Friday, April 26, 2013

News 4.26.2013

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

News Friday, April 26th, 2013

By: Jan Velinger

* Activists have named the environment minister, Tomas Chalupa, the
winner of this year's Ropak (Oil Guzzler) award.

* A new study suggests that psychiatric institutional care in the
country is outdated, most resembling systems in the former Soviet Union
and the Balkans.

* The driver of a French bus which crashed on a motorway west of Prague
on April 8 has died.

* Prague City councillors on Friday agreed on an out-of-court
settlement with insurance companies over the renovation of the
industrial palace at Prague's exhibition grounds.

* Workers renovating a house in Dolni Vilemovice where Jan Kubis was
born recovered several unique items including letters, part of a
military uniform, and photographs.

Environment minister "wins" Ropak for 2012

Ecological activists from Friends of the Earth have awarded the
country's environment minister, Tomas Chalupa, this year's Ropak (Oil
Guzzler) anti-award for most damaging environmental policies. The
organisation said the minister had been chosen for the distinction for
a controversial bill on the protection of Sumava National Park, for
supporting the expansion of the Temelin nuclear power plant, and
allegedly failing to act in the protection of the environment. The
minister responded by saying that receiving the award meant he was
doing something right and not succumbing to what he called "green
hysteria". The Ropak anti-award takes its name from a fictional
creature (invented by Czech filmmaker Jan Sverak) which survives on
industrial waste. This year was the 21st time it was awarded.

Jakl wins "Green Pearl"

In related news, former controversial presidential aide Ladislav Jakl
was awarded the Zelena perla (Green Pearl, recognising most outlandish
statement) for an opinion piece in which he slammed cycling as an
alternative means of transport. In the piece last year he mocked biking
as a clean and healthy means of travel, suggesting that cycling should
be "banned".

Study suggests psychiatric institutional care outdated, most resembling
systems in the former Soviet Union

A new study obtained prior to release by the Czech news agency,
suggests that in terms of structure psychiatric institutional care in
the Czech Republic most resembles systems in the former Soviet Union
and the Balkans, setting it apart from current practices in western
Europe, where the trend has been towards community care and other
support systems. The study was conducted by specialists from the Prague
Psychiatric Centre: care across 30 European countries was examined.

In Italy, for example, many mental hospitals were closed or reduced in
size. In the Czech Republic similar steps could only be taken following
the introduction of alternative systems to prevent the mentally ill
from ending up on the street or in prison, specialists suggested.
Currently, Czech psychiatry receives 3.5 percent of the annual
healthcare budget; that is to be boosted to five percent after reforms
are introduced. The European average is eight.

Kmonicek: EU President offered assurances with regards to CEZ in

The European Union will take appropriate steps if the pre-election
struggle in Bulgaria threatens the position of the Czech state-owned
company CEZ in the country, the head of the head the European Council
Herman Van Rompuy pledged on Thursday during a meeting with Czech
President Milos Zeman. Hynek Kmonicek, the head of the presidential
office's foreign affairs dept. revealed the news a day after the two
men met at Prague Castle. "We would like the EU to fulfil its role of
the top supervisor on EU standards," Mr Kmonicek told the Czech news
agency. CEZ��s problems in Bulgaria, the CTK noted, began after
Bulgarians�� mass protests against high energy bills. Demonstrators
demanded the nationalisation of the distribution companies in the
country that are owned besides CEZ by another Czech firm, Energo-Pro
and the Austrian EVN. The protests resulted in fall of Boiko Borisov��s
right-wing government.

