Compact archive November 7, 2006

Widespread corruption in the Czech Republic

The rate of corruption in the Czech Republic has improved but still it is one of the worst in European Union. Transparency International evaluated the situation in 163 countries and gave index of the corruption rate. 10 points is the best, 0 points means the worst rate of corruption.

The best country with the lowest corruption are Finland, Iceland and New Zealand. Countries with the highest corruption are Iraq, Burma and Haiti. From all members of the European Union the worst is Poland in 61st place. The best from the new EU member states is Estonia in 23rd place.

The Czech Republic was evaluated as one of 10 states who improved during the last year the most. This year the Czech republic was in 46th place with 4,8 points. Last year it was in 47th place with 4,3 points. Still, the Czech Republic has to do a lot to fight corruption.


Albatros hotel has been moved

For the first time in history one of the floating hotels on Vltava in Prague moved from its position. Hotel Albatros near Stvanice Island had to be moved 100 meter away because of the cleaning of the river bottom. Four tugboats had to pull the ship, the whole action had been planned for two months.

Albatros is 100 meters long, 12 meters wide and 25 meter high. Two more additional floors has been added since 1968. That is why the ship is not able to get through Vltava bridges any more. Albatrost managed to “survive” the floods in 2002.

Two dredgers are cleaning the bottom of the river now. One canoe, two flatboats, tree longs, cables and wires has been found in the mud so far. Two more days the dredgers will be cleaning the bottom, then the ship comes back to its original position.

Petition for St. Vitus Cathedral

Some people do not agree with the fact that St. Vitus Cathedral is no longer the property of the state. A protest petition was launched in the underpass in the middle of Wenceslas Square and it will last until 15th November. The petition should support their appeal against the decision of the district court to give the cathedral to the catholic Church.

The cathedral is a place where crown jewels and the graves of Czech kings are held. Some rumours say that the Church plans to remove the grave of one of the most famous Czech rulers – king Jiri z Podebrad.

People also protest against the entrance fee that the Church started to collect this year. The free entrance is only for people who want to pray there (not from 10:00 to 14:00) and during the church services.

Transgenesis and The Science and Technology Week

All those who are interested in science and would like to learn more about the achievements in science and the work in laboratories have a chance this week in Prague, Brno, Ceske Budejovice and Ostrava where The Science and Technology Week takes place from 6th to 12th November.

The main topics of the week are biotechnology, nanotechnology and European cultural heritage. The week will be full of lectures, film presentations and exhibitions. The Academy of Sciences and several other institutions in the Czech Republic decided to open their doors and let visitors see the labs and talk with many experts not only from the Czech Republic but also from the United States and Great Britain. For more information about the week, click here

How Czech and foreign artist were inspired by laboratories can be seen at art festival Transgenesis – Biotechnology in present art. The programme of this festival consists of exhibitions, lectures and film presentations. The main part can be seen in the main building of Academy of Sciences in Narodni trida (from 7th to 10th November) and Gallery C2C in Za Strahovem 19 street (from 1st to 12th November, 16:00 – 20:00).

Second chance for Topolanek

President Vaclav Klaus announced that the second chance for creating the new government will be given again to the prime minister Mirek Topolanek, the leader of Civic Democrats, but only if Topolonek accepts.

The president suddenly cancelled a meeting of the five leaders of political parties that had been planned for today. President Klaus said that the negotiations with the leaders about possible solutions have no results.

Whether Topolanek accepts the position will be known today after the meeting of Civic Democrats. The leader of Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek still hopes that he will have his chance to create the government with the support of Communist Party, which is not very supported by other parties nor the President.