The number of court foreclosures registered in the Czech Republic dropped by over 30 percent in the first six months of this year to 320,000, the Czech Bailiffs’ Association said. The head of the association said the drop was caused by better public awareness and changes to the legislation. In 2012, the number of foreclosures dropped by 13 percent compared to the previous year despite a sudden rise in foreclosure filings in early 2012 over new legislation that came into force in March, the association said.
Mycologist in the Přerov region have found a mushroom from the Boletaceae family, which had previously not been sited in the Czech Republic. The mushroom does not have a Czech name yet, and its first appearance was recorded in Italy six years ago. It has also been found since in Italy and England. It is yet unknown whether the mushroom is edible, but scientists believe that it most likely is.
Former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg made a number of critical remarks about President Miloš Zeman in an interview with the Austrian weekly Presse am Sonntag. Mr. Schwarzenberg said that although he considers President Zeman to be a smart individual, and a first-class public speaker, his addiction to alcohol has caused him to loose all moral inhibitions. He also reiterated his earlier belief that Mr. Zeman’s interpretation and changes to the constitutional customs concerning the role of the president can be indirectly compared with the decisions made by the Nazi party in Germany in 1933.
This weekend the Czech roads will see the highest death toll this year so far. At least 13 people have died so far since Friday in car-related accidents, according to police statistics. So far the worst weekends on Czech roads where the last two in July, when 12 people perished in accidents. So far this August 50 people died in car accidents in this country, while last year the police registered 73 deaths in August.
Leader of the Social Democratic party, Bohuslav Sobotka, said that if his party were to form a government after the next elections, it wants to introduce a new higher income tax for high earners. In an interview with the iDnes news server, Mr. Sobotka said that an income tax between 27 and 29 percent for people earning more than 100 thousand crowns a month will help decrease government debt. The leading left-wing party also came out with a 21-point campaign platform on Saturday afternoon, which promises the creation of new work places, increase of the minimum monthly wage from 8.5 to 12 thousand crowns and lowering of the VAT for medicine.
Ten people were detained by the police at Moscow’s Red Square on Sunday, after a small commemoration of a demonstration held at the same place exactly 45 years ago in protest of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Around a dozen people held up a sign with the same slogan as was used in 1968: “For your and our freedom.” The demonstrators stood silently for approximately 10 minutes, after which they were led away by the police. The only person who was not detained was Natalia Gorbanevskaya, who was among the protesters 45 years ago. On August 25, 1968 eight people who held up signs with slogans on the Red Square in protest of the Czechoslovak occupation were arrested after only a few minutes. Seven of them were sentenced to years in prison, internal exile or forced psychiatric treatment.
The top Czech female tennis player Petra Kvitová sailed into the New Haven Open final after beating her compatriot Klára Zakopalová in two quick sets on Friday afternoon, with the final score 6:0, 6:1. The 2012 New Haven champion will be defending her title on Saturday against the Romanian 23rd seed Simona Halep. The only WTA event Kvitová won this year was the Dubai Championship in March.
Chairman of the Social Democratic party Bohuslav Sobotka was confirmed as the party’s candidate for prime minister in the general elections, in an anonymous vote at the Saturday meeting of the party’s leadership. The vote was proposed by the chairman of the Senate Zdeněk Škromach, with 86 delegates voting for the current party leader and 51 against him. Mr. Sobotka also said tat the meeting that the Social Democrats would not enter into a coalition with either of the biggest right-of-center parties – the Civic Democrats or the TOP 09 party. In case the party wins at least a third of the votes in the October general elections, Mr. Sobotka said he can envision a creating a single-party minority government.
Former president Václav Klaus told Czech Television on Saturday that he is seriously considering a return to politics. The former head of state said that he sees the current political situation as so dire, that he feels he could make a positive contribution if there was a big enough movement supporting him. Chairwoman of the Sovereignty Party Jana Bobošíková met with Mr. Klaus on Friday, but no specific announcement was made after the meeting. Former Civic Democratic MP Boris Šťastný left his party on Friday and said that he would be interested in joining a political movement led by Václav Klaus. So far the two-term president and former prime minister said that he has no concrete plans, but that he has to make a decision in the next few days.
Director Jiří Menzel’s latest film Donšajni or The Don Juans will have its world premier at the Montreal World Film Festival on Tuesday and will appear in the World Greats category. Mr. Menzel has also been invited to be the president of the festival’s jury for this year. The Don Juans will tour Canada and later in September will be screened in the United States. It will have its Czech premier at the end of September. The comedy presents a modern take on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.
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