Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says Czech sellers and distributors of petrol have been too slow to react to a fall in oil prices. For that reason the government has rejected a proposal to introduce a lower tax rate on petrol, the minister said on Prima TV on Sunday. The cost of a litre of petrol in the Czech Republic recently increased significantly following a rise in oil prices on world markets.
The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, is due to meet the United States vice president, Dick Cheney, and the secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, during a six-day working visit to the US which begins on Monday. Mr Klaus is also set to open an exhibition in New York dedicated to the 14th century Czech king and holy roman emperor Charles IV.
Fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir says he is not planning to return from the Seychelles to face trial in the Czech Republic, but says he is willing to co-operate with the Czech courts. He told TV Nova he wanted to clear his name of charges of fraud and planning the murder of a customs officer. In another interview, for Czech Television, Mr Krejcir recounted how he had managed to escape from Czech police two months ago. His wife is also in the Seychelles, where they both have citizenship. She faces charges of money laundering.
Police did not intervene during a concert by neo-Nazi rock bands in a pub near Strakonice, south Bohemia on Saturday night. Hundreds of police officers were on guard outside the concert, which was attended by around 500 skinheads and described by anti-Nazi activists as the biggest such gathering this year in the Czech Republic.
President Vaclav Klaus has vetoed a law under which accused felons could have received legal immunity in return for their testimony in serious criminal cases. Mr Klaus refused to sign the bill on the grounds that it had been previously rejected by the Senate; he said the consent of both houses of parliament was necessary for such an important piece of legislation. It will now be returned to the Chamber of Deputies.
A techno music festival entitled ParoubTek intended as a protest against the police's break-up of a previous festival, CzechTek, has not attracted large crowds. On Saturday evening around 500 dancers were reported to be at the event, which is being held at the same venue in west Bohemia as CzechTek.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said the Czech Republic would like to fill one of the non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council in the years 2008 and 2009. Mr Paroubek was speaking in New York as the UN's annual General Assembly got underway; he said the Czech Republic could be awarded the place thanks to its participation in UN peace missions and its Democracy Fund, and the country's active role in defending human rights and the fight against international terrorism. He rejected suggestions membership of the Security Council would be too expensive for the Czech Republic.
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