Friday, September 16, 2011

News 9.16.2011

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

News Friday, September 16th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* The shadow foreign minister has slammed the prime minister's visit to

* Austria's foreign minister has pledged that the country will do
everything in its power to prevent the construction of further nuclear
plants in the Czech Republic.

* Hundreds of people have said their last farewell to Czech ice hockey
star Jan Marek, who was killed in the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash.

* Far-right extremists have confirmed attendance at an anti-Romany
protest gathering in North Bohemia, where racial tensions have been

* Six Czech tourists injured in a bus accident in Greece are expected
to return home on Saturday.

Shadow foreign minister criticizes prime minister's visit to Israel

Shadow Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has criticized Prime Minister
Petr Necas's visit to Israel. He said that the visit was "unfortunate
and wrong." He added that no representative from any of the EU's member
states would consider paying a visit to either Israel or Palestine
ahead of a UN vote on Palestine's plea for independence. Mr. Zaoralek
also slammed the Czech Republic's overall foreign policy, which he says
is not balanced and will ultimately lead to the country's isolation.
The Czech prime minister is in Israel for a two-day official visit,
accompanied by four of his cabinet ministers as well as by a number of
Czech business people and entrepreneurs.

Austrian foreign minister slams construction of further nuclear plants
in the Czech Republic

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger says that Austria will
use any means available, be they legal or political, to prevent the
Czech Republic from constructing new nuclear power plants. Mr.
Spindelegger's statement came on Friday; he added that energy policy
needs to be understood in a European context. Austrian Environment
Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich slammed the Czech Republic, stating that
the country has not "learned its lesson from the disaster in
Fukushima." The statements from cabinet officials back efforts of local
politicians in the South of the country to fight the Czech Republic's
energy policy development plan, which includes the construction of
further nuclear plants as well as the completion of the nuclear power
plant at Temelin.

Hundreds bid last farewell to Czech ice hockey star Jan Marek

Hundreds of people said their last farewell to Czech ice hockey star
Jan Marek, who was killed in the tragic Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash
last week, in the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption in his native
Jindrichuv Hradec on Friday. The farewell ceremony was open to the
public for two hours. Hundreds of fans crowded into the church to lay
down flowers and sign a book of condolences. At noon, a memorial
service was held for close friends and family only. It was broadcast
live for those who could not attend it.

Jan Marek was one of three Czech ice hockey players who lost their
lives when a Yak-42 plane caught fire shortly after take-off from the
Russian Yaroslavl airport. All forty-three players were killed in the

Film director Otakar Vavra dies at 100

The legendary Czech film director Otakar Vavra died late on Thursday at
the age of 100. Mr Vavra made over 50 movies in his long career
spanning over five decades; he shot his first feature film in 1936. His
most acclaimed movies include Kladivo na carodejnice, or Witches'
Hammer from 1970 in which he drew a parallel between the witch hunts of
the 17th century and the situation of Czechoslovakia after the Soviet
occupation, and the 1966 lyrical film Romance for Bugle. Mr. Vavra's
critics however note he always served the regime of the day; the
director received awards before the war, during the Nazi occupation,
during the Soviet occupation as well as after the fall of communism
when President Vaclav Klaus presented him in 2004 with the Medal of

Far-right extremists to attend protest gathering in North Bohemia on

Far-right extremists will meet again on Saturday in the North Bohemian
town of Varnsdorf, for a protest gathering against the local Roma
minority. Police estimate that up to 100 extremists may travel to the
event and are planning to deploy a minimum of 300 officers at crucial
spots around town.

Last week, the Workers Party for Social Justice organized protest
events in three locations throughout the region, where a series of
racially-motivated gatherings have taken place over the past few weeks,
with tensions between ethnic Czechs and Romanies escalating. Last
Saturday, locals joined extremists in a spontaneous departure from the
route of the march and attempted to attack a Romany housing unit.

