The district of Prague 1 has approved a controversial plan to demolish a building on the corner of Prague’s Wenceslas Square and Opletalová Street, a spokeswoman for the district said. The owner of the building is planning to erect a new structure on the site but was waiting for final approval before taking steps. If no one raises objections within 30 days, the project will be able to move ahead. The planned demolition has drawn protests from a part of the public and saw heated debate; however, the building was denied protection as a historic monument by the authorities.
President Miloš Zeman will not attend the national celebrations of St Wenceslas in Stará Boleslav on Saturday, breaking with a tradition established by his predecessor in office, Václav Klaus. Mr Zeman will instead celebrate his 69th birthday on that day, a spokeswoman for the president said. The celebrations mark the anniversary of the death of St Wenceslas, the Catholic patron saint of the Czech lands and founder of the mediaeval Czech state. September 28 is a national holiday in the Czech Republic. During his term as president, Václav Klaus regularly attended the festivities, using the opportunity to speak on issues of Czech statehood and the national identity.
The disciplinary committee of the Czech hockey extraliga on Thursday fined Kometa Brno forward Tomáš Svoboda over diving. The incident took place in Kometa’s Tuesday game against Liberec when Svoboda simulated a foul had been committed against him, and fell on the ice. Both Svoboda and the tackling player were sent off after the incident. Svoboda, the third player of the top Czech hockey league to be punished for diving, was fined 10 percent of his monthly salary.
The government passed its proposal for next year’s state budget, outgoing Finance Minister Jan Fischer has confirmed. In its draft budget, the Rusnok cabinet is counting on a deficit of 112 billion crowns next year. According to the finance minister, the deficit should not exceed three percent of GDP. The deficit was raised by two billion crowns from the initial proposal put forward by Mr Fischer. The draft budget has already been criticised by former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek who had proposed a deficit of seven billion crowns less prior to the collapse of the previous government.
Legendary Czech footballer Josef “Pepi” Bican, who died in 2001, has been named to the Czech F.A.’s Hall of Fame. The striker, who played for Slavia Prague, was inducted on the date of what would have been his 100th birthday. Originally, Bican’s name was to have been added in 2012, but the move was originally blocked by his son, on the grounds that persecution of his father by the former communist regime had not been acknowledged by the football association. The association’s head, Miroslav Pelta, addressed the past and apologised earlier this year.
The police will not renew charges against former industry and trade minister Martin Kocourek, or his mother, who had been suspected of having tried to keep the politician’s wife in the dark about 16 million crowns in his keeping during their divorce. The decision to shelve the case is not final yet; the case will still be reviewed by the state attorney, police spokesman Zdeněk Chalupa said. Investigators from the anti-corruption unit were originally interested in learning more about the funds to uncover whether they stemmed from illegal activity.
President Miloš Zeman has said he will push for the country’s entrepreneurs to contribute to reducing the country’s national debt, in return for privileges such as taking part in the president’s business missions abroad. The president himself announced shortly after taking office that he would send part of his monthly salary to a special account set up for that purpose. The country’s national debt now stands at more than 1.6 trillion crowns.
Customs officers stopped a motorist travelling with her two-month-old baby in Cheb and found three-quarters of a kilogram of the Czech drug pervetin on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Customs Bureau revealed. Suspicious behaviour on the mother’s part prompted officers to search the vehicle with a sniffer dog. The drug was found in a bag hidden among a pack of diapers. The street value has been estimated at around 750,000 crowns. Customs officers have passed the case on to the criminal police.
Two-thirds of respondents in a poll conducted by the STEM agency said they trusted Olomouc state attorney Ivo Ištvan, overseeing a highly-publicised case which led to the resignation of the former prime minister and the fall of the centre-right government in June. Only 38 percent, however, expressed confidence that any of those charged in the spying and corruption scandal would be found guilty. The wife of former prime minister Petr Nečas, Jana Nečasová (formerly Nagyová, who was the then prime minister's chief-of-staff), is one of those charged, along with Roman Boček, an ex-deputy to a former MP; charges against three former MPs suspected of corruption were halted earlier by the Supreme Court.
Czech President Miloš Zeman will not take part in the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the president’s spokeswoman Hana Burianová confirmed. The spokeswoman told the Czech News Agency the president believed it was up to the prime minister to attend events such as the U.N. summit and not the task of the head-of-state. The stance is in sharp contrast to that of Mr Zeman’s predecessor Václav Klaus, who regularly attended U.N. General Assembly meetings. Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok, the head of the country’s interim government, will attend after flying to the United States on Wednesday.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague
Veronika Čáslavová: sex trafficking still a taboo topic in Czechia