Several hundred people on Monday attended the funeral of Sergeant Ivo Klusák, one of the five Czech servicemen who died in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. The 34-year-old soldier was given a funeral with military honours attended by Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, army chief-of-staff Petr Pavel and members of the Chrudim special forces. He was awarded a medal for bravery in memoriam. Sergeant Klusák served in six foreign mission, four of those in Afghanistan.
According to inside sources close to the government, the Social Democrats traded their support for Věra Jourová’s nomination to the post of EU commissioner for a higher minimal wage growth and more money for the social services sphere in 2015. The ANO party, which holds the finance ministry portfolio, has nodded to both. The Social Democrats want a minimal wage hike by 700 crowns a month, as opposed to the proposed 500 crown increase, and want to pump 750 million crowns more into the sphere of social services.
The State Attorney’s Office in Olomouc has filed charges of tax evasion against a dozen people in the region. According to Olomouc State Attorney Karel Studený the case involves a number of companies and two lawyers who masterminded the tax scams. The damage is said to have reached tens of millions of crowns. The Czech government recently set up a special team, made up of experts from different fields, to crack-down on large scale tax evasion which is costing the country billions of crowns in lost revenues.
The ANO party of the ruling coalition is to debate who should replace Věra Jourová in the post of regional development minister following her nomination to be the country’s next EU commissioner. According to party leader Andrej Babiš one of the candidates being considered is deputy regional affairs minister Klára Dostálová who is in charge of the EU operation programmes agenda. The Czech Republic has in the past had problems with drawing of EU funds and the question who should replace Ms Jourová, who is an expert in the field, is seen as being of utmost importance.
Czech actor Václav Sloup, known for his work in TV series such as Chalupáři and Ulice (The Street) has died at the age of 78. The news was confirmed on Sunday by fellow actor Jiří Krampol. As a young man, Sloup originally studied to be a carpenter but applied to the DAMU academy after military service. He originally joined the famous Theatre on the Balustrade in Prague. In his career, he appeared in numerous films, with roles in Frantíšek Vláčil’s Markéta Lazarová and Jaromil Jireš’ 1963 film The Cry, one of the first films of the Czech New Wave.
The ANO movement's Minister for Regional Development, Věra Jourová, has been nominated by the ruling coalition for the post of Czech EU commissioner. The coalition, led by the Social Democrats, made the announcement before Monday’s cabinet meeting. Ms Jourová’s nomination received a boost last week after it became apparent that a female nominee to the new commission headed by new head Jean-Claude Juncker was preferred. For weeks, parties in the coalition had pushed their own candidates, with the the Social Democrats, for example, originally getting behind former finance minister Pavel Mertlík.
The national men's softball team on Saturday crushed Denmark 8:0 to defend their European Championship title from the Netherlands two years ago. The Czechs have now won the European title eight times but no team had won the championship on home soil in 15 years. The competition this year took place in Havlíčkův Brod.
The head of the police in Usti, Tomáš Lansfeld, has been given a 16,000 crown fine and six-month ban from driving by the country's police president Tomáš Tuhý. His subordinate was caught in May behind the wheel with a low amount of alcohol in his blood while on vacation. The Czech Republic has a zero tolerance policy. Police President Tuhý said in this case the punishment was stricter than it would have been for a regular citizen.
After an eight year delay, road construction crews will begin work to complete the D11 highway to Hradec Králové. In 2006, a 2.5 kilometre stretch of highway remained unfinished due to the state failing to agree with landowners on a price for owned property. A deal was later reached. The project was also delayed by the construction firm so additional contractual issues could be resolved. Construction is set to begin on Tuesday and is expected to wrap up in August of 2017.
Czech Police President Tomáš Tuhý has said he will present plans for a new cybernetic police unit by the end of the year. He made the statement on a Sunday TV debate programme. According to the police president, while police specialists were currently successfully combatting internet crime, in the future they required their own crime unit or risk falling behind hackers. It is unknown what the new unit could cost. Police President Tuhý repeated that he would be asking for a budget increase of three billion crowns for next year. The new unit could become operational by 2016.