Sixty-eight percent of Czech households regularly sort their waste, suggests a study carried out by the STEM/MARK agency. Only 4 percent of respondents said they never sorted their waste, saying they believed that all rubbish ended up in the same place anyway. The mostly commonly sorted items are paper, plastic and glass, with sorting figures of above 90 percent, while only 42 percent of those surveyed said they separated biodegradable waste.
The Supreme Administrative Court has confirmed the victory of Miloš Zeman in last month’s presidential vote after on Tuesday rejecting the last of over 100 complaints filed against the election. Several of the challenges related to the presidential campaign, in which claimants said Mr. Zeman had employed untrue, xenophobic and nationalistic arguments. The court said some of the victor’s statements could have been perceived as incorrect, demagogic or even mendacious; however, they were not so serious as to force the abrogation of the election, it said. The unsuccessful claimants can in theory now turn to the Constitutional Court, but such a course would not prevent Mr. Zeman’s inauguration on March 8.
The comedy Babovřesky has set a new Czech box-office record after selling 140,000 tickets in its opening week. The film stars the likes of Lucie Vondráčková and Lucie Bílá and is directed by Zdeněk Troška, who says its huge success is down to the fact it allows viewers to enjoy a laugh and escape from their daily concerns. Critics have received the film coolly. Mr. Troška, who has a string of successful movies to his name, has also directed operas.
The authorities in Bulgaria are planning to strip the Czech power giant CEZ of its distribution license in the country on Tuesday, Bulgaria’s Focus news agency reported, referring to a statement made by the country’s prime minister, Boyko Borisov, at a news conference in Sofia. People in Bulgaria have been protesting against what they regard as the excessively high prices for electricity charged by CEZ and an Austrian company. An analyst told the news website iHned.cz that a forced exit from Bulgaria could cost CEZ as much as CZK 15 billion.
The vice president and current acting head of the Supreme Audit Office, Miloslav Kala, says the incoming head of state Miloš Zeman supports him for the post of president of the agency. Mr. Kala made the comments after a meeting with Mr. Zeman on Tuesday. He is the nominee of the Social Democrats, a party Mr. Zeman previously headed but with which the president-elect today enjoys mixed relations. The Supreme Audit Office has been without a head since the departure of František Dohnal, to whom a court handed a suspended sentence for failing to allow an investigation into the agency’s financing.
Former MP Petr Wolf who was sentenced to 6 years in jail for financial fraud is still on the run after failing to report to prison late last year but he is reportedly paying the penalty set by the court. He was last seen in the vicinity of his home around Christmas and the police believe he must have fled the Czech Republic. An Interpol warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The Bulgarian authorities are looking into the electricity prices charged by Czech and Austrian power distributors following an avalanche of complaints from the public. Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev said that once it had the results of an audit the government would make a final decision on whether there are grounds for revoking their licenses. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets across the country on Sunday to protest against what they call excessive electricity prices set by the Czech power distributor ČEZ and the Austrian energy company EVN. There have even been demands for the country’s distribution network to be nationalized. ČEZ claims that the higher electricity bills in January reflect higher consumption over the Christmas holidays and a colder-than-usual winter. ČEZ recently had its license revoked to operate Albania’s national grid after drawn-out disputes over tariffs and unpaid bills.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas on Monday decorated 18 freedom fighters against communism, members of the so-called “third resistance”. Among them are Josef Čech, who spent 15 years in jail for secretly helping political prisoners in the Jáchymov uranium mine in the hardline 1950s, Charter 77 signatory and human rights activist Dana Němcová and protest singer and songwriter Jaroslav Hutka. Several people were awarded posthumously. A law on the so-called Third Resistance came into force in late 2011 opening the way for proper recognition of those who actively fought the communist regime. Those who are recognized as having been part of the active opposition are entitled to one-off payments and top-ups to their pensions.
MP Roman Pekarek has started serving a five-year sentence for corruption. The lower house deputy reported to the Hradec Kralove jailhouse amidst huge media interest on Monday morning. Mr. Pekarek made it clear he considers the verdict unfair and is refusing to give up his mandate until he has exhausted all legal means of fighting his sentence. He says he plans to petition the Supreme Court to review his case. Pekarek was found guilty of accepting a one million crown bribe for selling municipal land to a businessman under price. He is the first deputy to be sentenced to prison during his term in office. The case has led MPs to initiate a bill under which convicted deputies would lose their salary and possibly even be stripped of their mandate in future.
Police are investigating Sunday’s gas explosion in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm as a threat to public safety. The number of victims has risen to five, three of them children between the age of 3 and 8. Eleven people were injured in the explosion that completely demolished a block of flats. Two of the injured remain in critical condition. Emergency crews are still sifting through the debris in search of the last missing person. According to media reports the accident may have been caused by a man who used gas in cylinders to heat his home after having his heating cut off over unpaid bills. The man did not get on with his neighbours and had repeatedly threatened to kill everyone.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”