The centre-right Civic Democratic Party has continued its steady decline in opinion polls falling to its biggest its lowest level of popularity since the fall of the Václav Klaus government in 1997, a new survey by the ppm factum agency suggests. According to the survey, the Civic Democrats would clinch only 13.3 percent of the vote if the national election were held today. The opposition Social Democrats would come in first with 25.9 percent, followed by TOP 09 with 16.5 and the Communist Party with 13.6. The Christian Democrats would also pass the five percent threshold to make it into the Chamber of Deputies, as would the Citizens’ Rights Party- Zemanites. The Social Democrats together with the Communist would, however, no longer enjoy a majority in the 200-member lower house, the poll suggests.
The Czech Republic, represented by the Interior Ministry, is to pay one million crowns in damages to the 18-year-old son of a Vietnamese man who died in 2009 following a brutal police raid in Brno. The decision was announced on Tuesday by Brno’s Municipal Court Judge Jan Sedláček. The son as well as the wife of the deceased had sought 50 million crowns in damages each. In his decision, the judge explained that Czech law did not recognise exemplary sentences, which ruled out such significant damages. The judge instead relied on an existing benchmark but raised the sum of 240,000 crowns usually paid out in such cases. He said he had raised the amount given the father’s level of suffering and the fact that his son had lost his father at the age of just 14.
Czech news servers that came under a series of cyber assaults on Monday, which slowed or crashed home pages on the internet, are no closer to learning who the instigator may have been, CTK reports. According to the news agency, Seznam which operates Novinky estimates the attack came from an IP address in Europe, while Economia, which operates the website ihned.cz suggested it came from further afield, in Africa. Among those affected were also idnes.cz and lidovky.cz .No one has yet claimed responsibility. IT experts say the hackers flooded the websites with digital requests overwhelming their systems.
The regional court in Prague has cancelled a planned route known as the Vestec junction in a Central Bohemian zoning plan that would have connected the Prague ring-road with the D1 highway. The junction was opposed for several years by the village of Křeslice as well as by owners of surrounding land. Locals also oppose a planned junction known as Exit 4.
Around a thousand people attended an ecumenical memorial service on Sunday for the victims of a gas explosion in an apartment building in the north Moravian town of Frenštát pod Radhoštěm. Police believe that the blast, which occurred two weeks ago, was started deliberately by one of the building’s residents, who was among the six people killed. Three of the dead were children. The outdoor service was attended by people from the town and residents of the local area.
The head of the Civic Democrats’ senators group, Jaroslav Kubera, says a cross-party motion to file a treason complaint against Václav Klaus is intended to vilify the outgoing president in such a way that he quits politics. Speaking on a TV debate show ahead of a vote on the motion on Monday, Mr. Kubera said his Senate colleagues were “going after a fly with a shotgun”. The challenge’s backers want the Constitutional Court to rule on whether Mr. Klaus acted unconstitutionally in connection with a controversial amnesty and other steps. For his part, Jiří Dientsbier – one of those behind the move – said the aim was not to punish Mr. Klaus but to make clear that the Senate would not stand for unconstitutional behavior. The president, who is 71, steps down on Thursday after a decade in office.
The police have shelved an investigation into the publication of the mobile telephone numbers of politicians by the provocative art group Ztohoven, Lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. While the police say no crime was committed, they have passed the matter on to the Office for the Protection of Personal Data, the news site said. In November, Ztohoven invited visitors to a Prague gallery to send anonymous messages to the country’s politicians on an untraceable mobile phone. The group have frequently come into conflict with the law; one member, Roman Týc, was imprisoned for a month last year after amending traffic lights to show the red and green figures in various poses.
The film Ve stínu (In the Shadow) has swept the boards at the Czech Lions, the country’s annual movie awards ceremony. After being nominated in 11 categories, Ve stínu picked up prizes in nine – including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay – at a ceremony at Prague’s Lucerna on Saturday night. A lifetime’s achievement award was presented to veteran art director Karel Černý, who won an Academy Award for his work on the 1984 Miloš Forman movie Amadeus.
The Czech runner Pavel Maslák has taken gold in the 400 metres at the European Indoor Championships in Sweden’s Gothenburg. In doing so, Maslák – who was in front for virtually the entire race on Sunday – set a new national record of 45.66 seconds; that was also the fastest time achieved in Europe this season.