Police in Ostrava have arrested a three-member gang that was responsible for a series of car thefts in the region, costing a total of around two million crowns. The police had been working on apprehending the gang for nine months. One of the men, who was allegedly commissioned by the other suspect, stole the vehicles together with his female companion. He is suspected on 24 counts of theft, while the woman has been charged in 22 cases.
Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda said that he does not expect the Civic Democrat's partner in the city council, the TOP 09 party, to abandoned the coalition once the conciliation procedure ends on Monday. During the Sunday talk show Questions with Vaclav Moravec, the mayor said that problems surrounding one of the points of contention - the financing for the construction of a major tunnel called Blanka - should be resolved by the end of April, when the city will finish checking questionable invoices. Mr Svoboda said that if TOP 09 were to abandoned the coalition now, as it has threatened to do during the conciliation proceedings in the past two week, it would send a bad signal to voters.
Interior and furniture designers Lucie Koldová a Dan Yeffet were awarded the top prize at the Czech Grand Design ceremony on Saturday evening. The annually held Czech Grand Design competition was created seven years ago to draw attention to young up-and-coming Czech designers and photographers. This year's winners in eight categories received the awards in the form of silver and gold sticks with cotton candy on them.
The shadow finance minister, Jan Mládek, apologized for his statement made at the Social Democratic Party Congress on Saturday, in which he characterized self-employed owners of small businesses as parasites who exploit their employees and fail to contribute to the social security system. In a press release, Mr Mládek said that his statement was misinterpreted and that the government, not the entrepreneurs, is the parasite that is ineffective in collecting taxes. Earlier, the chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Bohuslav Sobotka, distanced himself from the statement of his colleague, following criticism from Prime Minister Petr Nečas.
The band Kryštof won two prizes at this year's Anděl music awards. Judges awarded the Band of the Year and Album of the Year prizes to the band, which was founded twenty years ago, at the Saturday evening ceremony in Prague. Aneta Langerová, who won the first season of the TV show Czech SuperStar in 2004, was selected as the best female singer of 2012, and Vojtěch Dyk of Nightwork as the best male singer. The folk-rock band Zrní was awarded the Best Newcomer of the year prize.
Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, has requested to revoke the Czech state-owned energy company ČEZ's distribution license in the country, citing deplorable pricing tactics that were revealed during a month-long investigation into the firm. ČEZ denies the allegations and said it did not yet receive the findings. Investigations into Czech and Austrian energy distributors in Bulgaria were triggered by massive street protests over high energy prices in January.
After winning two races on two consecutive days - the sprint and the 10K pursuit - at the Biathlon World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, Gabriela Soukalová claimed her third victory in a row at the final Mass Start event. The 23-year-old's first victory of the season, and the first World Cup gold of her career, came this past December when she won the women’s sprint in Slovenia.
Speaking in front of the delegates at the Social Democratic congress on Saturday morning, the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said that in the case of victory in the 2014 parliamentary elections, the Czech Social Democrats should consider forming a government without other parties, as his own party Smer decided to do after the 2012 elections. The Smer chairman emphasized that in order to overcome the current crisis, Europe needs to ascribe more to true social democratic values.
Twenty-four of the total 34 soldier set to take part in a EU mission in Mali left Prague on Saturday morning. Czech troops will first be guarding the base for the EU training mission and later will also be helping in the training of Malian soldiers. This is the first operation in Africa for the Czechs. They will be spending a total of 15 months in Mali.
Former presidential candidate Jiří Dienstbier lost his post as deputy
chairman of the Social Democratic Party to the governor of the Plzeň
region, Milan Chovanec, at the party congress in Ostrava. The vote on
Friday night confirmed the other former deputy chairs - Zdeněk Škromach,
Lubomír Zaorálek, Martin Starec.
After a second round of voting at the party congress, Alena Gajdůšková was elected as a deputy chairwoman of the party. The Social Democratic Party’s rules party’s rules require that at least one of the deputy chair-people must be a woman. Ms Gajdůšková, who is also the first deputy chairwoman of the opposition-controlled senate, beat out the former deputy chairwoman of the party Marie Benešová.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary