Thursday, March 7, 2013

News 3.7.2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Thursday, March 7th, 2013

By: Jan Richter

* Czech President Vaclav Klaus' second and final term in office ends at

* A number of satirical events are being held on Thursday to mark
Vaclav Klaus's departure from office.

* Hackers targeted the websites of telephone service providers on the
fourth day of major cyber attacks in the Czech Republic.

* In football, Viktoria Plzen hosts Fenerbahce Instanbul in the first
leg of Europa League's round of 16.

Klaus leaves office after 10 years

President Vaclav Klaus's second and final term in office ends at
midnight on Thursday. Mr Klaus was first elected president in 2003,
after serving as prime minister and head of the right-of-centre Civic
Democrat party in the 1990s. Mr Klaus is credited with creating the
democratic political system in the Czech Republic; however, his
divisive views on issues such as global warming and European
integrations have made him a controversial figure. After attending his
successor's inauguration on Friday, Mr Klaus is set to leave for a
lecture tour in the US before assuming a new role as the head of the
recently-founded Vaclav Klaus Institute in Prague.

Outgoing president Klaus, president-elect Zeman pay tribute to Masaryk

The outgoing President Vaclav Klaus along with his successor,
president-elect Milos Zeman, on Thursday paid tribute to
Czechoslovakia's first president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk at his grave in
Lany, outside Prague, on the 163rd anniversary of his birth.
Accompanied by their wives, the presidents later had a private lunch
together at the Lany presidential retreat. Mr Zeman will also honour
the remains of the Czech national saint, St Wenceslas, in St Vitus
cathedral on Friday, the day of his inauguration.

Groups prepare satirical events to "celebrate" end of Klaus' term

A number of civic associations and informal groups critical of Vaclav
Klaus have prepared various happenings to celebrate the end of his
presidency. On Hradcanske square in front of Prague Castle, people laid
flowers and pens in front a of a live statue of Mr Klaus, in reference
to the president's infamous appropriation of a pen during a visit in
Chile. An effigy representing Mr Klaus was then set on fire and thrown
off Charles Bridge in the Vltava River. Other events include a rock
concert at the Lucerna Music Bar in the evening, as well as a party on
Wenceslas Square.

Czech TV refuses to share live feed of inauguration

Czech Public Television will be the only broadcaster with official live
coverage of Friday's presidential inauguration ceremony. The station
has decided not to share the live feed from the ceremony, frustrating
its competitors and smaller news organizations. Part of the ceremony
will be outside and open to the public, but the Prague Castle
administration chose only one television crew to cover the official
swearing in ceremony that will take place inside the Vladislav Hall,
allegedly for capacity reasons. Czech Television has promised to make
the recording of the ceremony available to other broadcasters as soon
as possible after the event.

Hackers target telephone companies

Hackers attacked the websites of two of the largest telephone service
providers T-Mobile and Telefonica O2 on Thursday morning. A Telefonica
spokesperson said that the attack had come from an IP address in
Russia. The attack is under investigation by Czech police and security
services. Every day of this week, web servers of various Czech
institutions have been attacked - news sites, the search engine, and financial institutions. According to some experts, this
type of an attack is fairly primitive, though effective and hard to

Number of unmarried couples hits record high

The number of unmarried couples in the Czech Republic has reached a
record high of 238,000, according to figures released by the Czech
Statistical Office. The number of partners living together without
having gotten married has grown five-fold in the past fifty years. Most
of the people are between 25 and 39 years old, more than half have
never been married, and a third are divorcees. The number of registered
marriages is also steadily decreasing. In 2011 the Czech Republic
registered the least number of marriages since 1918.

Police inspection probes Frenstat blast

The Czech security forces inspection has launched a probe into whether
the police could have prevented last month's explosion in an apartment
building in the northern town of Frenstat which killed six people, a
spokeswoman for the agency said on Thursday. The explosion,
deliberately set off by one of the residents, was reportedly preceded
by a series of conflicts between the man and his neighbours. The
tenant, who reportedly faced eviction from his apartment, died in the

Czech fuel prices stop rising

Fuel prices in the Czech Republic have stopped rising, according to
figures by CCS, a monitoring firm. The price of the most popular
petrol, Natural 95, only registered a slight increase compared to last
week, to reach the price of 36.8 crowns per litre. Meanwhile, the price
of diesel has seen no increase at all, with an average price per litre
remaining at 36.2 crowns. Analysts say the halt in price rises has been
influenced by decreasing prices of oil on the international market. The
highest prices of fuel were registered in the capital; the lowest in
southern Bohemia.

Plzen rejects controversial plans to build new shopping mall

Plzen City Hall on Thursday rejected a controversial plan to build a
large new shopping mall in the centre of the west Bohemian city. The
decision comes some two months after the plans were turned down in a
local referendum. City officials said the project's investor failed to
meet several conditions related to construction activity in the area,
and did not prove it owned the land on which the mall was going to be
erected. The investor, Amadeus Plzen, said they would wait for the
record of Thursday's decision by Plzen City Hall before they take
further steps.

Bata descendants ask for compensation for confiscated property

A court in Prague on Thursday began dealing with a petition filed by
five descendants of Jan Antonin Bata, former owner of the Bata shoe
empire, who demand 56 million crowns in compensation for property
confiscated after WWII. The property was confiscated in 1947 over
Bata's alleged collaboration with the Nazis. However, the verdict was
cancelled in 2007. The court will now decide whether the case will be

Football: Plzen hosts Fenergahce in Europa League

Viktoria Plzen faces Fenerbahce Istanbul in the first leg of Europa
League's round of 16 in Plzen on Thursday. The hosts, seen as
favourites, are looking to extend their nine-game home-winning streak;
the Turkish side, meanwhile, will have to do without Portuguese
international Raul Meierles who was banned by UEFA for three games
after having been sent off in the competition's first round. The game
starts at 7 PM CET.


The end of the week will see overcast skies with rain, particularly in
the north of the country. Daytime highs should range between 7 and 11
degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

A decade with President Vaclav Klaus

Czech President Vaclav Klaus leaves offices on Thursday, as his second
term at the helm of the country expires. Mr Klaus has been one of the
country's most distinct public figures of the post-communist era.
Credited with creating a democratic political system and carrying out
economic reforms in the 1990s, his presidency has been marked with
controversies over his strong views on a number of issues, from global
climate change to the EU.

President Vaclav Klaus makes his exit

President Vaclav Klaus ends his second and final term in office on
Thursday. His last hours as head of state have been tainted by the
treason charges pressed against him and public displays of ridicule and
hostility from those who can't wait to see him go. Despite this bitter
end to his political career the president had a defiant air as he
undertook his last work engagements on Wednesday.

Plight of gay Palestinians hiding out in Israel subject of OW film The
Invisible Men

At the start of The Invisible Men, which is being shown at the One
World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague, a gay
Palestinian named Louie describes how his father - on discovering his
sexual orientation - brutally attacked him, slashing his face open with
a knife. Louie has moved to Israel where he is relatively safe (and
even wears a Star of David to blend in), but he faces great uncertainty
every day. Prior to a screening, the film's Israeli director Yariv
Mozer outlined the predicament of such "invisible men".

This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
chose at To change the settings, click
here. (C) 2013, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved., E-mail: