Moravia where over 50 car accidents took place. In the Vysočina region there were at least 40. Rescue services in the Krkonoše Mountains have raised the hazard level to three, warning of possible avalanches.
Automotive production decreased by 1.7% last year to 1.174 billion cars. Despite the decline, 2012 saw the second largest automobile production in Czech Republic’s history. This is also the first decrease since 2003. Last year, car production went up by 9.5% compared to 2010, while the past decade has seen the output of the automotive industry grow 1.6 times. In the whole of Europe, the car industry suffered greater loses, with automobile production decreasing by 7%.
A new gas pipe called Gazela, which will connect the Czech Republic to the Russian pipeline Nord Stream, has been officially opened on Monday in the western Bohemian town of Přimda. Prime Minister Petr Nečas and representatives from Russia and Germany took part in the ceremony. The Nord Stream pipeline delivers gas to EU countries without going through Ukrainian territory, which will ensure more secure delivery and less expenditure on transit fees. The 166-kilometer Gazela pipeline was built within two years and cost around 10 billion crowns.
The first new minibuses will begin serving on a number of regular bus routes in Prague on Tuesday. A total of ten minibuses will operate as part of the public transport system before the end of March. The city’s public transport company wants to expand its minibus fleet, because the vehicles have a lower fuel consumption and are better sized for some parts of the city.
The governors of the Plzeň and Central Bohemian regions have not come to an agreement about what to do with the territory of the military training estate Brdy after the Czech army departs. Plzeň governor Milan Chovanec supports the government’s proposal that suggests dividing the territory between the two regions, while the Central Bohemian governor Josef Řihák is opposed. Now it is up to the parliament to decide on the matter. At a meeting on Monday, the two governors did agree on all other matters, including security, nature preservation measures and the development in the area. In a joint announcement, the two said they do not want to let any big developers to place large buildings in the Brdy area.
The Czech Republic’s bookmakers are backing Karel Schwarzenberg to become the first directly elected president of the country, the news website lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. Miloš Zeman led the opinion polls going into the first round and confirmed the role of favourite by coming first with 24.2 percent of the vote. However, Mr. Schwarzenberg scored far better than expected with 23.4 percent. The betting firm Fortuna for instance is offering odds of 1.4 to 1 on a win for Mr. Schwarzenberg and 2.5 to 1 on a win for his rival.
The International Federation of Football History & Statistics has named the former Czech Republic boss Karel Brückner as the 15th best trainer of the 21st century. Brückner led the Czechs to three major international tournaments in a row, a feat achieved by no other manager, with the most successful being Euro 2004, when they lost in the semi-finals to eventual winners Greece. He shares 15th spot with former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson topped the poll.
The chairman of the Czech Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský, says he is unsure as to whether the court has the authority to rule on presidential amnesties. Speaking on Prima TV on Sunday, Chief Justice Rychetský said there was no precedent in the matter and it was unclear whether a group of senators has the right to challenge the amnesty declared by President Václav Klaus that saw over 7,000 prisoners released and halted long-running court cases, several involving massive corruption. The senators plan to propose on Monday that the Constitutional Court rule out the latter plank of Mr. Klaus’s amnesty; they argue that it contravenes the rights of plaintiffs and thwarts their chance to enforce their claims.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Czech Republic goes into quarantine to slow down coronavirus spread
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Czechs resort to making DIY facemasks in face of their shortage