A batch of meatballs pulled from shelves at IKEA's stores after Czech inspectors discovered they contained horsemeat had been on sale in several European countries, the company's Czech spokesman said on Monday. Petr Chadraba, spokesman for the Swedish furniture chain’s Czech branch, said the batch of meatballs had been on sale in countries including Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium.
President Vaclav Klaus is on a two-day visit to neighbouring Slovakia, his last foreign visit before his term in office expires in March. The president is meeting with the country’s top officials and leading members of the Slovak business community. He will also attend a number of social events, including the opening of an exhibition on 20 years of Czech and Slovak independence. Mr. Klaus is accompanied by his wife Livia, who herself is Slovak. Ever since the break-up of Czechoslovakia in 1993 the two countries’ presidents have made it a tradition to pay their first and last foreign visits in office to the former sister-state as a mark of above-standard relations.
Police have raided the Mirov jailhouse in search of evidence that the guards were smuggling anabolics to prisoners. The four-day operation ended on Tuesday with the arrest of several people. Two guards, two prisoners and two civilians have so far been charged. A police spokesman said officers on the case gained a significant amount of evidence, including bank statements. One of the guards remains in detention for fear of influencing witnesses, the others were charged and released.
The Prague court of appeals has ordered artist David Černý to pay the former head of the National Gallery Milan Knižák 100,000 crowns for insulting him in a Czech TV documentary. Czech Public Television has been ordered to pay the same amount for airing the program. Both the artist and Czech Television have already apologized for the incident. Relations between the two artists have been strained for years.
Interior Minister Jan Kubice will try to reach an out-of-court settlement
with the relatives of a Vietnamese man who died as a result of police
brutality. The victim’s mother is suing the state for her son’s death
and has demanded 50 million crowns in compensation. On Tuesday the court
postponed further hearings until April at her request to give the two
time to reach an out-of-court settlement. Minister Kubice said he thought
the mother wanted moral satisfaction first and foremost and would be
willing to settle for a significantly lower sum if she received a proper
apology from the state.
The incident took place in Brno in 2005. A woman called the police because she thought she had found drugs in her apartment which she shared with 43-year-old Vietnamese man. The man was brutally assaulted by the police and later died of internal injuries in hospital. The officer responsible was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
The Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office has asked the justice minister to temporarily suspend Prague 2 prosecutor František Fiala, one of the accused in the corruption scandal that broke last week. Mr Fiala is one of six people who were charged on Friday with bribery, fraud, blackmail, and abuse of authority. He and a Prague 2 district judge Ondřej Havlín reportedly confessed to criminal activity during police questioning. Judge Havlín remains in police custody, while the other five suspects have been released.
The famous singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen will appear at Prague’s O2 arena on 21 July as part of his 2013 Old Ideas World Tour. Sazka will be selling the tickets for the concert starting on 1 March. The singer’s latest album was at the top of the Czech charts last year. His last live concert in Prague was in 2009, which was attended by thousands of fans.
Two more imported products have been found to contain horsemeat instead of the listed beef and pork. DNA tests showed that Swedish meatballs slated for the Brno IKEA store and one brand of hamburgers produced in Poland were made from horsemeat. More than one ton of the products was confiscated. Last week, horsemeat was found in frozen lasagna that was produced in Luxembourg.
Chairman of the TOP 09 party, Karel Schwarzenberg, criticized Czech politicians who came to power after 1989 for allowing the influence of the Communist Party to grow, at a conference entitled Communism Yesterday and Today. The Foreign Minister said that the Communist Party is preparing to potentially be part of the government after the 2014 elections, a situation that was aided by the conduct of the Social Democratic party and the next Czech president Miloš Zeman. TOP 09 senator Jaromír Štětina said that he is planning to once again ask the current government to request the Supreme Court to suspend or dissolve the Communist Party.
Overall confidence in the Czech economy improved significantly in February, with the composite confidence indicator going up to -2.6, from -4.2 in January, the Czech Statistical Office announced on Monday. The consumer confidence indicator went up to -22.3 this month from -27.8 in January, while the indicator of confidence among entrepreneurs increased to -8, from -10.7 the previous month. The economic confidence in the construction sector, though, dropped to -49 this month from -45.5, amid fears of further job cuts and stagnation in the industry.
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