The Czech capital offers the best quality of life among the cities of the
former Eastern bloc, according to the latest survey by the US consultancy
Globally, Prague ranked 69th, ahead of the capitals of its central European neighbours Budapest (76th), Bratislava (80th) and Warsaw (82nd). Also making the top 100 from the bloc were Ljubljana (74th), Riga (90th) and Zagreb (98th).
European cities continue to have the highest quality of living in the world, according to Mercer, with Vienna (1st), Zurich (2nd) and Munich (3rd) ranking first, second and third globally, though the German city shared the honour with Vancouver and Auckland.
Minsk (188th), Tirana (175th) and St. Petersburg (174th) remained the lowest ranking cities in Europe this year, while Sarajevo (156th) rose three places due to a fall in reported crime.
The opposition Civic Democrats (ODS) have called on MP Václav Klaus, Jr.
to leave the parliamentary caucus, saying his remarks are damaging the
On Tuesday, Mr Klaus likened the transposition of European Union directives, most recently the GDPR, to the deportation of Jews imposed by the Nazis during the war.
After protests from several parties, Civic Democrat leader Petr Fiala apologised for the “unfortunate comparison”.
Mr Klaus, the son of the former Czech president, has said he will not leave the Civic Democrats voluntarily.
The Czech Republic is now officially regarded as having eradicated African
swine fever, transmitted by wild boars, the European Commission said on
State Veterinary Administration spokesman Petr Vorlíček said this makes the Czech Republic the first country in the world so far to have eradicated the disease on its territory.
However, the disease continues to spread in Europe, including in neighbouring Poland, so the risk of in being reintroduced is high.
The Prague Municipal Court has sentenced three Algerian men for the gang
rape of an Irish tourist and other crimes and banned them from entering the
country for varying periods. The judgment is final, subject only to an
appeal to the Czech Supreme Court.
The victim met one of her attackers, Tajíb Banjittú, early last April and agreed to go back to his room in a tourist hostel in Prague 1. Once there, he and five other men raped her, she told police.
Six suspects, all men in their twenties, were arrested in a police raid at the hostel and later appeared in court, where they pleading innocent. Three were acquitted.
Tajíb Banjittú was sentenced to 6 years in prison and expelled from the Czech Republic indefinitely. Muhammad Habib Uld Ajsu, who was convicted of possessing narcotics and psychotropic substances, got 4.5 years and was expelled for 10 years. Zakariah Uld Ajsa was sentenced to 3 years in prison and expelled for 10 years.
Czech media and advertising tycoon Jaromír Soukup has formally registered
a political movement bearing his name with the stated aim of “defending
national interests against corrupt politicians and oligarchs”.
A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, which handles such requests, on Wednesday confirmed the registration of the movement, called List Jaromíra Soukupa.
Mr Soukup hosts a popular talk show on the private cable channel TV Barrandov, which he took over in 2012. Critics say it panders to voters of populist and extreme right-wing parties and politicians.
A controversial promoter who in recent years has staged short-term
exhibitions of “real naked women” in the Slovak and Czech capitals has
announced plans for a long-term instalment on Prague’s Wenceslas Square.
Mário Petreje told state news agency ČTK that his Voayer Gallery would open on 5 April at the House of Fashion and feature both sexes on a rotational basis.
He said the adults-only exhibition is a celebration of freedom and the beauty of the human body and also intended to introduce the wider public to less common sexual practices, including sadomasochism.
A judge at the High Court in Prague and four other suspects have been
indicted over alleged bribery in attempts to influence rulings.
If found guilty judge Ivan Elischer faces up to 12 years in prison for bribery, abuse of power and extending preferential treatment. The 58-year-old magistrate has been at the court since 2013 and specialises in serious drug cases.
According to the news agency ČTK, the other defendants are of Vietnamese origin, including an acquaintance of the judge, Hung Quoc Nguyen. Mr Elischer was arrested by the police’s national organised crime unit in a raid last March.
MPs have backed a proposal to establish a National Sports Agency that,
among other things, would take over responsibility from the Ministry of
Education for distributing state subsidies in this area.
The lower house of Parliament had moved to establish the agency last autumn as part of a broader overhaul of state support for sport, citing a need for greater transparency and simplification of the process.
According to a survey of the Czech Union of Sports, which backed the proposal, most of the country’s nearly 7,500 clubs lack money to hire qualified trainers and host children’s activities.
In addition, the Union argues that due to the complexity of subsidy programmes, clubs have difficulty in applying for money under the current system.
The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment to the Aliens Act
that would make it easier to expel foreigners who have been repeatedly
convicted of crimes in the Czech Republic.
The Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats), who drafted the amendment, said it would speed up the expulsion process to at most six months, in part because the Supreme Administrative Court would have at most 90 days to appeal such an order.
Currently, proceedings to revoke a foreign offender’s residence permit can now last over two years, Mr Hamáček said, noting the case of a drug dealer that took six years.
Regarding the employment of foreign nationals, he said the Aliens Act amendment would also allow the government to introduce extraordinary work visas for a limited period of one year, thereby giving the government greatly flexibility to respond to market conditions.
Among other things, the draft would let the Cabinet set quotas for economic migrants or introduce compulsory integration courses for foreign workers.
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