The heads of government of the Visegrad group states - the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary met in Prague on Monday to discuss EU related issues. The four EU candidates have consulted each other regularly in the course of EU accession even on matters where it was not possible to adopt a common strategy. The Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla, who hosted the meeting at Kolodej Chateau, said cooperation within the Visegrad group would prove useful even after EU accession when the newcomers could help each other to find their place on the common market. Among the issues discussed in Prague was the EU's restrictive labour market policy with regard to the newcomers.
About twenty members of the Czech branch of Amnesty International marched through Prague with their faces painted white to promote the organization's Stop Violence Against Women Campaign. The start of the campaign, which is to run for two years, was scheduled to coincide with International Women's Day on March 8th. The campaign has been launched simultaneously in 150 states. In the Czech Republic it will focus mainly on domestic violence, a problem that has only recently been brought out into the open.
A German national has been sentenced to ten years in prison for repeatedly selling drugs to a minor. The thirty four year old man and his Czech-born wife were served exemplary sentences of ten and six years respectively by a Liberec court for having sold drugs to a fourteen year old girl. Both have appealed the verdict. They admitted to having peddled drugs but said that they'd had no idea that one of their regular clients was under age. She allegedly came to buy in the company of two older girls and was often seen to drink alcohol at the local disco.
Teachers' trade unions have declared Wednesday a day of mourning for the teacher murdered by one of his own students in the east Bohemian town of Svitavy last week. The unions have recommended that all schools in the country fly a black flag in memory of the teacher and devote some classes to a debate on aggression and violence in society. "Humiliation, bullying and aggression have become widespread at schools and we deplore the fact that this is accepted by society as a fact that no one can do anything about, a trade union leader told journalists. In the wake of the tragedy, many teachers have voiced concern about their own safety.
Tuesday is expected to be overcast with scattered snow showers and day temperatures between minus two and plus two degrees Celsius.
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