Wednesday News Briefing
Nečas hits out at Senators launching constitutional court action against President Klaus; Cabinet discusses further lease of Swedish Gripen fighters
Posted: February 27, 2013
Courtesy Photo: Gripen International
Nečas seeks further talks with Swedish on lease of Gripen Fighter jets
Senators who have signed a proposal for a constitutional complaint against President Václav Klaus on suspicion of high treason have been sharply condemned by Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS). The senators want to sue Klaus mainly over his New Year amnesty but also over his delay of the signature under the Lisbon Treaty, the addendum to the European Social Charter and over other issues. Speaking after a government meeting Feb. 27 Nečas said he had never experienced such a despicable "human and political paltriness" during his more than 20 years in politics. "I feel ashamed of them (the senators). Shame on them," Necas told reporters. Klaus's amnesty applies to convicts with low suspended or prison sentences and elderly convicts and it also halts criminal proceedings if they lasted for more than eight years, and if the maximum prison sentence that can be imposed in such cases does not exceed ten years.
The number of children that call the Czech Safety Line with problems related to suicidal or self-destructive tendencies more than doubled over the past five years, Jan Kanak, from the free anonymous helpline, said Feb. 27. In 2008 the helpline operators had 610 such calls, while in 2012 it was 1313. These cases represented 2 percent all the last year's calls whose number reached over 238,000. Compared to 2011, the total number of calls dropped by 6 percent, but the number of serious calls increased by one-tenth. Kanak said this may be thanks to the growing trust children have in the helpline. He said the operators last year dealt with 46 cases of children who were already committing suicide and they had to cooperate with rescuers in order to save their lives. Kanak said kids are generally under pressure as parents and others expect them to have excellent results and the kids may start feeling that the only way out of the unhappy situation is to give up and commit suicide.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas says he wants to discuss the further lease of the Jas-39 Gripen fighters directly with his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt. Nečas said he wanted to have the meeting staged soon, so that the government could resume the debate on the issue by the end of March. The Czech cabinet Feb. 27 interrupted for about a month its debate on a document concerning the extension of the lease of the Jas-39 Gripen fighters, which the Czech Republic has negotiated with Sweden for a year now. Nečas stressed the Czech side was still not satisfied with the Swedish position that could be more obliging. The talks between the defense ministries have exhausted their potential, the Prime Minister said. "This is why we want to stage talks on the level of prime ministers," he said. "We believe that the Swedish side does not take sufficiently in account that thanks to the Czech air force it is making a referential sample it uses when selling its aircraft across the world as part of its publicity and marketing strategy," Nečas added.
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