Czech morning headlines: General Pavel to officially announce his presidential candidacy

Man who killed office worker sentenced to life in prison, Prague has 47 monkeypox cases, and more children seeking psychiatric help. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.09.2022 17:55:00 (updated on 06.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

Politics General Pavel will officially announce his presidential candidacy

Former high representative of the Czech army and NATO Petr Pavel will officially announce his candidacy for the Czech presidency today and start the election campaign. He repeatedly confirmed his interest in participating in the election race in the past. According to public opinion polls, together with the chairman of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, Pavel is the main favorite in the elections. Whether former Prime Minister Babiš will join them is not yet certain. Babiš has not yet announced his candidacy.

Politics ANO, SPD nominate most party members for Senate election

Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and Andrej Babiš's ANO have nominated most party members of all parties for the upcoming Czech Senate election. Out of the 178 people who will contest the posts in one-third of the Senate, two-fifths are non-party members. The SPD, which does not have any senators now, nominated 15 party members, two fewer than two years ago. ANO has nominated 13. The Civic Democrats have nine members in the contest for the posts of senators. The Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) proposed eight party members. The Pirates proposed seven party members.

Crime Man who killed office worker sentenced to life in prison

The court sentenced 67-year-old Jiří Dvořák from Prague to life in prison for last year’s shooting of a female employee at the employment office. He also poured acid on his former colleague and planted a firearm on the landlady of his apartment. Today's verdict, according to which Dvořák took revenge on the women for alleged cruelty, can be appealed. Life is the harshest punishment in the Czech Republic.

"I can tell you that I have not experienced something so appalling and disgusting in the 25 years that I have been in the judiciary," said Kamil Kydalka, chairman of the panel of the Prague Municipal Court, said. "In the opinion of this court, the defendant is a person who should be permanently barred from mainstream society," he added.

Health Prague has 47 monkeypox cases

The number of cases of monkeypox in Prague has increased to 47. According to hygienists, all the infected are under 50 years old, and half of them are in their 30s. One infected person is a juvenile. Eight cases were added to the infected statistics last week, two more on Monday, according to the Prague Hygiene Station. Another at least eight cases were previously confirmed by hygiene stations in other regions. The National Institute of Public Health (NPÚ) no longer publishes summary data.

Health More children seeking psychiatric help

The number of patients at child psychiatrists' offices has increased by half since 2010 with 60,000 of them in 2019 and the number rising even more over the following two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, General Health Insurance (VZP) deputy head Ivan Duškov said.

Government Commissioner for Human Rights Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková says that due to the insufficient capacities, it is necessary to help the children in danger before they actually need a psychiatrist's help. As a WHO study shows, every class contains three to four children who are at high risk of mental illness, she said, adding that many serious mental diseases do not have to develop at all if the family gets help in time.

Sept. 5, 2022

Politics Czech Prime Minister congratulates UK's new PM

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wished new British Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader Liz Truss all the best and hopes that the United Kingdom will continue to be a valuable ally of the Czech Republic and the European Union, he said on Twitter today. "I wish her a lot of success in her new role," Fiala tweeted.

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipávsky said he believes the bilateral relations between Czechia and the UK would further improve. He said he would like to welcome Truss to Prague. Truss will be invited to the informal meeting of the leaders of EU countries that will be held at Prague Castle in October.

URKAINE Kyiv denounces Saturday's protest in Prague as pro-Russian

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called Saturday's demonstration at Prague's Wenceslas square pro-Russian, saying its participants insult the honor of Ukrainians who defend freedom in Europe. The protest, however, will not threaten the two countries' friendship, the ministry's spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Facebook Monday.

Demonstrators called for the Czech government's resignation and criticized high energy prices and sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine in February. Nikolenko wrote that despite Saturday's activities, Ukraine does not doubt the solidarity of the majority of Czechs who have provided temporary asylum to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.

Along with the Prague demonstration, Nikolenko also criticized a similar rally that took place in Cologne on Sunday, where some 2,000 members of the Russian community demonstrated against sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. An estimated 70,000 people attended the Prague protest.

CRIME Prosecutor asks for life sentence for man who shot Prague labor office employee

Prosecutor Markéta Pánková is asking for life imprisonment for Jiří Dvořák, shot an employee of the labor office, poured acid on a former colleague, and planted a firearm on his landlady last year. In her closing speech at the Prague Municipal Court on Monday, Pánková said that Dvořák's crime spree showed unusual brutality, callousness, and contempt for human life. "The defendant's actions were planned and calculated," she said. The clerk died in the hospital of injuries incurred during the shooting.

#METOO Feri pleads not guilty but remains under investigation

Former MP Dominik Feri pleaded not guilty with regard to accusations of indecent behavior toward five potential victims. Feri remains under investigation for three possible counts of rape or attempted rape. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison. The former deputy continues to deny guilt, admitting only that his behavior towards women has not always been gentlemanly. One of the women who accused the former MP of rape was 17 years old at the time.

Protests Trade unions to organize large debate in Prague next month

Trade unions will organize a demonstration on Oct. 8 in Prague on Wenceslas Square. Unions want a reduction of VAT on certain goods, a price cap, and more. At a meeting in Prague Monday, union leaders criticized Fiala's government and its steps in solving the economic crisis. Deputy Prime Minister Marian Jurečka later tweeted that there is no need for the unions to demonstrate. "Either the unions want to act constructively and look for reasonable solutions in this difficult time, or they want to demonstrate," Jurečka said.

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