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European Commission criticizes amendment to civil service law

The European Commission has criticized a government proposed amendment to the civil service law, Czech Radio reported on Thursday.

Its flagship news station Radiožurnal said the European Commission had sent the Interior Ministry a letter expressing grave concern over some of the amendments proposed.

These concern predominantly conditions which would make it easier to sack civil servants in managerial and regular posts on the grounds of an “adequate” performance assessment or two negative evaluations made within the space of 40 days.

The government previously claimed that the European Commission had no reservations to the proposed changes. The amendment is currently being debated in the lower house.

Babiš to sue Slovakia over alleged secret police ties

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who was re-appointed to the post on Wednesday, said that he would sue Slovakia in the European Court of Human Rights over allegations that he had been an informer for the Communist-era secret police.

The Regional Court in Bratislava last February rejected a petition from Mr. Babiš, who argued that he was wrongly listed as an agent of Czechoslovakia’s Communist-era secret police in the records of the Slovak National Memory Institute, which handles historical archives.

Babiš, a Slovak entrepreneur who now has Czech citizenship, maintains that, as an employee of a foreign trade firm, he had met with the secret police, but never pledged to cooperate.

Ministries to receive guidelines on how to deal with sexual harassment

Ministries and other state institutions are to receive a set on guidelines on how to deal with sexual harassment at the work place, the ctk news agency reported. The guidelines should be distributed to these institutions within the next twelve months.

A survey at several ministries revealed that sexual harassment at the workplace is a problem in state administration and that in 90 percent of the cases the victims are women who generally complained of improper conduct by their superiors.

Police investigating vandalism of Lety memorial

The police is investigating a case of vandalism at the memorial in Lety, the site of a former concentration camp for Romanies during WWII.

Unknown perpetrators fixed plaques with hate messages on the memorial erected to the hundreds of Romanies who died there. One of the messages read that the memorial is in commemoration of “the last Romanies who ever worked on Czech territory”.

The web site Romea.cz which reported the vandalism claims it is the work of the nationalist grouping My proti vsem, which has been vocal in criticizing the amount of money that has been spent by the government to buy out a pig farm standing close to the site, so that the memorial would be in dignified surroundings.

Young Czechs top European cannabis users ladder

Young Czechs remain at the top of the European ladder in the use of soft or party drugs, according to a report by the European Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

Thirty-seven percent of Czechs in the 15 to 16 age bracket said they smoked ‘pot,’ at least once, which is the highest figure in that age group across Europe.

In the 15 to 34 age group, 19.4 percent of Czechs said they had smoked marihuana at least once in the past 12 months, which ranked them third behind Italian and French respondents in the same age category.

Czechs also ranked high as regards the use of the party drug Ecstasy.

Football: Czechs beat Nigeria 1:0

Czech football team defeated Nigeria 1:0 in the last international friendly match ahead of the World Cup in Russia, which took place in Vienna on Wednesday. Czechs dominated the first half of the match with the goal scored by Tomáš Kalaš in the 25th minute of play.

The Czech Republic failed to reach the World Cup, which begins next week. Their campaign to try to qualify for the 2020 European Championships will get underway after the summer.

Weather forecast

Saturday should be partly cloudy with day temperatures between 26 and 29 degrees Celsius. The afternoon could bring heat storms and torrential rain in places.