Sunday, June 12, 2011

News 6.12.2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Sunday, June 12th, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* Czech labour unions have postponed a nationwide transport strike
until Thursday, June 16.

* The unions, questioning a ban by the Prague Municipal Court, have
said they will file a complaint with the International Labour

* President Vaclav Klaus has rejected a call to apologise for
injustices committed against ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia after
World War II.

* Some 25 thousand people saw classic heavy metal band Iron Maiden in

* MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham has finished seventh in the British Grand

Transport strike postponed until Thursday

Czech labour unions have postponed a nationwide transport strike
against the government's fiscal reforms until Thursday, June 16.
Originally the strike was to have taken place on Monday but the unions
backed down following a decision by the Prague Municipal Court at the
weekend. The court ruled that organisers had failed to give necessary
advance warning of three working days and banned the strike as a result.

Railway union head Jaroslav Pejsa said on Czech Television on Sunday
that the strike, now moved to Thursday, will last a full 24 hours. The
nationwide protest action is expected to paralyse public transport in
Prague and other major cities and towns. Blockades in key areas of
major highways and routes are also expected. The police force is
preparing to monitor developments on the day to try and keep situations
from getting out of hand and to keep traffic moving.

Unions to file complaint with the ILO

In related news, union representatives have questioned the Prague
Municipal Court's ban as well as the court's impartiality. According to
the unions, the advance warning cited in its decision did not apply in
this case, arguing the strike was "in the economic interest of all". On
Saturday, the unions were caught off guard by the court's decision even
as heads arrived for last-minute negotiations with the government. This
prompted heated response by representatives who called the cabinet
'cowardly' and the court decision a mere 'scrap of paper'. Despite
postponing the strike, the unions say they will file a complaint with
the International Labour Organisation, due to meet in Geneva.

Had the original strike gone ahead on Monday, the unions could have
been held accountable for all damages and losses, which had been
estimated to reach as high as 200 million crowns. On Saturday Prime
Minister Petr Necas warned the unions that if it did go ahead they
would be held accountable for every crown.

Poll suggests majority of Czechs support planned strike

A poll commissioned by public broadcaster Czech TV and conducted by the
SC&C agency has suggested that three-fifths of Czechs support the
planned public transport strike but by the same number disagree with
blockades on major highways and roads. A quarter of those queried said
they would actively take part if it were a general strike. The poll was
conducted on June 10 and 11 relying on almost 700 respondents. Half of
those asked said the government's planned reforms, including changes to
the health care and pension systems, were 'unacceptable', while a
quarter disliked them but said they were necessary.

President rejects call for apology to Sudeten Germans

President Vaclav Klaus has rejected a call to apologise for injustices
committed against ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia after World War II,
saying that apologies were not the means of addressing differences over
who bore responsibility for the war and related acts. On Saturday the
chairman of the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft, Franz Pany, questioned
why Prague had not made a similar gesture to that of Queen Elizabeth II
on her recent visit to Ireland. The Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft
represents ethnic Germans who were expelled from Czechoslovakia after
World War II.

But Mr Klaus reacted by saying that some on the German side had
rejected all apologies until now. He also said calling for an apology
on the anniversary of the destruction of the village of Lidice by the
Nazis 69 years ago was highly insensitive. On Saturday, some 3,000
people in the Czech Republic attended a memorial ceremony in Lidice,
near Prague, where 69 years ago all male inhabitants aged 15 and higher
were shot and all women and many children were sent to concentration
camps. The destruction of the village was one of the most infamous acts
of reprisal by the Nazis for the assassination of the acting
Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich.

Four people die in head-on collision

Two police officers, a passenger they were escorting to a sobering-up
station and the driver of a second vehicle, were killed in the early
hours of Sunday in a head-on collision. The accident took place at
around 4 am near the South Bohemian town of Hluboka nad Vltavou. A
spokeswoman said the officers were from a unit in Pisek. The
authorities were alerted to the accident by a driver who only narrowly
avoided the crash. The cause of the accident has not been revealed and
the driver of the second car, a red Opel which caught fire after the
crash, has not been identified.

Twenty-five thousand see classic metal band Iron Maiden

Some 25,000 people in attendance were able to see classic heavy metal
band Iron Maiden on Saturday as they performed at a rock festival at
Prague's Vystaviste fair ground, just off of Stromovka Park. The band,
led by singer Bruce Dickinson, featured songs off of their new album
and also classics like The Number of the Beast. Other bands to perform
on Saturday included Kreator and Korn.

MotoGP: Abraham finishes seventh in British Grand Prix

Czech MotoGP rookie Karel Abraham finished seventh in the British Grand
Prix, a day after posting his best-ever qualifying performance in his
career. Despite getting off to a poor start, passed by five riders, the
racer was able to come back, tying for his best finish earlier this
year in Spain. Abraham, who races for Cardion AB Motoracing, is in
tenth spot in the overall MotoGP standings.


Cloudy skies but some sunny periods are expected on Monday; daytime
temperatures should reach highs of around 22 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Sunday Music Show 12.6.2011

In this edition of the Sunday Music Show we look back at one of the
most successful Czech bands of the 1990s, the rock group Lucie. Founded
by singer and guitarist Robert Kodym together with bass guitarist Petr
Chovanec (P.B.CH), the band went on to great success in the years
following the Velvet Revolution. Most recently their music featured in
an episode of Cesko-Slovensko Superstar (the Czech/Slovak version of
pop idol), where contestants tried to match the strength of the

This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
chose at To change the settings, click
here. (C) 2011, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved., E-mail: