The Czech Republic will not be contributing to a second bailout package for Greece. Confirmation of the news came after late-night talks at an EU leaders' summit in Brussels, at which it was agreed that the joint rescue effort would not involve any commitment from non-eurozone countries. The Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas joined his British counterpart David Cameron in opposing a broad EU rescue effort via a European Financial Stability Mechanism which would have committed all 27 member states to provide loan guarantees. The Czech Republic has in the past taken on such guarantees for Ireland and Portugal but the authorities consider a similar service to Greece to be a much bigger risk.
The anticorruption police has asked Parliament to strip the former transport minister and Public Affairs MP Vít Bárta of his immunity so that he can be investigated for corruption. Mr Bárta is suspected of attempting to bribe fellow party members for their loyalty and confidentiality; he contends that the money was offered as loans. Requests for the withdrawal of a parliamentarian’s immunity are reviewed by the parliamentary mandate committee, which then makes a recommendation to MPs on how to vote on the matter. When Parliament decides against giving up a member for investigation, he or she cannot be investigated on the same grounds, even after their term of office expires.
The police say they have arrested twenty suspected drug dealers who peddled drugs in the centre of Prague. The suspects are all foreign nationals, and all are reported to have had hard and soft drugs in their possession. Their ringleader has a previous record of drug dealing on Czech territory. Two of them are reportedly in the country illegally and the police also found a Czech minor in their company.
An unannounced strike of rail drivers from the private company Vogtlandbahn has brought to a halt rail transport between Bavaria and the Czech Republic. A spokesman for Czech Railways said trains on the lines from Prague to Munich and Prague to Nuremberg would be terminated in Domažlice. The open-ended strike has affected other rail connections as well since Vogtlandbahn operates a number of interstate trains. Czech Railways is providing updated information on its web page.
Public trust in the centre-right government has dropped to an unprecedented low of 16 percent in the wake of a drawn-out corruption scandal. A poll conducted by the STEM agency puts public trust in Parliament at 19 percent and shows Constitutional Courts chief judge Pavel Rychetský as the most trustworthy public figure in the Czech Republic with a 59 percent credit rating.
A judge who is suspected of having stolen money from lawyers during court proceedings has resigned from his post and is said to be in the care of psychiatrists. The judge is suspected of having stolen money from lawyers’ wallets on two occasions after sending them from the courtroom so he could have time for deliberation. The overall amount of money missing is 25 thousand crowns. The case is being investigated.
Water management authorities say they are taking steps to make the Morava river safer for canoeists and bathers by fencing off dangerous spots and putting up warning notices. The first is to go up around a weir in which a thirteen year old student and his class teacher drowned a few weeks ago. The incident happened on a school outing. The boy jumped into the water and failed to resurface. His class teacher jumped in after him as did a local instructor in water sports. The boy and the teacher both drowned, the instructor remains in serious condition.
The Czech and German police have cracked down on a gang of car thieves who operated in both countries. The six suspects, who were arrested on an Interpol warrant, are believed to have caused damage to the tune of 98 million crowns, approximately 4 million euro. They sold stolen vehicles as second-hand cars producing counterfeit documents for them and even stealing cars directly from auto salons. The group specialized in Mercedes models, Audis, BMWs and Porsches.
A reconstructed and extended children’s hospital opened in the Motol hospital compound on Friday. The new facility which cost 4,4 billion crowns and will require 650 million more is one of the biggest pediatric centers in Europe. It has 350 beds, 12 large and 5 small operating theatres and an operating theatre for infected patients. The hospital rooms have one to three beds and enable the presence of a parent at all times.
Two people died in an accident in which an ambulance collided head on with a truck near the town of Vamberk in the early hours of Friday morning. Both the ambulance driver and the patient were killed on the spot. Two others –a nurse and the truck driver were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
The weekend is expected to bring grey and overcast skies with scattered rain showers and day temperatures under 20 degrees Celsius.