The prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is the most popular politician in the country, suggests a poll taken earlier this month by the STEM agency. Some 54 percent of respondents said they regarded Mr Paroubek positively; that represents a fall of nine percent since before the summer, and his controversial backing of the police break-up of a techno music festival.
The lower house has passed a bill introducing a points system for driving offences, rejecting amendments proposed by the Senate. If the bill is signed by the president, drivers will lose their license if they acquire a certain number of punishment points. The Czech Republic has one of the worst rates of road deaths in Europe.
The chairman of the Communist Party, Miroslav Grebenicek, is going to step down at a meeting on October 1, a party source told the daily Pravo. Mr Grebenicek recently announced that he planned to resign, but has not made the details of his departure clear. So far the only candidate to replace him is the Communists' deputy chairman, Vojtech Filip.
Czech boxer Lukas Konecny has won the WBO junior middleweight intercontinental title, knocking out Anderson Clayton of Brazil in the third round of their bout at Prague's T-Mobile Arena on Tuesday. The win means Konecny could compete for the European title in the spring, opening the way to a lucrative fight in the United States.
Fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir has Seychelles citizenship and cannot be deported from the country, a local official said on Wednesday. The statement followed reports in the Czech press that Mr Krejcir had used a false passport to enter the country and could therefore be expelled for breaking Seychelles law. Mr Krejcir is wanted in the Czech Republic on charges of fraud and plotting to kill a customs officer.
The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has opened a unique exhibition of Czech Gothic art from the 14th and 15th centuries at New York's prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art. The president, who is on a six-day working visit to the United States, also visited the city's Czech National Building, which is undergoing major reconstruction. He also held talks with New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
Private physicians are threatening to go on strike in protest of the poor payment morale of some insurance companies, in particular the leading Czech insurance company VZP. Physicians say the situation has become untenable and is endangering their livelihood. They are considering closing their offices for three days during which time emergency medical care should be provided by hospital wards. The president of the Czech Doctors Association David Rath has offered to meet with the head of the VZP insurance company to discuss a way out of the company's dire financial situation.
Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan will once again ask the Cabinet to
officially appoint Vladislav Husak police president. The minister
failed to push through Mr. Husak's appointment earlier this summer due
to opposition from the Christian Democrats who only agreed to let him
serve in the post on a temporary basis. Mr. Husak is considered a
controversial choice since he was the officer directly responsible for
the police action to end the techno party CzechTek, which left scores
of people injured on both sides.
The police has been severely criticized not only in connection with the crack down on CzechTek, but more recently for failing to intervene during a neo-Nazi concert at which participants did the Nazi salute and chanted racist slogans. The acting police president Vladislav Husak said on Tuesday the police had been inadequately prepared to deal with the situation at the neo-Nazi gathering.
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