A Prague city court has dealt a ten-year prison sentence to a man charged with brutally raping a woman in the center of town. The incident happened last September after the victim had asked the man for directions. He is charged with raping her repeatedly over the course of three hours in a house entrance not far from Wenceslas Square. Although the girl had shouted for help, no one called the police. The victim is currently in psychological care. Court psychiatrists have stated that the defendant is most likely a repeat offender. The verdict is not final and can still be appealed.
Prague will not be able to secure a billion-crown EU subsidy for the reconstruction of a water treatment plant, a city councilor announced Thursday. Prague was hoping to finance the 11 billion crown reconstruction of the plant with about 5.9 billion crowns from the EU’s Operational Program “Environment”. Officials from the European Commission discussed the Czech effort to win the subsidy with officials from the country’s Environment Ministry and Prague’s city council on Thursday. According to the European Commission, the Czech capital cannot be considered for the subsidy since the validity period of a contract Prague previously signed with a water management company is too long. The Czech capital has been trying to win the subsidy for ten years. Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda commented on the failure to secure the subsidy, stating it confirmed the city council’s fears and that a new solution needed to be devised.
Police in Prague last year recorded the second lowest rate of homicide since 1990. The metropolis saw 29 cases of murder in 2011, of which 26 were solved. Only the previous year, 2010, saw fewer homicides, when 22 cases were investigated. The total number of punishable offences however rose in 2011 by roughly 10%. The majority of cases, 57%, were committed by repeat offenders, while first-time offenders were responsible for only 5% of solved crimes. Police also recorded a rise in wilful property damage while other property crimes, such as car theft, were down. Crime in Prague accounted for nearly a fourth of criminality in the Czech Republic.
The Habsburg Emperor Rudolf II left a deep mark in Czech history. Various legends and myths surround the 16th century ruler who made Prague his imperial seat and whose diverse interests made the city a centre of Renaissance arts and sciences. One monument from his time is hidden beneath the surface of the earth – a water tunnel carved deep into the rock of one of Prague’s hills.
Air quality, the unemployment rate and the cost of public transportation – many factors influence the perceived quality of life in urban spaces. A fresh survey suggests that there is much left to improve when it comes to the quality of life in the Czech capital, with the most-cited nuisances of Prague residents being garbage and graffiti. By contrast, public transportation is viewed as adequate and fairly priced by most.
Lovers of Czech applied arts and design will find a veritable treasure trove of interesting items, ranging from glass wares to clocks and metal works, in Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts. Located right across the street from the well-known Rudolfinum palace, the museum is housed in a stunning Neo-Renaissance building. It was one of the last in Prague to be designed in that style. The architect was Josef Schulz, who also was behind the Czech National Museum.
Police have again suspended a part of the Opencard investigation regarding public orders for legal and consulting services. The investigation was already suspended in the first half of last year, but was ordered reopened by the Supreme State Prosecutor. Detectives again reached the conclusion that no crime was committed in this instance; other aspects of the case are still under investigation. Prague’s Opencard serves as a transit pass and is also used for other services such as the borrowing of library books. Critics charge that the project – which cost more than 800 million crowns – was drastically overpriced.
A record number of 5.2 million people visited Prague in 2011, according to an analysis by the consultancy firm Mag Consulting released on Monday. Most visitors to the Czech capital – around 4.5 million – came from abroad. The number of visitors to Prague broke the previous record from 2010 when some 4.7 million people visited Prague, according to figures by the Czech Statistical Office. The Mag Consulting firm also registered a record number of 13.2 million hotel stays in Prague last year.
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“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future