More questions have surfaced regarding the problematic national vehicle registration system. Czech Television claims the system, which has been plagued by problems since its launch on July 9th, was severely overpriced. It was reportedly commissioned without a public tender to the company ATS Telecom for the price of 60 million crowns despite the fact that the company which operated the old register offered its services for a fraction of that price – a mere six million crowns. The Transport Ministry said it had commissioned the job without a public tender in order to save time. Deputy Prime Minister Karolína Peake told the CTK news agency on Monday she would ask Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš, a member of her own emerging party LIDEM, for an explanation. She said it would be a good idea to have independent auditors look into the manner in which the register was commissioned, its price and efficiency.
In related news, there is little doubt in the mind of regional governor Michal Hašek, of the opposition Social Democrats, that the transport minister should step down. On Monday, Mr Hašek echoed earlier words by his party leader that Pavel Dobeš should go, citing additional complications with the system in parts of the country on Monday. The vehicle registration system, for example, suffered problems in Ostrava and Pardubice, even though the transport minister has guaranteed it would be fully up-and-running. In Ostrava, there was a lapse in the internet connection while in Pardubice there was a problem with the historic vehicles section. Mr Dobeš faced an ultimatum to step down by Friday last week, if the system wasn’t operational. Technicians said that Monday’s problems were not systemic.
Police and fire fighters responded to a used oil leak in in the area of Dubeč in Prague affecting a local field. According to fire service spokeswoman Pavlina Adamcová, uncovered at an illegal dump were five 1,000-litre barrels filled with oil, left on a concrete surfacel; three of the barrels were damaged leading to the spill. Contaminated earth in the area will have to be removed by specialists, the spokeswoman confirmed. Environment representatives for the city will reportedly also view the area.
Blue wellington boots that the Czech Olympic team wore to great success in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London are reportedly selling well at the Czech House in London, not only among Czech visitors but Londoners and tourists. The Czech collection - blue and white suits topped off with wellington boots and parasols (a humorous reference to English weather) was one of the hits of the opening evening, trending high on Twitter and gaining international attention. Václav Hrbek, the head of Alpine Pro, official partner of the Czech Olympic team which invested heavily in the collection, told news website idnes that sales of the blue rubber boots had also gone up at home. He said that expected profits would be mild but indicated the project was crucial in terms of marketing.
Police are searching for a metal thief who tried to cut an electronic cable along a railway route near Most. The perpetrator dug up the cable providing electricity for the route’s safety system in five places and attempted to chop through it with an axe. In doing so, he received a jolt of around 6,000 volts, specialists said. The thief must have suffered at least minimal burns to his arms and upper body, they added, saying the accident could have ended badly indeed. The jolt partly melted and burned the axe, which was found at the scene. If caught (and found guilty in the case) the perpetrator could face up to six years in prison.
Football club Mladá Boleslav – after winning two in a row in second round action in the Europa League, lost its opening match of the new season in the Czech league, 1:0 against Teplice. In other action, Viktoria Plzeň defeated Hradec Kralové 3:0. Defending champions Liberec also began with a strong win: 4:0 over Příbram. The first round wraps-up later on Monday with Slavia facing Jihlava.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has made it to the third round at the
Olympic Games. On Monday, she rebounded in her match against China’s to
Shuai Peng after losing the second set. The final score was 7:5, 2:6, 6:1.
In other action, Petra Cetkovská had to forfeit her match due to injury, while Lucie Šafářová lost. Kvitová is the only Czech player left in the singles tournament.
Heavy storms caused widespread damage throughout Bohemia on Saturday night. Firemen were called out to hundreds of sites in those regions and in Central Bohemia, where most of the problems involved fallen trees and flooded cellars. Part of a road by the Vltava collapsed near Český Krumlov. The D11 motorway connecting Prague and Hradec Králové remained partially blocked on Sunday afternoon as a slope on the side of the road slid into the motorway. More than 50 people had to be evacuated from a children’s camp near Kutna Hora.
Politicians and hundreds of onlookers attended an annual celebration of Czech and Slovak brotherhood on Sunday at Velká Javořina mountain on the border of the two states. Representatives of the two states of the former Czechoslovak federation, among them prime ministers Petr Nečas and Robert Fico, spoke of the above-average relations between their countries. Mr Nečas, who grew up near Slovakia, said that Slovaks were truly a brother nation and that it would be hard to find two states in Europe that enjoy the same kind of friendship. A meeting of the Czech and Slovak governments is to take place in the autumn.
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