The minister of labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová, says she has
no intention of resigning over a police raid at her government department
on Monday. Two people were charged following the intervention, reportedly
including Minister Maláčová’s deputy for the economics and IT. The
pair have been suspended in connection with the arrests, which are linked
to an IT contract.
President Miloš Zeman described the situation as a mess while the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said it was a major problem and that he would demand an explanation from the Social Democrat minister.
The Czech police have recommended that two more people face trial for
expressing approval on the internet of last year’s terrorist attack in
New Zealand. The police have now called for a total of five people to be
tried for the support of terrorism in this connection, a representative of
the Supreme State Attorney’s Office in Prague said on Tuesday. The charge
carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
According to previous information, 12 people in the Czech Republic are being investigated on suspicion of publicly approving of a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch that left 51 people dead.
The percentage of Czechs who are “satisfied with their lives” has grown
in recent years, suggests an opinion poll released by the STEM agency. Some
85 percent of respondents in the survey conducted in January answered in
the affirmative, with the remainder saying they were dissatisfied.
STEM says it has traced a gradual increase in satisfaction levels since 2015. Last month’s rate was the highest recorded since the regular poll was introduced in 1994, it said.
Five Czechs are being held in quarantine on the Spanish island of Tenerife
in connection with the Covid-19 virus. The Spanish authorities ordered all
of the guests at their hotel to be placed in quarantine after one person
staying there was discovered to have the coronavirus, the Czech News Agency
reported, citing the Prague-based tour agency Invia.
The Czech group only arrived in Tenerife on Monday. They were due to return on March 6 but it is not clear if they will be allowed to fly back on that date.
Prague’s Václav Havel Airport as of Tuesday is reserving special gates
for arrivals from Italy, due to a coronavirus outbreak there that has
claimed seven lives, with at least 229 confirmed cases.
Passengers arriving from Italy will be subject to targeted screening and other measures, the airport said on Twitter.
Italy is among the most popular holiday destinations for Czechs. On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended travelers not visit northern Italy.
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.