Czech experts are likely to join a planned EU mission to assist in reforming Ukraine’s police force, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said on Monday. The decision to form a joint mission to help Ukraine with implementing reforms in the areas of security, police and the rule of law was taken at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday. The mission is expected to start working in Kiev in the coming months, and should last two years. Mr Zaorálek said it was important the planned mission did not collide with other types of support provided to Ukraine by the EU, OECD, NATO and other organizations.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has criticized the human rights minister, Social Democrat Jiří Dienstbier over his refusal to lead his party’s ballot in the European elections. Mr Dienstbier’s decision hurt the party’s showing at the polls, according to the president’s spokesman who hinted the head of state considered the minister a coward. Jiří Dienstbier, who is one of the president’s most vocal critics in the ruling Social Democrat party, said Mr Zeman’s criticism was silly and unffair; the remarks were also rejected by Prime Minister, and Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka.
The chief rabbi of Prague, Karol Sidon, has announced he will resign as of July 1st, after 22 years in the post. The 71-year-old Sidon will retain his position as the chief rabbi of the Czech Republic. The head of the Prague Jewish Community, Jan Munk, said the rabbi’s age as well as the fact that another rabbi had well adapted to serving the community, were the main reasons behind Karol Sidon’s decision. Karol Sidon, who converted to Judaism in 1978, was an anti-communist dissident, and in the 1980s left Czechoslovakia for Germany under pressure from the communist secret police. He has written several novels and theatre plays; most recently, he authored a best-selling novel under the pseudonym of Chaim Cigan.
The state support for Romany students at Czech secondary schools last year reached 5.6 million crowns, the news agency ČTK said on Monday citing the government’s report on the state of minorities in the country. In 2012, the support amounted to nearly 8 million crowns. Around 740 disadvantaged students received the support last year in the form of contributions for travel expenses, lunches and school equipment.
The British director Peter Greenaway will be main guest at the 40th annual Summer Film School festival in Uherské Hradiště, the organizers said on Monday. The director is set to present his latest movie Goltzius and the Pelican Company at the festival which takes places in the eastern Czech town between July 25 and August 2. The Summer Film School this year focuses on Spanish cinema as well as on filmmakers from the Visegrad countries, and will offer a retrospective of the French director and screenwriter Michel Godry.
A court in the Czech capital has awarded a Prague family a record amount of over 30 million crowns in compensation for the botched delivery of their son. The court said doctors at the Vinohrady Hospital in the capital in 2009 failed to identify signs pointing to complications during the birth; as a result, the boy was born with a severe damage to his brain and other organs, he is blind and deaf and requires continuous assistance. The boy’s parents have welcomed the verdict while the hospital’s attorney said they would consider appealing the ruling.
The Czech Republic is ready to provide treatment to more injured people from the east of Ukraine, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said after a meeting of the country’s security council on Monday. Mr Chovanec said his ministry was working on the extension of its Medevac programme of evacuating Ukrainian citizens in need of medical treatment, following an offer made by the Czech foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, during a visit to Ukraine last week. So far, 39 injured people from Ukraine have received treatment in Czech hospitals since the start of the crisis in that country at the start of the year.
The governor of the Central Bohemian Region, Social Democrat Josef Řihák, has stepped down, after a year and a half in his post. No official reason for Mr Řihák’s resignation has been given although his decision comes after mounting calls for him to step down from Social Democrat leader in the region who have complained about the governor’s nominations for some of the key positions in the region’s administration. Mr Řihák is likely to be replaced by his main party rival, deputy governor Miloš Petera.
A court in Prague has awarded a record amount of over 30 million crowns for a botched delivery. The court said doctors at the Vinohrady Hospital in the capital in 2009 failed to identify signs pointing to complications during the birth; as a result, the boy was born with a severe damage to his brain and other organs, he is blind and deaf and requires continuous assistance. The boy’s parents have welcomed the verdict while the hospital’s attorney said they would consider appealing the ruling.
Czech President Miloš Zeman made clear on Sunday he considers the possible nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker to head the European Commission a “good choice”, saying he believed that the new EC would bring about changes to the European Union. The president made the statement in his regular Sunday broadcast on Czech Radio. Juncker, a former long-standing Luxembourg prime minister, is the election-winning European People´s Party´s (EPP) candidate for EC president. On Saturday, his candidacy was backed by social democrat leaders including the Czech and Slovak PMs, Bohuslav Sobotka and Robert Fico. Juncker´s candidacy is to be discussed at the EU summit in Brussels.