The Transport Ministry and Czech Technical University (ČVUT) are launching a project to identify aggression and recklessness on the roads. Cameras installed inside passenger cars, buses and trucks will monitor other drivers. The recordings might even be used by police to investigate offences or crime. Czech roads will be monitored by volunteers in 10 vehicles. “We picked busy routes around the country. The cameras will be installed inside the vehicles of the Faculty of Transportation Sciences and other contractual partners. The recordings will then be evaluated by experts by the end of the year,” Zuzana Lisá from BESIP, author of the project, told Týden.cz. Acquired recordings might not be used for scientific purposes only. According to Leoš Tržil, the head
Czechs who travel for legal joints to the Netherlands can paradoxically get weed originating in the Czech Republic. Holland is one of the destinations of marihuana from west Bohemian illegal indoor farms. Business with this dried herb is definitely not on decline in the Czech Republic. On the contrary, in the first eight months of the year policemen revealed 45 secret indoor farms. “Marihuana is exported mainly to Holland, Great Britain and logically also to Germany, and little amount stays on the Czech market,” said Marek Blažejovský from the National Anti-drug Centre. “The paradox is that when Czech consumers go for pot to Holland, they often buy marihuana that is produced from hemp grown in the Czech Republic,” Blažejovský said.
The number of organ transplants in the country is substantially falling. Kidney, liver, heart and pancreas transplants reported the biggest drop last year. With liver transplant numbers, the decrease is the largest since 2002 despite the stable number of applicants for a transplant. All evidence suggests the reason to be the ageing of the population but also people’s unwillingness to donate. Last year, 357 people underwent a kidney transplant, which is the lowest number since 2002. It was 12 years ago when doctors carried out their record number of 445 kidney transplants. The data comes from a publication on the health care in the country in 2009 by the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic. The
Jan Fischer will be prime minister longer than he expected. Unhinged politics are running wild. The elections won’t be this year but next spring. Maybe. Sooner or later we’ll have elections, but the probability is 0.1%. It all depends on in what mood our politicians wake up in the morning. It’s as though you were trying to shop in a store that has secret opening hours. That’s the level of service that tax payers are getting from their politicians. What can the Czech Republic expect if elections take place in the spring of 2010? Here’s a brief overview of the changes that Social Democrats’ decision not to support early elections will bring about. Fisher’s government will either become stronger or
There is still no work for foreigners in the Czech Republic. At least according to the statistics at the labour offices. Nevertheless, the Interior Ministry proposes to loosen up the visa regime, in which it suspended visa issuing in April. It has been five months since the Czech embassies in Ukraine, Moldavia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Thailand closed their doors to those who want a working or business visa. Embassies stopped accepting visa applications due to the crisis and growing unemployment. The Czech state started to pay EUR 500 and a plane ticket home to the forlorn guest workers. Not much changed on the labour market, nonetheless, it is possible the closed door will open again soon. Seasonal demandRecent analysis of
Same-sex couples in legal unions have found a new supporter in Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocáb. Kocáb plans to present the cabinet with a proposal to allow couples in registered partnerships to adopt children. Experts say, however, that in practice nothing will change. Legally recognized registered partnerships come with several disadvantages. Those who enter such a union are not allowed to adopt children. This has been the case in the Czech Republic for three years now, ever since the law creating registered partnership was endorsed. “A lasting union prevents each partner from adopting a child,” states the law approved by the previous parliament. “The law on registered partnerships thus explicitly bans each partner from adopting a child,” said
Future Systems, the winner of the architectural competition for its library design that has come to be known as the octopus or, simply, the blob, is entitled to the money. The kill fee was determined by the competition organisers, in case the project on Letná would not start within two years of the competition. Although it’s been two months in March, Future Systems has yet to receive the money. “It is taking a little longer,” says National Library director Pavel Hazuka. “I sent the necessary material to the Culture Ministry before the March deadline. Now we have a new culture minister, and I’ve already told him to expedite the process, so the matter should be settled soon.” The Culture Ministry
Trams and garbage trucks decorated with a green heart and Prague Mayor Pavel Bém’s signature are crisscrossing the capital two months before the elections. The city hall and the mayor, who is seeking a seat in the lower house of parliament, say it is not an election campaign sponsored by public funds but a project which aims to make the city cleaner and raise environmental awareness among its citizens. “The mayor’s signature represents only his patronage,” said the Čistá Praha (Clean Prague) project’s spokeswoman, Simona Kijonková, who promised that Bém’s face would not appear on any flyer. Bém last year had the dubious honor of receiving the Ropák anti-prize from Children of the Earth, a Czech NGO which promotes ecological
Czechs are behaving rationally during the crisis. They put money aside and do not take out loans unless necessary, a new study by ING has revealed. They can be rewarded in the form of cheaper holidays because the crown keeps on firming, analysts say. Czechs mainly put their money into time deposits and savings accounts, and do not take out unnecessary loans. Their behaviour thus goes against current trends in the Europe, the study reports. The loan to deposit ratio for Czech households is 60%. In other words, if the average Czech owes CZK 100,000, then his savings reach CZK 166,000. By contrast, the average Hungarian with a CZK 100,000 debt only has savings to the extent of CZK 52,000.
They call him Mirvajs. He has been a Czech citizen for 16 years now but was born near Kabul. Soldiers don’t take their eyes off him because he is their key to the Afghanis, their interpreter from Czech to Pashto. But he does not want to stay in his native country. When his contract expires, he is going to return to the Czech Republic to enjoy good beer and picking mushrooms in the forest. Thirty-seven-year-old Mirek, a nickname he got from the soldiers, works for the Czech army. Although a civilian, he wears a desert camouflage uniform with a small Czech flag on his shoulder. He keeps his name secret because of his job. People like him are scarce, and