International canoe authorities have cancelled a six-month doping ban on a member of the Czech Republic's sprint kayak crew. Jan Šterba tested positive for a banned stimulant during an Olympic qualifying event in Poland on May 17, receiving a six month ban. He appealed the decision saying he was unaware that a food supplement he used contained a banned substance. The Czech Canoe Federation has welcomed the decision. Šterba is part of the K4 crew.
A Prague court has ordered insolvency proceedings against the company E Side Property which owns the football stadium in Eden, home to the Slavia football club. The bankruptcy order was lodged by the Sokolov city hall on the grounds that E Side Property owes the city a debt of several million crowns which it has proved unable to repay. A representative of the Cyprian firm Kingwater Holdings which is the new owner of E Side Property said the order was unnecessary since Kingwater Holdings was taking steps to repay the debt.
Justice Minister Pavel Blažek has explained his reluctance to appoint popular prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová to the post of Prague High State Attorney. In an interview for Thursday’s Hospodarske Noviny the minister said he was determined to avoid a war of prosecutors at the Prague State Attorney’s Office and feared that the forthright Bradáčová would unleash a cleansing orgy at the institution. Mr. Blazek stressed that he wanted a high state attorney who would unite, rather than divide, the Prague State Attorney’s Office. Although the minister has hesitated for over three weeks with the appointment he admitted that Ms. Bradáčová remains the best-qualified candidate for the post. Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman who recommended her for the post has refused to comment.
The national vehicle registration system is reportedly in working order after weeks of malfunctions. A deputy to the transport minister said the parties involved in the problem had held an all-night crisis meeting and that all stations were now processing applications successfully. Nonetheless, officials at the stations say the system remains slower than the original one. The Transport Ministry claims the most recent problems were caused not by the faultiness of the new system itself but by overloaded servers at the Police Presidium, which handle the Schengen Information System. The failing system has caused major problems for drivers since it was launched on July 9. Prime Minister Nečas has given Transport Minister Pavel Dobeš until Friday to resolve the problem or else resign.
Czechs are placing bets on the outcome of the Olympic Games in London, putting their money on hot favourites such as Bara Spotakova, Petra Kvitova or Katerina Emmons. Betting companies say that while the interest is not as great as in football or hockey championships as far as Olympic events go this is definitely a winner. The overall sum is expected to reach 130 million crowns.
The government has agreed to increase Czech reserves of oil products from 90 to 100 days over the next two years in line with new EU directives. The decision will cost the state 4.4 to 4.7 billion crowns, according to the proposal. The increase is reportedly necessary due to changes in the method of calculating reserves, which puts current oil product reserves at less than the legally required 90 days.
The government has approved a proposal introducing new rules for appointments to state companies. The aim of the legislation, put forward by Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, is to increase the transparency of appointments to state and city businesses, where politicians often sit on supervisory boards and boards of directors. According to deputy prime minister Karolína Peake, the addition to the state’s anti-corruption strategy will mean that party affiliation will no longer be the main criterion for such appointments. Instead, the bill requires nominees to have greater expertise and sets rules for publishing their assessments. The opposition Social Democrats also support the bill, which they expect to clearly cover remuneration for such appointees as well.
Meanwhile, ATS Telcom has won a tender for the Czech Ministry of Defence to provide the government with anti cyber-attack technology. The contract is reportedly worth 56 million crowns. It was the lowest of three bids in the public tender process. Both hardware and software will be provided for the country's CIRC system (Computer Incident Response Center) with installation set to begin next year.
A total of 4.64 million passenger cars were in the register of road vehicles in the Czech Republic in the first half of this year and the average age of the car fleet increased to almost fourteen years, the Automotive Industry Association announced this week. Since 2000, 1.2 million passenger cars have been added to the register. The share of vehicles older than ten years continues to grow and at the end of reached 60.6% in the first half of 2012. The share of vehicles aged over fifteen years is higher than 32%, while only 7.1%ˇof cars are younger than two years, according to SAP data.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas says Sweden is being “surprisingly unaccommodating” in negotiations regarding the renewal of a Defence Ministry contract for the rental of 14 Gripen fighter jets. The Czech Republic currently has the Jas-39 fighters on a 10-year lease for 19.6 billion crowns. Sweden is now insisting on two billion crowns a year, which Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra has rejected. The Czech Republic will be in exclusive negotiations with Sweden until November at which time it may hold an open tender for other providers.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
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