Czech Television is planning to start a fourth, sports channel next year, general director Jiri Janecek told the public station's board on Wednesday, the Novinky website reported. The station would run 24 hours a day and feature marginal sports as well as the popular football and ice hockey. Mr Janecek did not give a concrete date for the beginning of broadcasting.
Canada is to decide in two years' time whether to lift visa requirements for Czechs, a spokesperson for Prague's Canadian Embassy told the Czech News Agency. The announcement followed a Czech threat to use the EU solidarity pact to ask all EU countries to introduce visas for Canadian citizens. Prague is also seeking an end to visa requirements for Czechs travelling to the United States.
The lower house has voted to halve the current period of ten years that foreigners need to be living in the Czech Republic before they can apply for permanent residence. The bill also proposes that for European Union citizens any document which proves they are from the EU would suffice as identification, doing away with the need to carry a passport or Czech ID card.
The lower house has voted to make Communist Party MP Pavel Hojda the chairman of a commission to investigate the sale of Czech oil group Unipetrol. The new management of the Polish company which bought Unipetrol says it has uncovered evidence of bribes being given to Czech politicians in connection with the purchase.
The Czech government has halted commercial sales of Tamiflu, an anti-viral drug thought to be effective against the deadly bird flu strain detected in Europe. Deputy health minister Jiri Koskuba said that all purchases of Tamiflu would now be directed towards strategic stocks. The decision was made shortly after it emerged that Czechs had bought up all available stocks which were on the market. The health authorities attempted to quell the panic buying, advising Czechs to get seasonal flu shots and assuring them that there was no imminent danger of a bird flu pandemic or even a seasonal flu epidemic.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and health insurance company
representatives have reached agreement on a series of cost-cutting
measures which should gradually reduce the sector's ten billion crown
deficit in spending. The Prime Minister did not say how much money
would be saved in this manner or how much the government planned to
inject into the cash-strapped health sector next year. Details of the
agreement are to be made public after it has been signed on Wednesday.
A recent one day strike by private physicians brought the money crisis in the health sector to a head and resulted in the dismissal of health minister Milada Emmerova. Experts say the crisis cannot be resolved without far-reaching structural changes.