The Chamber of Deputies has voted to exempt all majority state-owned enterprises from a requirement to make their deals public in a new registry of contracts. MPs from the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Communist Party and the Civic Democrats on Wednesday backed the extension of an exemption that was previously intended to apply only to the brewery Budějovický Budvar. The motion was carried by one vote. The creation of a registry of contracts was originally perceived as an anti-corruption measure.
A newly released Amnesty International report on the state of human rights around the world says that anti-refugee and anti-migrant protests continued in the Czech Republic in the last year. Groups supporting refugees also faced threats from far-right groups, the survey says. At the same time, AI highlighted the Czech government’s adoption of measures to address European Commission concerns on discrimination against Roma children in education.
The state attorney’s office has appealed against verdicts handed down in a case relating to the leak of information from the BIS security service. The state attorney says the suspended sentences handed to former chief prime ministerial aide Jana Nečasová, influential businessman Ivo Rittig and his lawyer David Michal last month were overly lenient. All three were found guilty of abusing classified BIS information. Jana Nečasová’s arrest in 2013 helped bring down the government of then prime minister Petr Nečas, whom she later married.
The lower house has postponed the vote on a controversial bill on care for the country’s national parks. The Senate-proposed bill includes changes predominantly backing the interests of villages located inside nature reserves, plans for local development and the tourist industry. Some of the country’s leading academics and four former environment ministers have protested against the amendment arguing that the proposed changes would severely restrict possibilities for environmental protection and would have far-reaching consequences for the country’s national parks. Their view has been supported by more than 47,000 people, who signed a petition against the Senate-proposed amendment. President Miloš Zeman visited the lower house on Tuesday to speak in support of the Senate-proposed bill. He warned against “green fanaticism”, arguing that increasing the number of non-intervention zones in the Šumava national park will lead to its further devastation. Mr Zeman has previously said that if the lower house doesn’t approved the changes proposed by the Senate, he will veto the bill.
The Czech rock band Olympic have announced plans to mark 55 years of existence with a special concert at Prague’s O2 Arena on December 9. The group will be joined by a number of guests, including Marta Jandová the daughter of leader Petr Janda. Olympic – whose first LP Želva came out in 1968 – celebrated their 50th anniversary at the O2 Arena with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra five years ago.
Thursday should see bright spells and rain in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 12 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs later in the week are expected to fall to around 5 degrees Celsius.