In the News 2.11.09

In the News 2.11.09

PLEASING THE PRESIDENT. The European Union leaders agreed on granting an opt-out clause in the EU reform treaty to the Czech Republic on Friday, which pleased the Czech President Václav Klaus.

He said that he would not pose any other conditions to ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.

“I do not plan to impose any extra conditions for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty,” Klaus said in his Friday statement, thanking all those who had contributed to finding a solution to his condition.

The Czech Republic is the only remaining country to sign the treaty in the entire 27-nation bloc.

Klaus cannot legally sign the treaty until the Czech Constitutional Court issues a ruling on a complaint filed by a group of members of the upper house of parliament, the Senate

The Court is scheduled to rule on the reform treaty on November 3.


LEGENDARY CROONER DECORATED. Last week saw 23 Czech prominent figures being presented a state decoration on October 28, the day indepedent Czechoslovakia was founded 91 years ago.

Among the awarded was also legendary crooner Karel Gott who has become a divisive figure in the post-Velvet Revolution times. He is admired by many but mocked by others for being the Communist party-approved enterntainer.

Gott himself was pleased with the award ignoring those who think he does not deserve the award.

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The top award – the Order of the White Lion – 1st Class went to late Colonel Otakar Černý, member of the bomb wing during WWII who managed to flee from German captivity twice.

The Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk 1st Class went to Czech Freedom Fighters’ Association chairwoman, Anděla Dvořáková.


EXPRESS DIPLOMAS AND CZECH POLITICIANS. The scandal over plagiarism at the Plzeň law faculty is far from being over. The issue of express diplomas and buying academic degrees has lately shaken up not only the Czech academic community but the whole country.

Some of the faculty members were forced to leave as corruption shadow loomed over them. Apart from from fast-track diplomas, insufficient record keeping is also among the major allegations, as some of the works are nowhere to be found. 

Incumbent MP Marek Benda and mayor of Litvínov Hana Řápková are said to be among those who are suspected to have received an express diploma. Řápková graduated without attending a single seminar once.

On Monday the academic senate of the faculty elected former justice minister Jiří Pospíšil to be the new dean of the beleaguered school. 


NEW CAMPUS IN PRAGUE. Charles University is poised to build a new campus for thousands of students. The place to be built on the verge of the nature reserve Prokopské údolí should help to solve the lack of teaching rooms.

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Some of the Green party members are against the idea, considering it way too extravagant.

“It is just too megalomaniac,” Prague Green Party representative Ondřej Velek told Aktuálně.cz.

The lack of funds and the location in the vicinity of the nature reserve may however result in amending the construction plans.


CZECH COMPANIES STILL STRESSED ABOUT THE CRISIS. The number of Czech bankruptcy filings rose 71 percent year on year, a research by debt collection and research firm Creditreform showed on Monday, according to Reuters.

Czech firms have been hit as export orders fell at a double-digit rate during the economic crisis. Policymakers have warned the worst impact on the business sector is yet to come.

A total of 7,458 bankruptcy filings were lodged during Jan-Oct. 31, of which 4,290 were companies and the rest were individuals, Creditreform said.


RUSSIANS INTERESTED TO BUILD REACTORS. Russian nuclear engineering firm Atomstroyexport has submitted Friday documents to Czech power group ČEZ in a tender competition to build up five nuclear reactors.


CZECH FILM AWARDED. The Czech war film Tobruk by Czech director Václav Marhoul won the main prize for the best feature film screenplay in the American city of Austin, Texas, according to ČTK press agency.

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BORING LIFE WINS IN JIHLAVA. The Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival has awarded a Czech film maker Jan Gogola with the best Czech documentary film prize. His winning film is titled “I like a Boring Life” and it deals with the story of two personal diaries.


FISHING FOR CARP. Deemed as one of the least tasty fish by many in the world, thought to be a must for the Christmas dinner by the Czechs. The carp fishing for the biggest Christian holidays has kicked off in some of the local ponds. Have a look at a photo-gallery of fishing in Semovice and Dvořiště.


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