Daily news summary


Government to review mental health care, school security following Ždár knife attack

The Czech government will review the system of mental health care and school security rules after Tuesday’s deadly knife attack at a secondary school in Žďár nad Sázavou, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said. The attack by a 26-year-old woman who allegedly suffers from schizophrenia left one student dead and another three people injured. The intruder committed a similar attack in 2012 and was confined to a psychiatric hospital. However, she was released in February after doctors said she had made progress in her treatment.

PM Sobotka said a failure of the country’s system of care for mental patients could not have been ruled out, and asked Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček to review it. The justice minister should meanwhile review decisions by courts and prosecutors which allowed the alleged attacker to leave hospital, and the education minister should check security rules at Czech schools. The government is set to debate the reports by the end of November, Mr Sobotka said.

Police formally charge Žďár school attacker with murder

The police have formally raised charges against a woman who on Tuesday stabbed to death a 16-year-student at a secondary school in Žďár nad Sázavou. The attacker, who suffers from schizophrenia, has been charged with murder and hostage taking. The woman reportedly entered one of local secondary schools at around 7:30 AM on Tuesday, armed with a long knife. She injured a girl before stabbing to death a 16-year-old student and another two people including a police negotiator. If convicted, she faces a sentence of 15 to 20 years or extraordinary sentence; however, she might be acquitted by reason of insanity, according to media reports.

Psychiatric hospital head resigns in wake of school attack in Žďár

The director of a psychiatric hospital in Opava, Ivan Drábek, has resigned from his post in the wake of Tuesday’s knife attack at a secondary school in Ždár nad Sázavou. The attacker was admitted to the hospital after a 2012 attack in an elementary school in Havířov but a court released her last February on the basis of doctors’ recommendations. The 68-year-old hospital director however denied any wrongdoing on the part of the hospital, and quoted strong media pressure as the reason behind his decision.

TOP 09 leaders in Prague quit party

Prague Mayor Tomáš Hudeček of the TOP 09 party, and the head of the group’s Prague organization, Jiří Vávra, have both quit the party. The officials, who have become bitter rivals, offered their resignations just days after the party failed to win local elections in Prague, and will most likely lose the post of the mayor for the next four-year term. The men clashed over nominations for the party ballot in Prague, and have accused each other of maintaining contacts with political opponents and lobbyists. TOP 09 leadership, which on Wednesday accepted their resignations, said their disputes had been damaging the party’s reputation with voters.

Medics must wait two months longer to receive pay rise than other state employees

Health workers will receive a pay rise in January not at the same time as other state employees at the start of November, says Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. In an interview for Czech Television on Tuesday evening, he said this was because medics’ salaries were not financed directly from the state budget. State employees will get a 3.5 percent pay rise next month, while some – including police and fire officers – will get a second rise in January to give them a total of 5 percent more than they are now receiving.

Czech car production up by 12.2 pct between January and September

Car production in the Czech Republic grew annually by 12.2 percent in the first three quarters of the year, according to figures released by the country’s Automotive Industry Association on Wednesday. In total, over 936,000 vehicles were produced; over 60 percent of them were made by Škoda Auto, followed by Hyundai with 25 percent and TPCA with 15 percent. Škoda Auto increased production in the first three quarters of the year by an annual 21.6 percent. Analysts say car production could reach record levels this year if all major carmakers maintain their production pace.

Police charge former Prague 11 deputies over public property sales

The police have charged 40 former deputies of the Prague 11 district and a former employee of the local town hall with abuse of power and breach of trust over allegedly disadvantageous sales of public property. Detectives from the organized crime unit of the Czech police believe that between 2010 and 2011, the former representatives approved sales of municipal property incurring losses of at least 20 million crowns.

National Archive to receive valuable photography collection

The Czech National Archive will on Wednesday take possession of a valuable collection documenting 20th century photography in the then Czechoslovakia. The archive of photographer of the late Alexandr Paul, who co-founded the Press Photo Service in 1931, contains black and white and colour negatives, slides of various formats, photographs and other archival materials. They capture cultural events, architecture, street scenes, sport and various other areas of life.

Poet Jiří Reynek dies at 85

Graphic artist, poet and translator Jiří Reynek died on Wednesday at the age of 85, the news agency ČTK reported quoting a source close to his family. Jiří Rejnek, the younger son of the graphic artist and poet Bohuslav Reynek and the French-born poet Suzanne Renaud, died three weeks after his elder brother Daniel passed away at the age of 86. As translator, Jiří Reynek specialized on French literature, mainly of the works by the writer Henri Pourrat and the poet Francis Jammes.

Football: Slavia Prague faces stadium closure over crowd disturbances

The Czech Interior Ministry has launched formal proceedings against the club Slavia Prague over repeated disturbances by its fans. In the latest incident from last month, Slavia fans exploded fireworks and set the rival team’s banners and scarfs on fire, with the game being interrupted in the 75th minute. Slavia also faced disciplinary measures over their fans’ behaviour in several games earlier in the season. The club now faces the closure of their stadium for a period ranging from one match to one year.