The Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation has lost another legal battle with
the Czech state over some 600 hectares of forest land confiscated after
World War II.
The Constitutional Court upheld a previous verdict rejecting the Foundation’s claim that the state is unlawfully using forest land near Říčany, central Bohemia.
The Foundation will therefore now “seek justice in international courts and international institutions”, its local media representative said in a press release.
During WWII, Germany seized property belonging to Prince Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein. After the war, on the basis of the Beneš Decrees, Czechoslovakia confiscated the land, claiming he acquired German citizenship in the 1930s and was a Nazi collaborator.
Czech military historian Eduard Stehlík has been named director of the
National Lidice Memorial, at the site of a wartime massacre, Minister of
Culture Lubomír Zaorálek announced on Monday.
German authorities razed Lidice in 1942 and killed most of its inhabitants in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi governor of occupied Bohemia and Moravia.
The National Lidice Memorial’s previous director, Martina Lehmannová, resigned in January after facing criticism from some families of survivors that their stories had been misrepresented.
Police have accused two officials at the Ministry of Labour and Social
Affairs in connection with a public tender to provide IT services.
The Prague Prosecutor General’s office announced the police action on Monday following separate raids at the ministry and an IT company called OKSystem, carried out by the police anti-organised crime and corruption unit (NCOZ).
The main focus of the police investigation is a 1 billion crown order for a new internal computer system not yet up and running.
More than 300 people were evacuated from the Moravian town of Kuřim on
Monday morning following the discovery the night before of an unexploded
50kg bomb dropped during World War II.
Specialists dug up the unexploded bomb on Monday morning and evacuated buildings along the route of its transport to a special site to be detonated. It was discovered by a man equipped with a metal detector.
Prague City Council has approved a proposal to rename the square outside
the Russian Embassy after Boris Nemtsov, a prominent Kremlin critic slain
five years ago.
City councillors say the move to rename Pod Kaštany square is a gesture of solidarity with Russian pro-democracy and human rights campaigners.
Five Chechen men were found guilty of having gunned down Nemtsov on 27 February 2015. But his family say those who ordered the assassination have not been brought to justice.
Prague City Council also voted in favour of renaming a promenade in the Bubeneč district after investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, slain a decade earlier.
The government has backed a bill to introduce class action to Czech law,
thereby allowing people with identical or similar claims to assert these in
court jointly, in single proceedings.
Czech law to some extent already de facto allows for jointly asserting claims, for example in consumer disputes, but current regulation is rather fragmentary.
The Ministry of Justice, which drafted the bill, says it will reduce costs for all parties concerned, and reduce the administrative burden on courts.
The Czech government has backed a proposal to move the CzechTrade and
CzechTourism agencies into the CzechInvest headquarters.
The cabinet also is considering later merging the three agencies, which aim to boost activity in their respective sectors. Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček says a merger would save 138 million crowns over the next three years.
The Czech Chamber of Commerce (HKČR) argues simply merging the agencies without overhauling their activities is mere window-dressing.
Health Minister Adam Vojtěch has said he will convene a special commission
on Thursday in the wake of news that the coronavirus has spread from China
In early February, the Czech government banned direct flights from China. Vojtěch said further restrictions and measures could be introduced.
No-one has tested for positive for the coronavirus in the Czech Republic to date. A plane with Czech humanitarian aid for China took off from Vienna on Sunday, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said via Twitter.
Mene Tekel, a week-long festival focused on the totalitarian regimes of the
past, gets underway in Prague on Monday. The main theme of this year’s
14th edition of the festival is the memento of George Orwell.
Among the many festival events taking place in different parts of Prague is the premiere of the film Orwell Project or 2 + 2 = 4?.
The festival is organized by the civic association Art Without Barriers, the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian regimes and the Confederation of Political Prisoners.