V4: Integration of Balkan states remains important

Despite the current debt crisis, the integration of Balkan countries
into the EU and their efforts to become member states remain important.
Leaders from the Vysegrad Four announced their position on the issue
following a meeting in Prague on Friday. The chairmen of parliaments
from the four Vysegrad countries, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic
and Slovakia, called on EU member states to abide by the Maastricht and
Lisbon treaties. Balkan integration is a key issue for Hungary, the
head of the country's national assembly Laszlo Kover said. The chairman
of the Czech Senate, Milan Stech, said that integration of Balkan
states into the union is one of the foundations for peace in the region.

Czech Trade Inspectorate uncovers fifteen cases of discrimination
against consumers

The Czech Trade Inspectorate has uncovered fifteen incidents of
discrimination against consumers. In one case, racial discrimination
occurred when a landlord refused to rent out an apartment to a Romany
woman. Other forms of unacceptable behavior towards consumers were for
example offering the same service at two different rates, which
happened most often in the realty and hospitality sectors. The
inspection authority performed a total of 447 checks in the first half
of this year. Nearly 200 offences were registered, with the total fines
for that period approaching one million Czech crowns.

Six Czech tourists injured in Greek bus accident to return home on

Six Czech tourists who were injured in a tragic bus accident in
Northern Greece will be returning to the Czech Republic on a charter
flight on Saturday morning. Four relatives of the injured persons will
be travelling on the same flight. Another five will remain in the care
of doctors in Greece, where a bus carrying Czech tourists collided with
another vehicle on Wednesday afternoon. The bus was on its way back
from a tour of Greek monasteries. Two people were killed instantly in
the accident, another man died at hospital.

Over sixty Czech cities participate in European Mobility Week

European Mobility week, a campaign aimed at promoting public transport
and other modes of transportation such as cycling and in-line skating
has kicked off in over sixty Czech cities. Municipalities have prepared
discussions, exhibitions, and other events; in some, car traffic will
be limited for several hours. In Prague, the main event is scheduled
for Saturday, when the street Smetanovo nabrezi, which runs along the
Vltava river, will be closed to traffic. Pedestrians will be able to
try out new electric vehicles. In Brno, concerts as well as an in-line
skating events are planned for the same day.

Court issues 14-year prison sentence to woman who murdered her new-born

A court in Hradec Kralove on Friday dealt a 14-year prison sentence to
a woman who was tried for murdering her new-born and burning its body
to get rid of the evidence. The 35-year-old gave birth to the baby in
June of last year. She claims that it was born dead. Police became
aware of the murdered new-born during an investigation of petty crimes
in the Pardubice region, where the woman lived at the time.


The weekend will bring sunny to cloudy conditions with daytime
temperatures of up to 24 degrees.

Articles posted on today

Michal Thoma - Traveller, photographer, writer - Part 2

Michal Thoma - like his father Zdenek - is a well-known Czech
photographer, traveller, and author focussing on countries in Asia,
including India and Nepal. In Part 2 of this special Panorama, we focus
on Manang - a village in the Himalayas which was unchanged for
centuries when Zdenek Thoma visited and photographed there in 1979.
Thirty years later, his son Michal followed in his father's footsteps
and has since put together a joint-exhibition about Manang which you
can see at The House at the Stone Bell in Prague.

Business News 16.9.2011

In this week's business news: the unexpected resignation of CEZ CEO
Martin Roman, the opening of the first gas pipeline between the Czech
Republic and Poland, the Czech Finance Ministry to launch a pilot issue
of retail bonds and Czechs increasingly sceptical with regard to the
future of the Eurozone.

Prime Minister Necas indicates no support for independent Palestine
during Israel visit

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas on Friday wound up a two-day official
visit to Israel, heading the largest Czech delegation ever to visit the
Jewish state. The visit came a week before the UN is expected to vote
on an independent Palestinian state which was one of the issues Czech
and Israeli officials debated in Jerusalem. Radio Prague spoke about
the Czech prime minister's visit with Czech Radio correspondent in
Israel Bretislav Turecek.

Filmmaking legend Otakar Vavra dies at 100

Czech filmmaking legend Otakar Vavra - who turned 100 earlier - has
died in Prague. Over the course of a remarkable career, Mr Vavra -
praised by many of the film elite - directed more than 50 films, from
early dramas to acclaimed projects in the 1960s like Witches' Hammer.

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