A survey by the STEM agency shows that Culture Minister Vitezslav Jandak is the most popular Czech politician, with 69 percent of public support. He is followed by Finance Minister and acting chairman of the Social Democrats Bohuslav Sobotka with 54 percent and Education Minister Petra Buzkova with 52 percent.
Days after losing an international arbitration case taken by the
Japanese bank Nomura, the Czech Republic on Monday began a second
arbitration hearing against the bank in Paris: it is demanding over 4.5
billion dollars in compensation for costs incurred during the forced
administration of the Czech bank IPB. Nomura owned almost 50 percent of
IPB, which was sold to another Czech bank soon after its collapse in
the year 2000.
On Friday an arbitration court in London ruled the Czech state had failed to protect Nomura's investment in IPB, and it is now seeking over one and a half billion US dollars in compensation. The actual amount Nomura will receive has not yet been decided.
A survey by the European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, suggests that Czechs spend more time at work than any other EU citizens. While the average EU citizen works for 37.9 hours a week, Czechs spend almost 43 hours at the workplace every week. According to Eurostat, the Dutch have the shortest working hours, with 31.4 hours a week.
The Interior Ministry and the International Organisation for Migration are to launch a joint campaign in May warning the clients of prostitutes that they could be supporting crime, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. Clients will also be encouraged to tip off the authorities if they believe a woman has been forced into prostitution.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has expressed support for a possible tightening of controls of the citizens of the USA, Canada and Australia entering the Czech Republic as tourists. He was responding to a statement by the Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, who said his ministry suspected citizens of the USA, Canada and Australia were seriously violating rules regarding how long they can legally stay in the Czech Republic and called for a tightening of controls of their citizens entering the Czech Republic as tourists. The USA, Canada and Australia require Czechs to have visas to enter their countries. Speaking on a TV debate programme, Mr Svoboda said if they did not lift such restrictions Prague would attempt to pressure them to do so through the European Union.
Police in North Bohemia have confirmed that boxes found on the premises of a former factory in the town of Usti nad Labem contain the mortal remains of German soldiers who died during WWII in Bohemia. Police are now investigating how the boxes got there and whether or not the law was broken. The paper Mlada Fronta Dnes first wrote about the case last Friday.
The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, says it is necessary to
maintain continuous political pressure on Belarus to negotiate with the
country's opposition. Mr Svoboda said Sunday's presidential elections in
Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko is widely predicted to win,
were not democratic.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, said he was not enthusiastic about Mr Lukashenko's expected victory, but said it was very much an internal matter for Belarus.
A Social Democrat politician has been kicked out of the party after
being accused of corruption. The local branch of the party in Velke
Mezirici expelled Josef Laznicka just over a week after he and six
other people were arrested on charges of bribe giving and receiving.
The head of the Velke Mezirici Social Democrats said the case could
have harmed the party in general elections due to take place in June.
Mr Laznicka, who worked at the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, is the second person to have lost his party membership over the affair: last week lobbyist Frantisek Vybiral was expelled by the Olomouc branch.