The Czech prime minister, Petr Nečas, has condemned Monday’s bomb attack in Boston. Mr. Nečas said he firmly believed that such an “unacceptable and disgusting terrorist act” would be investigated and those responsible held to account, adding that there was no place for such barbaric and cruel behaviour. Three people were killed and over 170 injured in Monday’s attack, which took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Czech police have boosted security at the US Embassy in Prague and said they would take special measures ahead of next month’s Prague Marathon.
Czech President Miloš Zeman sent a telegram of condolence to the president of the United States, Barack Obama, saying Czech people’s thoughts were with Americans in the aftermath of the attack. He said that he regarded the fight against terrorism as one of his foreign policy priorities and that the Czech Republic was an active and reliable partner of the US.
The Czech ombudsman, Pavel Varvařovský, said on Tuesday that his office had received one fifth more complaints in 2012 than the previous year. Mr. Varvařovský said the increase was due to the impact of government social reforms and austerity measures implemented in response to an ongoing recession in the Czech Republic. He also said Czechs had become more aware of their rights and more determined to seek justice. The Ombudsman’s Office, which is based in Brno, received nearly 8,650 complaints last year, with issues surrounding social security the most common.
The Social Democrats are still way out in front of their rivals in terms of voter support, suggests an opinion poll conducted this month by the STEM agency. The party would receive 27.7 percent support among those planning to vote, the survey indicates, followed by TOP 09 with 11.4 percent. Some 10.3 percent of respondents said they would cast their ballots for the Communists, while 8.9 percent said they would vote for the Civic Democrats.
Prague’s Nusle Bridge is to undergo major renovations in the next three or four years at a cost of around CZK 350 million, a representative of the city’s roads authority said on Tuesday. The renovation project will begin this summer, when the structure’s lights and drainage system will be overhauled. Traffic will be restricted to two of the three lanes going in either direction when that work is going on. There is also a metro tunnel inside Nusle Bridge, which links the city centre with the large Prague 4 district and was completed in 1973.
All public rubbish dumps in the Czech Republic should be closed by the year 2025, under a plan being prepared by the Ministry of the Environment, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. The plan envisages much greater use of incinerators by local authorities, the newspaper said. The cost of building them is likely to lead to a marked increase in the charges that individuals and companies currently pay to have their rubbish removed.
Czechs find Slovaks most “likable” and Romanies least “likable”, suggests an opinion poll released by the CVVM agency. More than four-fifths of Czechs questioned in last month’s survey said they found their Slovak neighbours and former federal partners “likable”, while around the same percentage expressed antipathy to Romanies. The results were in line with findings in a similar study last year of attitudes to 16 “national groups” living in the Czech Republic, the Czech News Agency reported.
Final preparations are underway for the 23rd Prague Writers’ Festival, which begins in the Czech capital on Wednesday. The biggest name at this year’s festival will be the Nobel Prize-winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, while other guests will include Mary Heimann, writer of the divisive Czechoslovakia: The State That Failed. The Prague authorities have said they will significantly reduce their financial support for the Prague Writers’ Festival next year.
The executive committee of the Czech Football Association have decided to retain Michal Bílek as manager of the national squad. Officials said he had their confidence as long as it was still theoretically possible for the Czech Republic to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year. Bílek had come under pressure after a home defeat against Denmark that left his charges with a major hill to climb if they are to reach the competition. The one-time Sparta Prague coach has been in charge since 2009 and led the Czechs to Euro 2012 via the playoffs.
The Czech tennis player Radek Štěpánek has lost his first singles match on the ATP circuit after taking three months out to undergo a neck operation. Štěpánek, who is 34, lost 3-6 3-6 to qualifier Albert Ramos of Spain at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday. He had previously appeared for the Czech team in the doubles rubber of a Davis Cup tie against Kazakhstan in which he and Jan Hájek were beaten.