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.
The leader of the Social Democratic party, Bohuslav Sobotka, has said that if his party were to form a government after the next elections, it would strive to introduce a higher income tax for high earners. In an interview with the iDnes news website, Mr. Sobotka said that an income tax between 27 and 29 percent for people earning more than 100 thousand crowns a month would 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 jobs, an increase of the minimum monthly wage from 8.5 to 12 thousand crowns and a lower VAT for medicine.
The police on Monday charged three men aged 20, 22 and 52 of disorderly conduct and other offences they allegedly committed during Saturday’s anti-Romany rally in Ostrava, a spokeswoman for the Ostrava police said. Two men were charged for having assaulted police officers; the 52-year-old has been accused of verbally abusing officers, and faces charges of inciting racial hatred. The police arrested 62 people at six anti-Romany protests on Saturday; some 1,500 people are believed to have participated in the rallies.
Transportation Minister Zdeněk Žák plans to establish a new working group to oversee the reconstruction of the major D1 motorway between Prague and Brno. The decision comes after a massive, 26-km long traffic jam formed on the road on Sunday due to a closed lane; however, no reconstruction work was going on at the site at that time. Minister Žák said the commission should monitor all progress on the motorway to avoid similar situations in the future. Major renovation of the D1 route, which began earlier this year, is expected to finish in four years’ time.
The heavy metal band Lamb of God’s singer Randy Blythe has released a video he made during his trial in Prague. Entitled The Devil is in the Details, the 5-minute long black and white film reflects the singer’s difficult period in the Czech capital. In March, Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter charges raised against him after the death of a fan who suffered injuries at the band’s 2010 Prague concert. Randy Blythe spent five weeks in police detention in Prague.
A section of a mediaeval pewter mine near Krásno in northern Bohemia, will open to the public in the autumn, the director of the Sokolov museum said. The Jeroným mine should become part of the museum’s mining exposition in Krásno. To open the entire structure, the museum will apply for a grant from the EU’s EEA and Norway programme. The Jeroným mine was established in the early 16th century.
The police have established that a 15-year-old boy, whose body was found near Dubňany in southern Moravia earlier this month, was murdered by a 14-year-old peer, a spokeswoman for the police said, adding that no further details will be released as both the victim and the alleged perpetrator were minors. Due to his age, the 14-year-old boy faces no trial but could be sent to a facility for juvenile delinquents.
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.
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.
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.