Plans to remove a pig farm from the site of a world war two concentration camp for Romanies have ground to a halt, Lidove noviny reported on Tuesday. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek had pledged to provide money to buy out the pig farm at Lety in south Bohemia, but talks between the government and its owners have collapsed. Mr Paroubek now says it will be an issue for the next government, the paper said. A spokesperson for a Romany group said the stalemate proved the government's promises had been intended for an overseas audience.
The owners of apartment buildings can sue the state over losses they have suffered because rents are regulated, under a ruling by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. Judge Ivana Janu said the state was responsible for the losses because parliament had failed to act on the issue for several years. Owners argue rents are so low they can neither maintain their buildings nor make a profit. Paradoxically, deregulation was approved last month, with rents set to rise 14 percent a year between 2007 and 2010.
The Czech explosives manufacturer Explosia has decided not to sue Madonna for breach of its Semtex trademark. The company had considered taking the pop star to court after she began using the name Semtex Girls Ltd in the UK without asking its permission. The plastic explosive gained notoriety for its frequent use by terror groups such as the IRA.
A Budapest-based NGO is planning a court challenge to the use of caged beds in mental hospitals and other institutions in the Czech Republic, the internet news site Aktualne.cz reported. A spokesperson for the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre said it was looking into specific cases to be used as the basis for legal action against the Czech state. Aktualne says hundreds of patients are restrained in caged beds in the Czech Republic.
President Vaclav Klaus has signed a law on construction that will help facilitate and speed up numerous building projects in the Czech Republic. Current law requires that a building permit is obtained before a garage is built, a flat is renovated, or a family house (that does not exceed 150 square metres and three floors) is put up. As of January 1 2007, those planning to undertake such types of construction work will only have to put forward a notice.
Agriculture Minister Jan Mladek says plans are underway to limit imports of chicken from EU countries with confirmed cases of bird flu. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Mr Mladek said the Czech Republic expects to receive permission from the European Commission within the next month. The consumption of chicken has not dropped in the Czech Republic, despite several confirmed cases of bird flu. Suppliers of chicken meat in some EU countries, which are witnessing a decrease in consumption, have been selling their products in the Czech Republic at dumping prices. By limiting imports from abroad Mr Mladek hopes to aid local producers, who say their profits have suffered from the foreign competition's low prices.
An exhibition introducing the ELLA project - a transnational co-operation of nearly all regional spatial planning authorities in the Elbe basin - opened in three Czech towns on Monday. The ELLE project, which focuses on flood prevention and integrated water management is financed by the European Union and involves cooperation between over twenty institutions. It was launched shortly after the devastating floods of 2002. The exhibition is currently on show in Ceske Budejovice, Pardubice, and Hradec Kralove. It will travel to Pilsen and Usti nad Labem next week.
The Defence Minister of Serbia and Montenegro, Zoran Stankovic, said on
Monday that the Army would not intervene in efforts to gain Montenegrin
or Kosovo independence. Speaking to his Czech counterpart Karel Kuhnl
during a visit to Prague, Mr Stankovic said there will be no repetition
of the 1990s, when the Yugoslav Army tried to hinder the Slovenes and
Croats from gaining independence. A vote on Montenegrin independence is
scheduled to take place on May 21 and there is ongoing discussion on
autonomy for the south Serbian province of Kosovo.
The two defence ministers also spoke about a possible EU military engagement in Kosovo and Serbia's efforts to help bring Ratko Mladic before the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague by the end of this month. Mr Mladic is the alleged architect of the murder of around 7,500 Muslims in the Bosnian silver-mining town Srebrenica in 1995.
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