French bus driver dies in hospital

The driver of a French bus which crashed on a motorway west of Prague
on April 8 has died bringing the death toll in the accident to two. A
15-year-old schoolgirl died in the crash and 23 other school children
were injured. The bus was headed for Prague when it careened off the
motorway near Rokycany, some 80 km west of the Czech capital, shortly
after 5am. The police were investigating the accident as a possible
case of negligence resulting in death. The case is now likely to be

Prague city councillors agree to industrial palace out-of-court

Prague City councillors on Friday agreed on an out-of-court settlement
with insurance companies over the renovation of the industrial palace
at Prague's exhibition grounds. One wing of the palace was destroyed by
fire several years ago. Under the agreement, the city will receive 280
million crowns compared to the 1.2 billion crowns or so the city was
asking for before. The settlement comes after a court ruled that Prague
had no right to compensation in the deal, as the site during the time
of the fire, was leased to a private company.

Unique items found at house where Jan Kubis was born

Workers renovating a house in Dolni Vilemovice (where Jan Kubis - a
British-trained paratrooper during World War II was born) recovered
several unique items including letters, part of a military uniform, and
photographs, Prague's Institute of Military History revealed. Jan Kubis
and fellow soldier Jozef Gabcik pulled off a daring attack against
acting Reichsprotector and 'Hangman of Bohemia' Reinhard Heydrich in
1942. Heydrich died several days later of his wounds. Kubis, Gabcik and
another five paratroopers were later surrounded at the Church of St.
Cyril and St. Methodious on Resslova Street and paid with their lives
for the assassination. Kubis was wounded and died in hospital; the
others committed suicide to avoid capture. The items in Mr Kubis's home
were found under a stair that had rotted through.

Record temperatures registered around the country

Eleven areas around the Czech Republic saw record temperatures on
Friday: in Ceske Budejovice highs reached 27 degrees, just edging a
record which had stood since 1947. Meteorologists warned individuals
this week to begin using sunscreen, due to a thinning of the ozone

Two bodies found in Vltava River

Two bodies were found in the Vltava River on Friday, one near Palacky
Bridge and the other near an electric power plant at Stvanice. The
criminal police have begun investigations into both deaths. The body
found by the bridge is that of a 40 to 50 year-old man whose identity
remains unknown. The police have released no details about the second
person, whose body proved difficult to retrieve.

Hockey: Vokoun quits national team

Two-time ice hockey world championship gold medal winner Tomas Vokoun,
a goalie who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, has told the news
website idnes he will no longer play for the national squad. Vokoun led
the Czech team to an unexpected victory against Russia in the final in
Germany in 2010. Before that, he won his first gold in Austria in 2005.
Vokoun told idnes that the Czech Republic had plenty of talented
up-and-coming goalies and that it would be unfair of him to take a
place on the roster. Vokoun did not play in the championship last year
due to injury and missed the year before that when he sought a new
contract in the NHL.


A worsening of weather conditions, going from sunny to showers and
storms in places, is expected at the weekend. Daytime temperatures will
take a dip on Saturday, reaching only 21 degrees Celsius, and are
expected to fall further on Sunday.

Articles posted on today

Czech Photo Gallery launches Best of the Nude

The Czech Photo Gallery at Prague's Ujezd this week launched the first
in a series of "Best of" exhibitions beginning with the Nude. Curators
for the opening show chose work by five well-known photographers, the
late Taras Kuscynskyj, Jan Saudek, Robert Vano, Pavel Brunclik and
Antonin Tesar. The nudes range from lyrical and romantic, to erotic and
homoerotic, and relatively brutal and decadent.

Senate approves Zeman's nominations for Constitutional Court

Czech President Milos Zeman achieved his first major success in office
on Thursday when his four nominees for judges of the Constitutional
Court sailed smoothly through the Senate. Unlike his predecessor in
office, Mr Zeman was able to reach consensus with senators, averting a
potential paralysis of the top court.

Business News 26.4.2013

This week in Business News: The construction sector in the Czech
Republic is expected to restart growth in 2014; Skoda Yeti was voted
the most popular car by British car owners; CEZ has asked two remaining
contenders in the Temelin expansion deal to submit better offers;
Economic confidence is down in April, after two straight months of
improvement; The Federation of Food and Drink Industries wants to
introduce stricter rules on product labeling; Trade unions and
employers reach no agreement on minimum wage increase.

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: