Czech judges are considering setting up an independent council which would give them more independence from the state, following President Vaclav Klaus's refusal this week to appoint 32 judges because they were under the age of 30. There is a shortage of judges in the Czech Republic, and critics of Mr Klaus's decision say it means people will be denied the right to quick court proceedings. Most European countries have an independent judges' body.
The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, has praised the work of non-governmental organisations taking part in relief and reconstruction work in Indonesia in the wake of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. Speaking in Banda Aceh on Friday, Mr Svoboda said the NGOs played a positive role, and it would not be a good decision if the Indonesian authorities barred foreigners from the region.
The Czech Republic issued Eurobonds worth one billion euros on Friday, the second time the country has raised money in this way. Investors have until March 18 to buy the bonds, which will come to fruition in 15 years time.
There was a boom in housing construction in the Czech Republic in 2004, with the highest number of new flats completed in over a decade, according to figures released Friday. Over 32,000 flats were completed last year, the highest number since 1992. The trend has been attributed to the easier availability of mortgages, a growth in home building savings and favourable interest rates.
A leading member of the opposition Civic Democrats, Vlastimil Tlusty, has taken out a newspaper advertisement refuting reports by Czech Television questioning the origin of property belonging to Mr Tlusty's wife's company. The advertisement in Friday's Mlada fronta Dnes accuses Czech TV of broadcasting "lies" about the company. Mr Tlusty himself appeared on TV recently with documents he said showed the purchase of his house had been above board.
Two hundred manuscripts from the 16th to 18th centuries have been damaged by steam which escaped from a chimney at Prague's National Museum. Director Michal Lukes said on Friday the damage could be repaired, at a cost of around 100,000 Czech crowns (almost 5,000 US dollars). The management of the National Museum say the building is in need of extensive repairs.
Defender Martin Hasek is to rejoin Sparta Prague football club at the age of 35, following Sparta's recent sale of Jaroslav Kovac to Spartak Moscow. Hasek, younger brother of legendary ice hockey goaltender Dominik, may make his first appearance for Sparta against Ceske Budejovice this weekend.
It should be grey and cloudy over the next few days, with snow in places. Temperatures are expected to reach four or five degrees Celsius.
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