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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In related news, Prime Minister Petr Nečas described the situation at the institute as “scandalous”. The prime minister claimed recent developments were an effort by the opposition to control information in the Security Services Archive (ABS). The prime minister suggested material in the archives could threaten alleged future cooperation between the opposition Social Democrats and the Communist Party, if the Social Democrats win the next election and end up forming the next government. Opinion polls have suggested the Social Democrats will win next year by a fair margin.
Defending FA Cup champions Chelsea – with goalie Petr Čech – were knocked out of the completion on Sunday in their semi-final against Manchester City. Chelsea, who trailed by two early in the second half, managed to pull within one but had a penalty denied (shirt-pulling on Torres when moved into the area). Petr Čech and Chelsea won the FA Cup four times in the last six years.
The Supreme Audit Office announced on Monday that it found a number of problems in the finances of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute between the years 2009 to 2011. In 2010, the institute provided lower annual budget figures while in the following year it overshot by more than a million crowns. The biggest problems (for which the Hydrometeorological Institute may have to pay a penalty) concerned property records and accounting.
All remaining members of the Academic Council serving the country’s Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes resigned on Monday. Members of the 15-person council began stepping down last week, primarily in protest over the sacking of the institute’s head Daniel Herman. Critics charged the firing was politically-motivated and an attempt by the opposition to gain control at the institute. The first to step down last week was the council’s chairman, Michael Kraus. Others who followed include Igor Lukeš, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, Alena Šimánková of the National Archive, and Harvard University’s Mark Kramer. Respected military historian Eduard Stehlík, first deputy to Daniel Herman, meanwhile, failed to reach agreement with the new head, Pavla Foglová, and also resigned from his post.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Government to extend restrictions on movement until April 1st