The PPF investment group has bought a majority stake in the O2 Arena, a multi-functional structure in Prague that hosts ice hockey games and cultural events, the news website Aktuálně.cz reported. PPF is owned by Petr Kellner, the country’s richest person. PPF was recently in the news in connection with its takeover of the mobile operator Telefonica Czech Republic.
A group representing the disabled has demanded an apology from President Zeman after he said appointing a prime minister was a matter of dignity that could not be conducted from a wheelchair. The National Council of the Handicapped issued a statement on Tuesday describing the president’s comment as inappropriate given his position and insulting to the disabled.
A new exhibition in Prague highlights underground samizdat literature produced under the Communist system in Czechoslovakia. The show, which is at the Lucerna Passage in the city centre, is entitled Samizdat and Dispatch Series, with the second term referring to a series of publications set up by then dissident and playwright Václav Havel and his friends in 1975. The exhibition features period documents and photographs.
The Communist Party say they will put forward legislation in the Chamber of Deputies allowing for a referendum on church restitution. The state has begun returning nationalised property worth CZK 75 billion to various churches, along with CZK 59 billion in compensation for unreturned assets. However, the issue has been highly divisive and the Communists say the restitution deal is disadvantageous to the state. Leader Vojtěch Filip says the party will seek support for a referendum from the Social Democrats, ANO and Dawn.
The Czech Republic’s Supreme Administrative Court received 35 complaints over the general election which took place more than two weeks ago, a spokeswoman for the court said. The court has so far dismissed 12 of them – 11 due to their inappropriate form, and one over the fact it was filed too early. The deadline for filing complaints expired on Saturday; the court now has 20 days to address the remaining complains.
Employees of the embattled mining firm OKD have announced a series of strikes over disputes with the firm’s management related to a new collective agreement. The first four-hour strike will take place November 19; another, one-day strike is scheduled for 10 days later while a three-day strike is scheduled for early December, the leader of the company’s trade union said, adding the strikes could only be averted if the firm accepts the union’s demands. Last week, a majority of OKD workers voted in favour of the strike. Negotiations about a new, four-year collective agreement started in August; due to poor economic results, OKD wants to cut some benefits included in the current agreement. The firm is also planning to close down one of its mines, cutting around 3,000 jobs.
Parents of young players are protesting the new logo of a volleyball club based in the central Bohemian town of Nymburk, the news website idnes.cz reported. In September, the club adopted a logo depicting a pig’s head and the caption Nymburské svině, or the Nymburk Swines. The club says it is a reference to the town’s alternate historical name of Svinibrod, or Swineford. The club’s official name – Volleyball Nymburk – has not been altered. The new logo has also provoked a reaction from the local authorities which have threatened to half public funding for the club. The club’s owner, meanwhile, says he hopes to reach agreement with the town hall.
The police have charged a 21-year-old woman with the murder of her newborn baby, a police investigator told reporters on Monday. The woman gave birth last April; the body of the newborn, wrapped in plastic bags, was found near the town of Havlíčkův Brod soon afterwards. The police said the woman kept her pregnancy secret, and did not seek medical assistance. Her former boyfriend, whose role in the case is under investigation, said he believed the baby was stillborn, a claim disproved by an autopsy. If convicted, the woman faces up to 20 years in prison.
The European Commission has threatened to file legal charges against the Czech Republic for refusing to disclose the reasons why the French company Areva was disqualified from the tender for the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant. Areva filed a complaint with the commission, which has requested relevant information from the Czech authorities. However, they have refused to release the information on the grounds that a complaint Areva filed earlier with the anti-monopoly office is still being considered. The European Commission has given the Czech Republic until the end of the month to change its approach, and said it would act by mid-December.
Former senior Social Democrat MP and Central Bohemian governor David Rath was released from police custody on Monday, 18 months after he was arrested on corruption charges. Mr Rath’s release was ordered by Prague’s High Court which upheld his complaint against being held in custody; the court said the risk of Mr Rath avoiding trial was no longer an issue. David Rath, a former health minister and governor of Central Bohemia, was arrested in May 2012, along with several other people, over alleged corruption in several public procurement projects. The trial began in August; if convicted, David Rath faces 12 years in prison.
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
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague