Daily news summary
Miloš Zeman grants sixth presidential pardon
Miloš Zeman has granted his sixth presidential pardon since being appointed in 2013, his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. The recipient of the pardon is a man charged with property crime and is a repeat offender who suffers from a serious form of cancer. Prior to his election President Zeman said he would only grant pardons in very exceptional cases and transferred the power to conduct clemency reviews to the minister of justice, saying he regarded it as an unnecessarily monarchical element of the constitution.
Prague “marathon” of Havel films promises rare materials
A “marathon” of films relating to the late Václav Havel is set to take place at Prague’s National Technical Library on Friday and Saturday. Organisers say viewers can look forward to previously unseen materials, including a recording of Havel speaking on Czechoslovak Television following the 1969 self-immolation of Jan Palach and an interview with the then dissident in a Prague hospital in late October 1989. The event has been timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the playwright and president’s death on December 18.
Receipt lottery to be launched in mid-2017
A receipt lottery will become part of the electronic cash register system, the government’s spokesman Martin Ayrer confirmed on his Twitter account on Wednesday. The Finance Ministry plans to launch the receipt lottery in order to encourage consumers’ assistance in fighting tax evasion. The lottery will be launched in mid-2017 and is expected to distribute up to 65 million crowns a year in winnings.
Police bust Romanian gang trafficking women
Czech and Romanian police officers have busted a gang of Romanian women traffickers who operated in Prague, Czech Radio reported on Wednesday. The gang allegedly made more than 87,000 euros, several thousand US dollars and around one and a half million crowns since 2015 by forcing Romanian women into prostitution. The seven men are suspected of being involved in large-scale human trafficking across the whole of Europe.
Irish musicologist to receive Czech Music Council award
Irish musicologist and organ player Patrick Devine will receive the award of the Czech Music Council in Prague on Wednesday. Mr Devine, is being recognised for his lifelong research work, education and promotion of Czech music abroad and will be handed the prize at concert at Prague Conservatory as part of the Bohuslav Martinů Days.
Czech tourists reach wrong destination after city names mix-up
A group of Czechs who wished to visit the French Riviera accidentally ended up in Serbia, Novinky.cz reported, citing Slovak news site topky.sk. The four had believed they had bought tickets to Nice and didn’t discover that they hadn’t until their plane from Bratislava landed in the Serbian city of Niš, according to the website. It said the four, two couples, had been surprised that it was so cold and damp when their Ryanair flight landed.
Thursday is expected to be mostly cloudy with occasional snow showers in the north eastern part of the country. Daytime temperatures will hover between -1 to 3 degrees Celsius.