The Czech power utility CEZ has agreed to pay compensation to the French company Dalkia after it pulled out of an agreement in 2000 that would have seen the companies set up of a joint-venture to operate in the Czech Republic. Dalkia had filed for arbitration in Paris earlier this year, estimating the damages at almost 19 million euros. A CEZ spokesman has said that the compensation offered was one third lower than that amount, but did not name the exact figure. He also said that the two companies also signed an agreement officially terminating the dispute.
Czech football stars Tomas Rosicky and Jan Koller, who both play for Germany's Borussia Dortmund, have been invited to take part in an upcoming all-stars game set to take place in Madrid. Proceeds from the charity match, which takes place on Tuesday, will be used to help against famine in Africa. The match has been organised by two of the best footballers in the world, French mid-fielder Zinedine Zidane and Brazilian star Ronaldo.
Five Czech soldiers have been killed in a collision between their army truck and an oncoming express train. The accident took place at a crossing near Prostejov, east Moravia. All five men belonged to the Czech Special Forces unit based in the region. A sixth soldier remains missing. Five other military personnel, as well as two civilians, were also injured in the accident: three are in critical condition.
The right-of-centre dominated Senate has voted against a bill banning
hospitals run by regional governments from being turned into business
companies, which the Social Democratic Party recently pushed through
the Chamber of Deputies.
The Chamber will now have to vote on the bill again.
The balance of forces in the Lower House indicates it could override the Senate and push the bill through a second time. However, it would then still have to be signed by President Vaclav Klaus. Supporters of the ban say it defends the availability of balanced health care, while critics contend it interferes in regional governments' authority.
The UK's highest court institution has ruled that British government
regulations that prevented some Czechs - namely Romanies - from travelling
to Great Britain in 2001 were discriminatory on racial grounds. The Law
Lord's verdict concerns controls which were carried out by British
immigration officials at Prague's Ruzyne airport in July 2001 in an effort
to lower the number of those seeking asylum in Britain. In 2002, the
British human rights organisation Liberty lodged a complaint against the
checks on behalf of six Roma and the European Centre for Roma Rights. A
lower level court and Great Britain's Supreme Court originally rejected
In response to the latest ruling, the British Home Office has replied it had not meant to discriminate against anyone, adding that the measures in place at the time were meant to prevent abuse of the asylum and immigration system.
The Czech Culture Minister, Pavel Dostal, has decided to start ten-week intensive chemotherapy, a ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. Mr Dostal has been suffering from high fevers and has caught pneumonia since a cancerous tumour was removed from his pancreas in September. After a thorough medical check-up at Prague's main Military Hospital on Wednesday, he was advised to undergo chemotherapy immediately to avoid a relapse.
In the Czech Republic's evaluation of the EU's Lisbon Strategy, Czechs urge the European Union to do more to boost its economical development. The Lisbon Strategy was adopted by the European Council in March 2000. It is a ten-year plan to turn the European Union into the world's most dynamic and competitive economy. In the Czech Republic's evaluation, which was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, economists warn of too much concentration on social and environmental renewal and too little focus on EU budget priorities and various outstanding economic barriers.
The Czech government has decided to offer the state's 51.1 percent stake in Czech Telecom to telecommunication companies and the consortia they form with financial investors. Following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Martin Jahn said a timetable has also been approved. If all goes according to schedule, preliminary bids will be submitted in the first week of February so that selected investors can present their binding bids in March. The cabinet hopes to choose a winner of the public tender by March 31.
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has called on Ukraine to focus on
the new presidential election and to put other problems such as the
resignation of the government and constitutional reforms on the back
burner. Speaking during an official visit to Prague, where he arrived just
hours after mediating talks in crisis-hit Ukraine, Mr Kwasniewski said the
election was the key to unlocking the situation in the country.
The political crisis in Ukraine was one of the main topics of debate with leading Czech officials during President Kwasniewski's one day visit to the Czech Republic. The two countries have traditionally good relations and cooperate closely within the Visegrad Group, a lose alliance of central European states. At Prague Castle President Kwasniewski was decorated with the Order of the White Lion, the highest Czech state distinction.
A state attorney has charged the former ultra right republican leader Miroslav Sladek with damaging creditors. During his years in office, Sladek indebted the party heavily, although according to the police, he must have known that the party would be unable to meet its obligations. It now owes more than 40 million crowns. If found guilty, Sladek could face up to 5 years in prison.