The forced administration that was put in place last November at the country's biggest state-owned health insurer, VZP, will be terminated on Tuesday, says Health Minister David Rath. In a televised debate on Sunday, Mr Rath said VZP's close to 14 billion crown debt has now been reduced to under 7 billion crowns. The insurer will also have a new director, Pavel Horak, as of Tuesday May 2.
Two coaches with Polish tourists on board had accidents independent from each other in the Czech Republic on Saturday. Six people were injured - the driver seriously - when one coach crashed into a stationary lorry on the D5 motorway near Rokycany, western Bohemia. The cause of the accident has yet to be determined. In the second accident in eastern Bohemia, the coach driver fell asleep and the vehicle overturned into a ditch. Seven passengers were injured; two of them are still in hospital.
Water levels of some rivers in Moravia have risen extensively following heavy rain on Saturday. Some areas in southern Moravia were put on the highest degree of flood alert. Meteorologists say the worst is over in most parts of the country, where only light showers are expected in the next few days. The Czech Republic is still recovering from a week of heavy flooding, which paralysed many regions earlier this month.
The 43rd international television festival, Golden Prague, opened in the Czech capital's Congress Centre with a concert by the prestigious Bambini di Praga choir on Saturday. The festival will run until May 5 and focuses on music and dance on the television screen. Some 130 contributions from 24 countries are participating this year. Golden Prague is one of the oldest television festivals in the world.
Jana Sikulova won a silver medal at the European gymnastics championships in Volos, Greece, on Sunday. With a total score of 15.050 on the asymmetric bars (following the introduction of the new gymnastics Code of Points), Jana Sikulova was a point short of Britain's Beth Tweddle. Lenika Di Simone of Spain won bronze. The Czech Republic's second representative, Jana Komrskova, came in fourth. The world championships are being held in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 13-21.
Yemen has received one million US dollars from the Czech government to help sponsor two development projects. The donation was presented by Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda, who is currently on an official visit to the Arab state. The money will be used to supply clean water to Abdal Kuri Island and to recycle water for a hospital on the island of Sokotra.
Rain, light snow, and freezing night temperatures have resulted in around one thousand ravers leaving the CzaroTekk techno party that is taking place this weekend. Over one thousand people, though, are still enjoying the open-air festival, which is being held on private property close to the Bohemian town of Krasna. One man, who visited the party, has ended up in hospital. He was hit by a car nearby the venue and suffered fractures of the leg and several minor injuries. The event has attracted techno fans from the Czech Republic and other European countries and is being monitored by the police.
Sixty-six year old singer Karel Gott is the proud father of a healthy newborn baby girl. Charlotte Ella was born early on Sunday morning. The Czech pop icon, who has never been married, already has two daughters from previous relationships. Mr Gott's 30-year old partner, Ivana Machackova, is two years younger than his oldest daughter.
Czech smokers should take part in an international smoking cessation contest called Quit and Win, the National Institute of Public Health announced. The purpose of the contest is to give adults an incentive to gather the will power to abstain from smoking and using tobacco products for at least four weeks in May. Winners are then drawn among all successful participants. Czech candidates can win twice. If they are selected in the national part of the competition, they win a trip abroad; a lucky draw in the international part wins them an extra 10,000 US dollars.
Hundreds of Social Democrats gathered at Central Bohemia's Rip Hill on
Saturday for a meeting of party liners. In what has become tradition ahead
of elections, they ceremoniously climbed up the hill where the first
are believed to have settled. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and former
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who is on a two-day visit, led the
crowd. At the event, Mr Schroeder praised the ruling coalition Social
Democrats for the country's large economic growth and said Mr Paroubek was
a valuable party member and has been helping to increase their chances of
winning the elections in June.
Mr Schroeder and the Hungarian and British Prime Ministers Ferenc Gyurcsany and Tony Blair are all planning to come to Prague towards the end of the election campaign to support the Social Democrats' efforts in winning another term in government. Social Democrat party liners first met on Rip Hill before the elections in 2002 to announce their party manifesto and launch the election campaign. They gathered there again in 2004 before the elections to the European Parliament.