Compact archive April 23, 2007

Green Cards for foreigners also in the Czech Republic?

The Minister of Industry Martin Riman and the Minister of Labour Petr Necas are preparing changes that, in case they are approved, would improve the situation for foreigners (outside the EU) who want to work in the Czech Republic. There is a lack of employees in the Czech Republic in certain professions. Foreign workers could fill the gap.

The ministers want to establish a “Green Card” that would enable foreigners to work for one employer for two years. Also the administrating process would be much shorter (two instead of five months). The more qualified the job would be, the more demands would be asked. The ‘easier system’ would also lead to higher penalties for companies who employ foreigners illegally.

Right now the most needed professions are doctors, nurses, programmers, teachers and craftsmen. The ‘Green Card project’ could attract workers from Ukraine or former Soviet Union countries.

Henry Obering is visiting Prague to discuss the U.S. anti-missile base

Henry Obering, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, is right now in Prague to discuss the technical issues around the possible U.S. anti-missile base in the Czech Republic.

Today in the morning he met the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus and the leader of Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek at Prague Castle. In the afternoon he is going to have a presentation in the Parliament of the Czech Republic. In the evening he is going to meet the National Security Council. Among the members are the Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and most of the Czech ministers. The U.S. ambassador in the Czech Republic Richard Graber is also invited.

The representatives of the Czech Republic will also speak with the President of the USA George W. Bush this June. The Czech Republic started the negotiations with the USA last March. The plan to build the U.S. anti-missile base in the Czech Republic must be still approved by the Czech parliament.


Police officer shot a pedestrian in Prague by accident

Yesterday afternoon a police officer shot a pedestrian by accident when he tried to stop a robber in his car. The accident happened at about half past one near Jindrisska street in the centre of Prague.

Two men robbed a lady and tried to escape with her handbag. Police officers were chasing them. One of the robber was caught with the handbag, the other man managed to get into his car. When he tried to run his car into one of the police officers, the policeman pulled a gun. The bullet ricocheted off the car and hit a passer-by into his leg.

The injured man had to be treated by the ambulance. The police are still searching for the robber who managed to escape.


Czech men are the second fattest in Europe

The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO) came with an interesting study showing what countries of the European Union have the most overweight men and women. The ‘fattest’ nation is Germany but Czech people are not so far behind in the rank. The thinnest Europeans live in Italy and France.

Czech men are in the second position from all the EU countries. 73.2 % of Czech men suffer from overweight or even obesity. Czech women are in the fourth position after women from Germany, United Kingdom and Cyprus. 57.6 % of Czech women suffer from overweight or obesity.

Doctors claim that overweight and obesity are caused by the lack of physical activities and excess of food. Both German and Czech people are known for their high consumption of beer that gives a lot of calories. Doctors are now discussing the problem on the 15th European Congress on Obesity in Budapest (22nd – 25th April 2007).


Peaceful meeting of nationalists in Prague

About fifty nationalists from the ‘Patriotic Front’ met in the Olsany cemetery in Prague last weekend to honour the memory of general Radola Gajda, the military commander of Czechoslovak Legions in Russia. The organizers denied that their meeting had anything to do with the 118th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth.

The Nationalists in black shirts, flying jackets and military boots laid a wreath onto the grave of Gajda. Demonstrations of nationalists took place also in Kladno and Plzen. In contrast to Kladno, meetings in Prague and Plzen were without any problems and conflicts.

In Kladno about 70 nationalists had conflicts with about 60 supporters of punk. Both groups had to be divided by the police cordon. No one was injured.

Letna: meetings of anti-communists and supporters of marihuana

Two Czech political parties will celebrate the national holiday on 1st May in Prague Exhibition Ground. The supporters of the communists will meet near Krizik fountain in the morning, supporters of the Social Democrats will celebrate the holiday in the afternoon. The celebrations of 1st May are in many people’s mind connected with the huge celebrations during the communist regime.

Communists used to celebrate it in Letna Plateau but this year the whole plateau will be reserved for people who protest against ‘the communist activities’. About 10.000 anti-communists are expected in Letna this year.

Letna Plateau will be also a meeting place for supporters of legalization of marihuana on the first Saturday in May. The action called ‘Million Marihuana March’ will start in Old Town Square, then the crowds will march through the city to Letna. In the evening there will be several music performances on three stages.