Prime Minister Petr Nečas told Friday’s edition of the daily Právo that the centre-right government would most likely not link a June vote of confidence to the government’s key reform bills –as originally planned. The prime minister who had intended for the move to reaffirm the government’s mandate in the wake of a crippling corruption scandal said he no longer considered it a wise move since it might give the opposition the chance to topple the reform government. If the cabinet were to link a vote of confidence to the proposed reform bills it would be bound to push those bills through Parliament within three months of the vote. The prime minister said a safer way of reaffirming the government’s mandate might be to issue a political declaration saying that if Parliament rejected its reform bills the cabinet would resign.
Thousands of believers turned out for the funeral ceremony of Archbishop Karel Otčenášek in Hradec Kralove on Friday. Several hundred people crowded into the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on the town’s main square and those who failed to get in watched the funeral mass on a large screen on the square. The mass, celebrated by Hradec Kralove bishop Jan Vokal was attended by politicians, cultural figures and church dignitaries, including Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka, Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek and Health Minister Leos Heger.
Archbishop Karel Otcenasek, a former bishop of Hradec Králové, died on Monday at the age of 91. One of the top figures of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Otčenášek was named a bishop in secret in 1950 and spent more than 10 years in communist prisons. After an amnesty in 1962 he was freed and worked in a dairy plant, only returning to ecclesiastical life in 1965. He became the 23rd bishop of the Hradec Králové diocese, in eastern Bohemia, in 1990, a post he held until his retirement eight years later.
The Czech embassy in Paris has asked France to confirm the diplomatic immunity of the Czech cultural centre in Paris amidst concerns over possible seizers of property in an unresolved arbitration case. Recently the blood plasma technologies and production company Diag Human which claims it is owed close to ten billion crowns by the Czech state in a drawn-out arbitration case successfully applied to a Paris court to order the seizure of Czech assets in France. An Austrian court previously recognized a similar claim resulting in the seizure of Czech artworks in Vienna. The Czech Foreign Ministry said the artwork seizure was in breach of international law.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is to visit Prague in late June when he will meet with his Czech counterpart Petr Nečas and President Václav Klaus, the ctk news agency reported on Friday. Mr. Cameron is to arrive in Prague on June 23, for what will be his first visit to the Czech Republic since taking office.
The British Conservative Party and Mr. Nečas’ centre-right Civic Democrats have traditionally good relations and David Cameron previously visited the Czech capital to address a Civic Democratic Party conference.
The British Conservatives, the Czech Civic Democrats and the Polish Law and Justice party established the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) "Eurosceptic" group in the European Parliament in June 2009 after the EP elections.
A strike by city transport workers in Ostrava continued for a third day on Friday with no sign of a solution to the stand-off. Trade unions have been pushing for an eight percent pay rise but the transport company is not willing to go higher than 3 percent. Trade unions have warned that they will not let up the pressure until they get a positive response. Over 600 transport workers marched through the city in protest of low wages and on several occasions attempted to stop private company buses from serving in their stead. Police are out to enforce order.
American actor John Malkovich was treated to Prague’s uglier face on a visit to the Czech capital. The actor, who performed in the murder melodrama "Infernal Comedy," at the Prague Spring music festival, lost cash documents and personal belongings when his Prague hotel room was burgled on Thursday evening. A police spokeswoman said Mr. Malkovich had lost several thousand crowns in cash and was having new documents issued in Prague. A spokeswoman for the Mandarin Oriental hotel said the theft was being investigated but would provide no details.
Tests on seven suspected cases of the deadly bacterial infection E.coli have proved negative, the country’s chief hygiene office reported on Friday. The one confirmed case of the infection in the Czech Republic was that of an American tourist who had recently spent time in Germany. She had a moderate form of the infection and was released from hospital on Thursday.
Ukrainian Airlines has announced it will curtail its regular flights from Kiev to Karlovy Vary as of June13, the ctk news agency reports. The company alerted both Karlovy Vary Airport and the Czech Transport Ministry to the change. The flights have reportedly been curtailed for technical reasons. It is not being ruled out that they may be resumed in due time.
The police has launched a nationwide search for a young mother and her three-year-old daughter who disappeared on their way to visit friends in Prague. The twenty-five-year-old woman from Beroun in Moravia left her home town on Wednesday taking her baby daughter with her and has not been seen since. The police have asked the public for any information which might help thrown light on the case.
Three people were killed by an explosion in a guesthouse in the eastern city of Zlin early on Friday. Two men died in the blast, another succumbed to his injuries in a local hospital. The police brought an explosive expert to the scene but a police spokeswoman said the cause of the blast had not yet been established. A police psychologist also arrived at the guesthouse to assist two women who tried to help the victims immediately after the explosion.
The weekend is expected to be warm and sunny with day temperatures reaching 28 degrees Celsius.