Saturday, June 23, 2012

News 6.23.2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

By: Christian Falvey

* The crash of a Czech bus in central Croatia early Saturday morning
took the lives of eight people.

* The Public Affairs party has re-elected Radek John as chairman for
another two years.

* A court has ruled that the Office of the President must disclose its
employees�� pay and bonuses.

* Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek says plans for an EU banking union
may jeopardise the EU's single financial market.

* Several dozen people gathered in Prague on Saturday to commemorate
communist victim Milada Horakova.

Bus crash in Croatia claims eight lives

The crash of a Czech bus in central Croatia early Saturday morning took
the lives of eight people. According to Croatian media the dead include
one young child and one of the drivers; another forty people were
reportedly injured though none are said to be in critical condition.
The bus was on its way from Brno carrying holidaymakers from the travel
agency Atlas Adria and belongs to the company JS Bus. According to
reports, the bus, carrying 51 people, first struck a pole before
ramming into the median and flipping over. The cause is not yet known.

John re-elected as Public Affairs chairman

A conference of the Public Affairs party has re-elected Radek John as
chairman for another two years. Mr John received the support of 67
delegates, while 19 delegated voted against him and two of the cast
ballots were invalid. Tomas Jarolim, Petr Skokan, Jiri Kohout, Jana
Drastichova and Katerina Klasnova were chosen as deputy chairpersons.
John said that under his leadership the former-coalition, now
opposition party would try to promote change and her hoped that people
will notice it. Public Affairs joined the opposition after a split,
with a number of members following Karolina Peake to form the LIDEM
party, which remains in the coalition government.

President's office must disclose salaries of Jakl and Hajek

The Prague Municipal Court has ruled that the office of the Czech
president must disclose information about its employees�� pay and
bonuses. The information had been sought by the daily Lidove noviny for
nearly a year, particularly regarding the pay of President Vaclav
Klaus��s controversial secretaries Ladislav Jakl and Petr Hajek, however
the office insisted it was not authorised to provide the information.
The Municipal Court ruled that the employees in question were important
officials in leading posts, and people had the unchallengeable right to
information about their wages. The office has 15 day to provide the
information to Lidove noviny and cover court expenses of 3000 crowns.

Council of disabled people files criminal complaint against health

The head of the Czech National Council of Disabled People has filed a
criminal complaint against Health Minister Leos Heger over what it
deems to be unlawful steps in health care reform. Chairman Vaclav Krasa
writes in the complaint that the recent raising of patients' fees pay
for hospital stays is unlawful and unconstitutional, as is the
introduction of paid extra care. The council suspects Heger of abuse of
power and harming other people��s rights, implementing controversial
direct payments by patients in spite of the fact that the Charter of
Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (part of the Czech constitution)
guarantees free health care and medial aids for free to Czech citizens
and creating unequal conditions of people��s access to health care.

Kalousek fears plans for banking union may jeopardise financial market

Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek said today he fears plans for the
establishment of a union of banks within the European Union might
jeopardise the single financial market in the EU. Some European
politicians, including European Commission head Jose Barroso, are
calling for the establishment of the bank union in reaction to the
current crisis. However, Mr Kalousek says it is not possible to expect
that all countries will participate in the bank union and warns that if
the union were formed by only some countries, it might be the end of
the single financial market in the EU. The plan - which entails greater
integration of the banking sector, stronger regulation and changes in
insurance policies and bank guarantees - will be discussed by EU
governments and heads of states at a summit in Brussels next week.

Dozens gather to commemorate Milada Horakova

Several dozen people gathered in Prague on Saturday to commemorate
post-war politician Milada Horakova and other victims of communism on
the weekend before the 62nd anniversary of her execution by the
Communist regime. Horakova was executed on charges of treason and
conspiracy after a show trial on June 27, 1950. People paid their
respects to her and others at the monument to 235 victims of communism
in front of Pankrac Prison in Prague, where Horakova and others were
imprisoned and killed. Milada Horakova served in the anti-fascist
resistance during WWII, before becoming an MP for the National
Socialists. She left politics after the Communist coup in 1948 and was
arrested the next year. The Supreme Court overturned her conviction in
1968, however she was only exonerated in 1990.

Small boy found on metro track remains in critical condition

Doctors are struggling to save a four-year-old boy who was found on the
tracks of the metro in Prague on Friday evening. The boy will likely
remain in critical condition for several more days, after doctors
worked five hours to save his leg. The child was found in the metro
tunnel with serious injuries between the Opatov and Chodov stations.
Rescuers believe he was either hanging on between wagons before falling
through, or was walking down the track and was struck by the train.
Police are unable to provide further information in light of his age.


Conditions should be mostly clear with a chance of rain in the north
and highs of around 27o Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Calisthenics, communist style

Last year in this programme I played some archive recordings from the
pre-war gatherings of the "Sokol" movement, which brought together tens
of thousands of people in displays of mass gymnastics, all in an
atmosphere of great patriotic fervour. After the war, the communists
suppressed the Sokol movement as part of the old political order,
instead staging their own spectacular calisthenics displays in honour
of the Communist Party.
Paul Wilson's Bohemian Rhapsodies

Any history of Czechoslovakia's dissident movement in the 1970s will
include more than a passing reference to the writer, editor and
translator Paul Wilson. Originally from Canada, he came to the country
in 1967, then in his twenties, and he was to stay for ten years,
eventually being expelled in 1977 for associating with dissidents and
the underground music scene. Paul Wilson was back in Prague last month
for the launch of a collection of his essays about this country over
the last three decades. He spoke to David Vaughan.
Magazine 23.6.2012

In Magazine: a football field cut in half by the Czech-Austrian border,
Czech politicians get invites to a session on moral reform, a Czech
chef gives the country's troops in Afghanistan a treat!

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