Daily news summary News

19-06-2011

Opposition party defends right to strike

The opposition Social Democrats have slammed the government for planning to limit the right to strike. At a meeting of the party leadership over the weekend the Social Democrats said the government would be better advised to resume social dialogue rather than trying to curb the right to strike in the face of growing social tension. Party leader Bohuslav Sobotka said that if the cabinet went ahead with its plan to amend the respective legislation the opposition would initiate a vote of no-confidence in the government. Following Thursday’s nationwide transport strike the prime minister said Czech legislation defined the right to strike too liberally.

Three injured in bus crash in Austria

A Czech bus crashed near Mistelbach in Austria early on Sunday leaving three people injured, among them one of the two bus drivers who suffered a broken leg. According to witnesses the bus reportedly swerved off the road and overturned after which it caught fire. It is not yet clear what caused the accident.

Commemorative ceremony for Ležáky

Politicians, cultural figures and church dignitaries attended a commemorative ceremony on Sunday on the site of Ležáky, one of the two Czech villages that the Nazis razed to the ground in retaliation for the assassination of Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich. The children were either transported to concentration camps or resettled with German families whilst all 52 adults were killed and Ležáky was razed to the ground on June 24th 1942, just two weeks after the destruction of Lidice. Present at the ceremony this year was Marie Jeřábková who was one- and- a- half at the time of the tragedy. She and her year older sister who were resettled with a German family survived but she says she lost everything in the tragedy – her parents were murdered and then she lost her new German parents when she was forced to return after the war.

President Klaus turns 70

President Václav Klaus is celebrating his 70th birthday on Sunday with a private party and a jazz concert at Prague Castle. The president told journalists he hoped to be around for a long while yet and expected to be interested in public affairs when he was 99.

On the occasion of his birthday President Klaus received a book of essays -Festschrift -put together for him by over 50 well-known personalities - present and former politicians, economists, philosopher and cultural figures. Among them are former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, American economist Gary Becker, Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka, prime minister Petr Necas, former German president RomanHerzog and Nigel Lawson – British Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Animal rights activists protest against private cars in safari

A small group of animal rights activists on Sunday protested Dvur Kralové Zoo’s decision to open its safari to private cars. Demonstrators argue that letting people take their own cars into the safari disturbs the peace of the animals living there and could also put some of them at risk. The protest ended after about an hour without incident. The zoo opened its safari to private cars at the start of the month; the only safari in central Europe providing this service. Although it was linked to a price hike the offer has sparked great interest.

Newborn left in baby box

A newborn baby boy was left in a hospital facility baby box in Mladá Boleslav early on Sunday, the ctk news agency reports. Although the child was picked up by hospital staff immediately it was suffering from hypothermia. Doctors believe its mother must have been socially needy since the child was wrapped in a dirty towel and had not been washed after the birth. The baby is now getting care and will eventually be put up for adoption. It is the 49th newborn left in a baby box since the institution was set up in 2005. It still has opponents who feel that baby boxes make it too easy to give up a child.

Jobless Jágr wins 10th top Czech hockey player prize

Former NHL star Jaromír Jágr won his 10th Golden Stick prize for the top Czech ice hockey player of the season on Saturday ahead of Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec. Jágr won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nagano Olympic tournament with the Czech team in 1998 before moving to play for the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. The winger who spent the last three seasons at Russia's Avangard Omsk is now looking for an extension to his rich career, probably in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings mentioned as the hottest bidder by Czech media.

Weather

After a cold and rainy weekend the weather is expected to improve with day temperatures gradually climbing to 26 degrees Celsius.

19-06-2011