Daily news summary News

08-12-2004

Culture Minister Dostal to start intensive chemotherapy

The Czech Culture Minister, Pavel Dostal, has decided to start ten-week intensive chemotherapy, a ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. Mr Dostal has been suffering from high fevers and has caught pneumonia since a cancerous tumour was removed from his pancreas in September. After a thorough medical check-up at Prague's main Military Hospital on Wednesday, he was advised to undergo chemotherapy immediately to avoid a relapse.

Czech Telecom state shares offered to telecommunication companies and their consortia

The Czech government has decided to offer the state's 51.1 percent stake in Czech Telecom to telecommunication companies and the consortia they form with financial investors. Following a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy Martin Jahn said a timetable has also been approved. If all goes according to schedule, preliminary bids will be submitted in the first week of February so that selected investors can present their binding bids in March. The cabinet hopes to choose a winner of the public tender by March 31.

Czech Republic urges EU to focus more on economical development

In the Czech Republic's evaluation of the EU's Lisbon Strategy, Czechs urge the European Union to do more to boost its economical development. The Lisbon Strategy was adopted by the European Council in March 2000. It is a ten-year plan to turn the European Union into the world's most dynamic and competitive economy. In the Czech Republic's evaluation, which was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday, economists warn of too much concentration on social and environmental renewal and too little focus on EU budget priorities and various outstanding economic barriers.

Monthly minimum wage to rise by 485 Czech crowns

The monthly minimum wage in the Czech Republic is to rise to 7,185 Czech crowns, about 240 euros, as of January next year. This is lower than proposed by Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Zdenek Skromach, who wanted the minimum wage to rise to 7,352 to motivate people to work rather than live off unemployment. The minimum wage currently stands at 6,700 crowns.

Seven more pardoned by President Klaus

Czech President Vaclav Klaus gave out pardons to seven people on Wednesday, mainly because they were in bad health, had minors in their care, or bore responsibility for dependent relatives. The crimes they had committed ranged from fraud to the failure to pay alimony. The most controversial pardon concerned entrepreneur Zbynek Prikryl, who was sentenced to 8.5 years, for being responsible for a construction company's loss of 22 million crowns. According to Prague Castle, Mr Prikryl deserved to be pardoned because he never benefited financially, paid back the money owed and now has to look after his ageing parents.

Weather

Thursday will have overcast skies with drizzle. Daytime temperatures will range from 0 to 4 degrees Celsius.

08-12-2004