Daily news summary


Attempted murder charge proposed for Dutch men who beat up Prague waiter

The police have proposed that two Dutch citizens who beat up a waiter in Prague last year be tried on charges of attempted murder. The two, who are brothers, could face up to 18 years if found guilty.

The police had originally charged them with grievous bodily harm but revised their position after court experts said that the attack was so brutal that the victim could have died.

The waiter was set upon after telling a group of seven Dutch citizens that they were not allowed to consume their own alcohol at the city centre outdoor restaurant where he worked.

MPs vote to return sick pay for first three days of illness

The Chamber of Deputies has voted to return pay for the first three days of illness to Czech employees from July of next year. In their first session following a seasonal break, MPs overruled a Senate veto of a bill to that effect, which was tabled by the Social Democrats.

Senators argued that the current legislation – under which the first three days are unpaid – keeps the sickness rate down. However, the minister of labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová of the Social Democrats, said employees should not be punished for being unwell.

Former German president Joachim Gauck receives Charles IV Prize

Former German president Joachim Gauck has been awarded the Charles IV Prize, a distinction bestowed by the city of Prague and Charles University to persons known for their outstanding contribution to culture, politics or economics. The former German president received the award for his contribution to Czech-German relations and his commitment to defending human rights.

In his speech at the award ceremony at Charles University Gauck emphasised the importance of the EU as a community defending the values of freedom, democracy and rule of law.

Previous recipients of the award include leading personalities in the fields of philosophy, music and medicine such as Paul Ricoeur, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, John Foxton Ross Kerr, and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

Repair work on Prague’s Libeň Bridge to start this year

The Prague authorities will begin repairs of the city’s Libeň Bridge this year, deputy mayor Adam Scheinherr said on Tuesday. Initial work will focus on parts of the road bridge that are not directly connected to traffic.

The renovation work will be carried out according to a plan due for publication by the Czech Technical University by the end of March.

Libeň Bridge, which was built in the late 1920s, is in a hazardous state. There was talk in the past of demolishing it completely.

Top court refuses to consider petition from policeman sacked after getting HIV

The Constitutional Court has refused to hear a complaint taken by a former police officer who was dismissed after learning that he had contracted HIV. Judges said that the petition was premature and that the police president would first have to address the issue of possible discrimination.

When his employers learned that the officer was HIV positive they had him undergo a medical examination. The doctor concluded he was unfit to continue serving and he was let go in 2011.

The Prague 7 District Court ruled last year that the sacking was lawful as the policeman was incapable of doing his job.

Toman earns 13 Czech Lion film award nominations

Ondřej Trojan’s Toman has received the most nominations, with 13, for this year’s Czech Lion film awards. The Hastrman, directed by Ondřej Havelka, has 10 nominations, as does Winter Flies by Olmo Omerzu. Jan Palach by Robert Sedláček is in the running in eight categories.

The Czech Lions are voted on by members of the Czech Film and Television Academy. The winners will be announced in Prague on March 23.

Kvitová powers into Australian Open semi-finals

Petra Kvitová has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. The Czech women’s tennis number one overcame Australia’s Ashleigh Barty 6-1 6-4 in 70 minutes on Tuesday to continue a very impressive run at the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. Kvitová has not dropped a single set on her route to the last four in Melbourne.

In the women’s doubles, Barbora Strýcová and Markéta Vondroušová have also reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Another Czech pair, Kateřina Siniaková and Barbora Krejčíková, exited at the quarter-final stage.

Weather forecast

There should be bright spells and some snow in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to -2 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs should gradually climb to above freezing point at the weekend.