Daily news summary


Police investigate Molotov Cocktail attack on defense minister’s home

Police revealed on Monday that the Prague home of Defence Minister Martin Stropnický was the target of a Molotov Cocktail attack. The minister was not at home when the attack took place on Sunday morning but other members of his family were. A chemical analysis of the bottles’ content found that it was inflammable, a Prague police spokesman said, refusing to disclose further details due to the ongoing investigation. The police are treating the incident as a public safety threat. There have been previous attacks against public figures. Several ministers were sent envelopes containing poison late last year.

Czech president calls on Norwegian king to speed up Michalák brothers’ custody case

Czech President Miloš Zeman has written a letter to Norwegian King Harald V over the high-profile case involving a Czech mother, Eva Michaláková, living in Norway, whose children were placed in foster homes, the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček said on Tuesday. Mr Zeman has asked King Harald to stand up for a quick solution of the case with regard to the children’s interest. The two boys - now aged six and nine – were taken from their mother and father over alleged sexual abuse, but the Norwegian authorities have refused to make the information public to protect the children’s privacy. In the letter, which was sent to the Norwegian king last week, Mr Zeman also said that the case has been disrupting Czech-Norwegian relations as well as Norway’s image in the Czech Republic.

Christian Democrats announce self-imposed ban on trips to Russia

The Christian Democratic Party has announced a self-imposed ban on trips to Russia until the country ceases destabilizing Ukraine. Party leader Pavel Bělobrádek said at a press conference on Tuesday that party members are willing to attend political negotiations on neutral ground but refuse to travel to Russia. Another reason for the move is the recent blacklist of EU politicians and diplomats, released by Russia, which bans them from entering the country. Four Czechs, including the head of the TOP 09 party Karel Schwarzenberg and former EU commissioner Štefan Füle are also included on the list.

Around third of gambling venues to close down in Prague

The executive body of Prague City Council on Tuesday approved an amendment to the regulation on gambling, which will see the closure of about a third of all gambling venues in the capital. Several Prague’s districts, including Prague 7 and 8, have opted for zero tolerance and plan to abolish all gaming venues on their territory. The move must still be approved by Prague City Hall. There are currently nearly 300 gambling outlets in Prague, with more than fifty of them in Prague 8. In the coalition agreement, the ANO Party, the Social Democrats and the three-way coalition of Greens, Christian Democrats and Mayors and Independents have pledged to introduce zero tolerance to gambling in Prague.

Majority of Czechs in favour of nuclear power

A majority of Czechs have a positive attitude towards nuclear energy, according to a poll carried out by the CVVM agency in May. Some 45 percent of people are happy with the current state of the country’s nuclear power capacity and 22 percent are in favour of its expansion. Just over 20 percent of respondents said they would like to reduce the use of nuclear power. The poll also suggested that nearly 50 percent of respondents would like to see another two reactors added to the country’s two unit Temelín nuclear power station.

Czech National Bank governor expects unemployment to drop next year

Unemployment in the Czech Republic will continue to fall next year to a level slightly above five percent, Governor of the Czech National Bank Miroslav Singer said on Tuesday. He also said he expects salaries to rise as a result. Unemployment in the Czech Republic in May reached 6.4 percent; which is the lowest rate since June 2009. According to Mr Singer, the longest recession in the history of the Czech Republic seems to be over. He also repeated that the Czech National Bank will continue to intervene against the strengthening of the Czech crown until at least the second half of 2016.

Some 800 children from Prague 6 inoculated against hepatitis A

Doctors have inoculated around 800 children from Prague’s districts of Dejvice and Bubeneč against hepatitis A. Blanket vaccination of children in the Prague 6 district against hepatitis A was recommended by health officials following a serious incident of water contamination. Some 4,000 children between 12 months old and 15 years qualify for the free vaccinations, which started on Friday. The contamination occurred at the end of May when sewage water is believed to have seeped into a pipe carrying water for public consumption. The Prague Waterworks Company is now facing thousands of demands for compensation.

Documentarist Jana Ševčíková wins Pavel Koutecký Award

This year’s Pavel Koutecký Award for Best Czech Documentary has gone to Jana Ševčíková for her film Opři žebřík o nebe or Lean a Ladder against Heaven, a portrait of Catholic priest Marián Kuffa, who leads a parish in a small village in the Slovak Tatra Mountains that provides asylum to those released from prison, alcoholics, drug addicts and other people in need. The award giving ceremony took place at Prague’s Archa theatre on Monday evening. Over 100 documentaries were considered for the prize, with the winner eventually selected from a shortlist of 10. Pavel Koutecký was a filmmaker who died in 2006 at the age of 50, halfway through filming Citizen Havel, a portrait of the late president that subsequently became a great success.

Czech national ice-hockey coach faces more bribe allegations

Czech national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička is facing more allegations of bribe-taking while coaching domestic league club Slavia, Czech Radio reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Mr Růžička asked several parents for large sums of money to allow their children play for the club. The Czech national coach has refused to comment on the accusations. A criminal complaint of corruption has already been filed against the coach for bribe-taking, fraud and breach of trust in connection with a sum of CZK 500,000 he is alleged to have accepted from a man to allow his son to play for Slavia Prague.

Ondřej Palát helps Tampa Bay pull ahead in Stanley Cup series

In [ice] hockey, Czech forward Ondřej Palát scored in Tampa Bay Lightning’s 3:2 Stanley Cup final series win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Palát’s goal in the third period drew Tampa level at 2:2 after going behind only 12 seconds earlier. Cedric Paquette scored the winner with just over three minutes left on the clock. The win gives Tampa Bay a 2:1 lead in the series with the next match due Wednesday.