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by Euro Reporter
2012-04-10 07:37:12
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Neo-Nazis outnumbered by counter-protesters at Chanov housing estate by two to one

Ultra-right extremists from the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) and neo-Nazis from the National Resistance (Národní odpor - NO) carried out their provocation today at the Chanov housing estate on the outskirts of Most, which is predominantly occupied by Romani people. Organizers expected between 100 - 200 participants, while other estimates had predicted as many as 300, but in the end the extremists' march was a total debacle, with only 50 -70 ultra-right radicals attending. Approximately 150 Romani people held a disciplined protest against them at the housing estate.

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Industry minister seeks shift in coal mining debate


It is reported that the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade has sought to defuse a debate over whether or not current geographical limits on coal mining should be abandoned by calling for more efficient use of the reserves within already agreed mining limits. Mr Martin Kuba minister of industry and trade said that he wanted to discourage the burning of coal in power plants with low efficiency of around 20% and shift coal fired power generation to plants with efficiency around 40%. In that way annual coal consumption could be cut to around 25 million tonnes a year from around 40 million with reserves stretched out a lot longer. With coal accounting for more than half of the country’s electricity production and coal-fired power plants running at near capacity due to the low cost of carbon emissions certificates, which penalize their use, reserves are currently running down fast.

‘Today, no one should expect to hear from the industry ministry that the [mining] limits should be broken.’ The issue of whether to give clearance for coal companies to get access to the forbidden reserves has been highly emotive. Coal companies, the biggest being SČD owned by state controlled electricity producer ČEZ and privately owned Czech Coal, have been pushing for an end to the coal limits saying this will provide a domestic energy security and guarantee mining for decades to come. Environmentalists, who point to the heavy scars from mining in the north of the country, are fiercely opposed.

Mr Kuba said in the interview that he wanted to shift the debate. He added that "Today, no one should expect to hear from the industry ministry that the mining limits should be broken. That is the situation. In the north of Bohemia there should be a wholly new debate which should not take the form of here is two million crowns for your house and that's it. If that debate is to take place at all, it should take into account the impact on the people and that region." Mr Kuba's latest comments appear a long way from his demands at the end of February 2012 for expropriation to be retained to clear the way for new mining. His predecessor, Mr Martin Kocourek, also sought to end the current mining limits although the current coalition centre right government agreed to keep the limits, imposed at the start of the 1990s, in place."

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Detectives bust international procurement, drug gang


The Czech Squad for Uncovering Organised Crime (UOOZ) has caught a ten-member international organised group that traded in people and organised procurement and drug dealing near the E55 European route for several years, UOOZ spokesman Pavel Hantak said. If convicted, the men can be sentenced up to 12 years in prison, Hantak said.

The gang was headed by a Czech man, aged 30, who was in prison for a different crime previously, Hantak said. The organised group included seven Czechs, one Slovak, one Ukrainian and one Croat, he added. Hantak said they addressed girls and young women in gambling rooms, discos and near the correctional facilities for youths offering them good work and economic independence.

They were hunting for the girls in north Bohemia, the Ostrava region, north Moravia, south Bohemia and Slovakia, Hantak said. They mainly recruited women in distress and drug-addicted girls, he added.



       
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