The chairman of the right-of-centre opposition Civic Democratic Party Mirek Topolanek has announced he will probably run for a parliament seat in the Prague constituency in the general elections scheduled for mid-next year. The Prime Minister and probable election leader of the Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek would like the Deputy Prime Minister for Economy Martin Jahn to lead the party's Prague ticket.
The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in its Sunday edition appreciates the Czech Government's apology to Sudeten German antifascists describing it as an important example for Europe. The daily writes that the Czech government has made a small but right step in this matter, adding that such examples are needed in Europe as a similar dispute still burdens Polish-German relations. The Finnish paper also says the primary task of European political leaders in not to demand acknowledgment or compensation in international disputes but help accurate information to come to light.
A part of the entrance hall of Mustek station of Prague metro was flooded on Sunday afternoon after a water pipe burst in the vicinity. As water was running down the escalators police closed the northern entrance to the station. The Prague Water Supply and Sewerage Company said the water was coming from the same spot where a large cavity formed underneath the roadway in Vodickova Street in January.
The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said that the removal from
office of the Supreme State Attorney Marie Benesova now would not be a
prudent political decision as the public would connect it with case of the
Qatari Prince Hamid Adbul Sani who was extradited to Qatar after being
sentenced by a Prague court for sex with underage girls. The case was a
culmination of a long-standing dispute between the Supreme State Attorney
and Justice Minister Pavel Nemec who has demanded her removal from office.
Earlier this week, Justice Minister Pavel Nemec called on Ms Benesova to resign over their latest disagreement, but Ms Benesova refused to do so. Saturday's edition of the daily Pravo wrote that a likely candidate to replace Marie Benesova was Jiri Vyvadil, a judge of the Supreme Administrative Court. Prime Minister Paroubek dismissed the speculation.
A recent poll by the SC&C polling agency suggests that around 77 percent Czechs believe President Vaclav Klaus is doing well in his office, while some 19 percent have a fairly negative view of his performance and 4 percent view him negatively. When the respondents were asked to assess the president's concrete steps, Mr Klaus received an average rating, the poll found. He was given a positive rating for his performance in domestic politics, representation abroad, relationship to the public, defence of the Czech Republic in Europe and granting of pardons and awarding honours.
The 6th Annual Czech-Slovak Rockfest USA music festival has started in Yorkville, Illinois. During the weekend, visitors from all around the United States will be able to see the Czech and Slovak singers and musicians Michal David, Michal Prokop, Lubos Andrst, Jan Hruby and the bands Horkyze Slize, Vidiek, Stari psi, Voiceband and also three US-based bands: Doggybag, the C.I.A. from Chicago and the Slovak-American band from Minnesota Five Ounces. The popular Czech band Kabat refused to appear at Rockfest after the wife of one of the musicians was not granted a US visa.
Jiri Vyvadil, a judge of the Supreme Administrative Court, is to become
the deputy justice minister as of the beginning of September, Prime
Minister Jiri Paroubek said through his spokeswoman on Saturday. The Prime
Minister was reacting to speculation in Saturday's edition of the daily
Pravo which said Mr Vyvadil was going to replace the Supreme State
Attorney Marie Benesova.
Earlier this week, Justice Minister Pavel Nemec called on Ms Benesova to resign over their dispute over the extradition of the Qatari Prince Hamid bin Abdul Sani, who was sentenced for sex with underage girls in the Czech Republic, but Ms Benesova refused to do so. On Monday the Supreme Court complied with an earlier request by Justice Minister Pavel Nemec allowing Mr Sani to be tried at home, which the Supreme State Attorney Marie Benesova had sharply criticised.
Saturday's edition of the daily Pravo writes that an agency recruiting Czech men to work as security guards in Iraq is run by a man sentenced for fraud. The agency based in the town of Otrokovice in South Moravia promises the men to be paid 80 dollars per hour in Iraq but charges fees for mediation and training. According to the daily the Czech Embassy in Baghdad has no information about a Czech security agency operating in Iraq and the daily adds that the man behind the recruiting agency, Vladimir Hunek, was sentenced for fraud earlier this year. At present, there are some 30 mercenaries of Czech origin in Iraq working for foreign agencies. They are mostly former soldiers from special units or the French Foreign Legion.
Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan has told journalists that if a rave was
held now in the Czech Republic and the law was being broken, police would
step in again. Mr Bublan made the statement while visiting the Tachov
region on Friday, the site of a controversial rave attended by some 4,000
July, an event broken up forcibly by police. On July 29th, concluding that
property was being damaged, 1,000 officers in riot gear brought the rave,
known as CzechTek, to an end using tear gas and water cannons. Dozens of
those in attendance, as well as officers, suffered minor injuries.
On Friday, the interior minister met with local majors and other officials in the Tachov region, saying he will propose new legislation in September regarding rave events. The new bill, he said, will require organisers to submit a list of conditions for approval, with municipalities reserving the right to ban. The Interior Minister indicated he would like the bill to come into law as early as possible, next spring.
Both Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy, Martin Jahn, have welcomed a boost in the Czech Republic's foreign currency rating from 'A-minus' to 'A' by the international agency Fitch Ratings. Finance Minister Sobotka said the upgrade reflected what he called the 'excellent situation' in the Czech economy and improvement in public budgets, while Martin Jahn called it 'further proof' the Czech economy was at its strongest in ten years. The higher rating should attract new foreign investment.