Almost all of the banknotes found in a raid of the home of fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir were forgeries, a Czech National Bank spokesperson said on Friday. Police had reported finding billions of crowns in various currencies, but it turns out less than 10 million crowns worth of the notes were genuine. Mr Krejcir is wanted on charges of fraud and conspiracy to murder; he fled the Czech Republic in June and is now in the Seychelles, where he has citizenship.
The Swedish company Modern Times Group has agreed to pay 115 million dollars for a 50-percent stake in Czech commercial channel TV Prima, ending weeks of speculation about the station's future. Prima, previously known as Premiera, has been broadcasting since 1993. It has recently had a big ratings hit with a Big Brother-like "reality show".
Jiri Stajner has been recalled to the Czech Republic football squad, after strikers Jan Koller and Vratislav Lokvenc were ruled out with injury. Experienced midfielder Vladimir Smicer is also out for the country's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Holland and Finland. The Czechs, who are currently second in Group 1, last reached the World Cup in 1990.
The Christian Democrats say a new Criminal Code currently being discussed by the lower house could legalise euthanasia in the Czech Republic. Deputy chairman Jan Kasal said on Friday that while it sets a maximum sentence of six years for assisted suicide, the Code does not fix a minimum sentence; he said this could be used as a roundabout way to allow euthanasia. However, the law's authors dismissed this claim, saying euthanasia will remain illegal under Czech law.
Some 200 historical chairs from two imperial chateaus in Vienna will be returned to Austria, 60 years after the end of World War II, said Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda. Austria had been seeking the return of the valuable chairs for some years, after hiding them in a south Moravian chateau for safekeeping during the war.
The prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, says if the Czech Republic secures a site for a mooted Hyundai car plant, the South Korean company will invest in the country. On Thursday Mr Paroubek and Hyundia's chief executive visited potential sites in north Moravia. If the plant is built it will produce around 300,000 cars a year and bring at least 3,000 jobs to the region.
Some 200 locals and tourists gathered on Prague's Wenceslas Square on Wednesday evening for a jazz concert in aid of New Orleans. The charity concert was organized at the initiative of Czech musicians and was held under the auspices of Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka. Among the performers were Milan Svoboda, the Prague Big Band Orchestra and Jiri Stivin. People could contribute cash on the spot or make a donation via an SMS text message.
The government has decided to increase the old-age, widows' and disability pensions by 4.9 percent as of January. The average monthly pension will thus reach 8,128 crowns (or over 330 dollars). According to experts, the country's current pay-as-you-go pension system is to survive for another 20 years approximately. The society, nevertheless, has been ageing and the spending on pensions has been increasing. Currently, the state spends about 8 percent of GDP on pensions.