The Visegrad group states have said the solution to the EUs debt crisis must not undermine growth or hurt the common market. At their session in Prague on Friday the heads of government of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary stressed the need for long-term, far-reaching changes which would gradually restore confidence on EU financial markets. Meeting ahead of next week’ s EU summit in Brussels the Visegrad group warned against quick solutions in the form of a hastily conceived fiscal union which EU members would be asked to support without closer inspection.
The lower house on Friday failed to vote on a bill on the restitution of
church property, now in its third reading, due to procrastination tactics
employed by the opposition parties. The opposition Social Democrats who
strongly oppose the proposed legislation conducted a protracted debate in
order to prevent a possible vote on the bill in the course of this
parliament session. Their aim was to get the vote postponed until July,
after which they plan to veto it in the Senate where they have a majority
meaning that it would return to the lower house in September. The
opposition’s argument is that the ruling parties would have a more
difficult time pushing through the bill on the eve of the senate and
regional elections in view of strong public opposition to it.
Under the draft legislation, the Czech state would return some 56 percent of the physical property worth around 75 billion crowns; for the rest, Czech churches and religious societies would receive some 60 billion crowns in compensation over a period of 30 years.
The finance ministry wants to get the controversial privatization of the Mostecka uhelna coal mining company annulled and is seeking to receive damages from six former managers who allegedly siphoned close to 7 billion crowns from the company. The police have accused the men of insider trading and abuse of power. They are suspected of illegally taking over 3 billion crowns from the company in 1998 and subsequently using the money to buy its shares. Paradoxically, it was the Swiss authorities who launched an investigation into the company’s privatization in 2005. The equivalent of 12 billion crowns was blocked in Swiss accounts.
South Moravian Regional State Attorney Petr Coufal has announced his decision to resign from office after the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that he had made a serious mistake by deciding on a case that concerned him. Coufal went out of his way to deal with an anonymous complaint against himself for parking his private car in a parking lot for official vehicles. The judge said Coufal had abused his position to sweep the case under the carpet.
The Czech Anti-Monopoly Office has fined the city of Liberec, which hosted the world ski championships in 2009, 6.5 million crowns for irregularities in around 70 tenders relating to the event. A frequent transgression was the illegal parsing of tenders. City councillors have said they would appeal the decision. The fine is one of the biggest ever levied in this country.
A thirty-six-year-old man turned himself in to the police in Olomouc on Friday, owning up to a murder he committed 16 years ago. According to a police spokesman he claimed to have killed a 41-year-old woman who was an acquaintance and trustingly let him into her flat. The man allegedly provided many details of the murder leading the police to believe that he is telling the truth. An investigation is underway.
Statistics indicate that obesity is a growing problem in Czech society. According to data published on Friday the number of obese children in the Czech Republic is now four times higher than it was 15 years ago, while the number of obese adults has risen fivefold. Doctors claim that in most cases an unhealthy lifestyle is to blame.
The Czech national team on Thursday lost to quarter final opponent Portugal after Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game in the 79th minute. Portugal is now the first side to enter the semi-finals. The Czech team put up a strong defense throughout the first half of the game, but were no match for Portugal.They barely tested the Portuguese defence and most of the game took place in their half. Goalkeeper Petr Čech, who playsfor Chelsea, delivered a spectacular performance in the goal but was not able to hold the decisive shot. The Czech team played without its captain Tomáš Rosický, who was still recovering from an Achilles tendon injury.
Czech defender Theodor Gebre Selassie has joined Werder Bremen from Czech champions Slovan Liberec, the Bundesliga club said on Friday. Gebre Selassie, 25, has signed a four-year deal. Selassie, born to an Ethiopian father and a Czech mother, played in all four of the Czech Republic's games at Euro 2012, including the 1-0 quarter-final defeat by Portugal on Thursday when the right back was marking Cristiano Ronaldo.
Czech footballer Milan Baroš announced that Thursday’s match was his last for the country’s national team. There had been speculation that the 30-year-old was ready to quit the national team following severe criticism for his performance especially against Russia, which beat the Czech Republic 4:1 in the EURO 2012 opening match. The forward has played a total of 93 matches for the national team and scored 41 goals during that time.
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