The Czech government on Wednesday laid down the country’s stand at a EU extraordinary summit over the situation in Libya and across North Africa to take place on Friday. The Czech delegation is being led by President Václav Klaus. The main line of the Czech position is to call for EU sanctions but not intervention against Libya and the regime of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi. Prime Minister Petr Nečas said far reaching steps would first have to be backed by the United Nations council, The government already called for an immediate end to repression and the use of violence against rebels. The president and government have rejected former president Václav Havel’s demand for intervention in Libya arguing that the situation is not the same as that of former Yugoslavia.
Czech annual inflation speeded up in February to 1.8 percent from 1.7 percent in January according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office. Month on month the rate of price rises was 0.1 percent. The latest figures came in lower than analysts expected. Many had predicted annual inflation at 2.0 percent and the monthly figure at 0.2 percent.
The Czech foreign trade balance was 15.7 billion crowns in the black in January, a 400 million crown improvement on the same period in 2009 and better than the 13.6 billion crown surplus expected in a poll of analysts. The trade surplus in vehicles and machinery rose by 9.9 billion crowns. But that was all but cancelled out by a widening deficit on fuel oils and chemicals.
The condition of former Czech president Václav Havel was described as stable on Wednesday by a spokeswoman at the Prague hospital where he was taken a day earlier. Mr. Havel had been suffering with an acute respiratory inflammation since the start of the week. He has cancelled his programme for the next two weeks The former dissident and politician however hopes to attend the premiere of his film debut, Leaving, scheduled for March 24. The 74-year-old former president has frequently suffered from breathing problems and underwent a lung operation in 1996.
One Czech tourist was killed and two injured during an avalanche at a ski resort in the north of Georgia, the news server. Lidovky.Cz reported on Wednesday. Rescue services were able to extract two of the group alive but the third was dead. The body has been taken to Tbilisi for final identification according to the Czech consul in the country. Heavy snowfalls have affected the area over recent days.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas pledged on Wednesday that the government will temporarily replace emissions allowances stolen from a Czech registry. The prime minister said international companies which lost the allowances or certificates worth hundreds of millions of crowns would be compensated from national reserves as attempts are made to recover them. The biggest loser from the hacking attack in mid-January was state controlled power company ČEZ followed by international trader Blackstone Global Ventures. The emissions allowances give companies the right to pollute and are part of the EU’s attempts to curb climate changing carbon emissions.
There were mixed fortunes for Czech footballers in Tuesday nights Champions League matches. Czech captain Tomáš Rosicky was on the losing side as Arsenal went down 1:3 against Barcelona to lose 3:4 on aggregate. But Tomáš Hůbschman scored the first goal for Ukrainian team Shakhtar Donetsk as they romped past Roma to win 3:0 on the night and 6:2 overall. The winning teams go through to the quarter finals of the competition.
Defending champions Eaton Pardubice knocked out Zlín in the playoff quarterfinals after they won 6:2 on Tuesday, scoring their fourth victory in the best-of -seven series, and their 16th consecutive win. The game was tied until the end of the second period when the hosts went ahead 4:2. With four minutes left of the match, Zlín played with an empty net but Pardubice added two more goals to knock out Zlín which ranked fourth after the regular season. Pardubice are the first club to advance to the semis; in the other quarterfinal games, Vítkovíce lead 2:1 over České Budějovice, regular season winners Třinec are tied with Litvínov and Slavia Prague with Liberec.
The Czech national football team has slipped further down the world rankings produced by governing body FIFA. The national team is now ranked 31st, slipping from 30th place following the 2:4 defeat in a friendly against Croatia. World and European champions Spain, who the Czechs face in a 2012 Euro qualifier on March 25, are still ranked in first place.
Triple world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt has confirmed he will compete at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. But the Jamaican is yet to decide over which distance he will run at the 50th edition of the Czech meeting on May 31st. The 100, 200 and little-run 300 metres are all open to him according to organisers. Bolt ran at the event last year but failed to dent the 300 metres world record in rainy conditions.
The next few days will see clouds and some showers before clearer weather returns at the weekend. Top daytime temperatures will reach 9.0 degrees Celsius.