The Prague branch of the Civic Democratic Party elected Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda its chairman on Monday. A total of 68 out of 95 delegates supported Mr. Svoboda, who had only one contender, former City Hall councillor Jiří Janeček. The newly elected chairman announced that the Civic Democrats should strive to renew their dominant position in Prague. Mr. Svoboda replaces Boris Šťastný, who submitted his resignation on the same day. Mr. Svoboda, a gynaecologist and obstetrician, joined the Civic Democrats in September 2011. The head of the Civic Democratic Party, Prime Minister Petr Nečas welcomed the outcome of the vote on Tuesday and expressed the hope that Mr. Svoboda would help the Prague Civic Democrats regain public trust.
Prague’s leafy central suburb of Karlín may best be known outside of the Czech Republic for the devastating floods that laid ruin to it in 2002, but much of the world has been using the machines and products born of Karlín factories for more than a hundred years and aside from that it is also Prague’s oldest suburb – a point recalled by an exhibition being held this year at the City Museum in Prague that was created by historian Dr. Zdeněk Míka:
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.
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