The country’s chief hygiene officer Vladimir Valenta has warned the public not to drink unlicensed spirits over the Easter holidays. There are fears that there is still a considerable amount of bootleg liquor containing the deadly methanol in people’s possession. Forty-five people died and many suffered permanent eye damage after drinking methanol-laced bootleg liquor which flooded the market last autumn. Although police confiscated thousands of litres of the deadly spirits a large amount is still unaccounted for.
Emergency services have increasing problems placing patients in hospitals, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes, writes in its Thursday edition. The paper cites paramedics as saying that hospitals refuse even critical patients and ambulances sometimes make the round of five hospitals before a patient is admitted. Hospitals say in their defence that they have a shortage of beds due to the austerity measures and have to refuse patients they cannot physically accommodate. The head of the Prague emergency services says that 20 patients were rejected by hospitals in this manner in the course of just two weeks.
Five people were lightly injured in an accident in a multiplex cinema house in Plzen. According to an eyewitness part of the plasterboard ceiling collapsed in the hallway to one of the cinema halls. One woman was taken to hospital with light injuries, the other four were treated on the spot. The building has been evacuated.
Production of beer increased 2.7 percent year on year in 2012, according to the Czech Brewers’ Association. The increase was driven by higher consumption and export of radlers. Consumption of radlers, popular among young people, reached 434.000 hectolitres in 2012, while consumption of traditional brews dipped slightly. There is also increasing demand for beer in cans and plastic bottles.
Unsuccessful presidential candidate Jan Fischer, who finished fourth in the first round of the country’s first direct presidential election in January, is pooling funds to pay off unsettled campaign debts, reports Mladá fronta Dnes. According to the Czech daily, Mr Fischer received a donation of 2 million crowns from lawyer Daniel Palko this week. The head of his election team Jan Pirk said that additional funds would gradually be added. Some creditors to Mr Fischer’s campaign have reportedly already received first instalments.
The Czech Republic's Constitutional Court on Wednesday threw out treason charges filed by a group of senators against former president Václav Klaus. Parliament's upper house, dominated by the leftwing Social Democrats, voted on March 4 to file the charges against the then outgoing president on the claim he had on several occasions acted outside the boundaries of the country’s constitution. Central to the treason charge was a controversial amnesty Mr Klaus declared on January 1. Had Mr Klaus - who stepped down on March 7 - been convicted as charged, the worst punishment he could have received was the loss of office and a ban from running for president again.
The Chamber of Deputies has passed an amendment paving the way for the introduction of the electronic registration of firearms in the Czech Republic, to replace an outdated hardcopy registration system. The new system, which will now have to receive majority backing in the Senate, will also introduce other changes, extending, for example, the period of validity of firearm permits. The amendment is also meant to increase safety and security in the transport of firearms, to be overseen by the police. If passed into law, the legislation will come into effect in the middle of next year.
President Miloš Zeman will reportedly veto legislation on waste disposal that includes a loophole benefit for solar energy operators, the president’s spokeswoman Hana Burianová has revealed. If the president takes the step, the veto will be his first since taking office. The mistake in the law, allows solar energy plants an additional six months to sign contracts on financing for the removal of solar panel waste. The chairwoman of the lower house, Miroslava Němcová, said the chamber had not passed the bill in its current wording but that the mistake had taken place in the Senate.
Construction work at the AZ Tower in Brno – at 111 metres the tallest building in the Czech Republic – is complete; officials said that workers were now only finishing up the interiors. The AZ Tower, designed by architects Gustav Křivinka and Aleš Burian, edges the City Tower at Prague’s Pankrác by two metres. The building is slated to house offices, apartments, restaurants and shops and other services, including an auto salon and fitness club. The new building was designed to make use of Green technology in order to leave a smaller ecological footprint.
Ten people had to be evacuated from their homes on Prague’s Národní Street on Wednesday morning after a fire broke out on the roof of their building, the historic Topičův Dum (Topič House). One person had to be treated in hospital for smoke inhalation. The fire began at around 4:30 in the morning and was put out by 7 am. Topičův Dum, located across from the National Theatre, has a rich history and is regarded as an important example of Art Nouveau architecture.