Daily news summary News

15-03-2005

Christian Democrats to leave coalition if Gross remains Prime Minister

The Christian Democrats will leave the coalition government if Stanislav Gross remains Prime Minister after his party, the Social Democrats, hold their conference at the end of the month, the Pravo newspaper reported on Wednesday. Prime Minister Gross has been at the centre of a government crisis after he failed to explain how he paid for his luxury flat in Prague. After exerting pressure on him to resign from office, the Christian Democrats agreed to give the strongest party in government more time to resolve the matter in its own way.

New State Institution for Emergency Situations to be established

The National Security Council is considering establishing a "State Institution for Emergency Situations", which would manage all crisis situations not under the direct management of the Czech army. These crises would include natural catastrophes and industrial accidents. According to Trade and Industry Minister Milan Urban, it would not be an entirely new institution because it would combine the authorities of the general management of the Fire Fighter Rescue Service and the Administration of State Strategic Reserves.

Poll: Most Czechs in favour of European Constitution

Just over fifty percent of Czechs feel that the European Union ought to have a single constitution, results of a public opinion poll suggest. However, the poll, conducted by the state-run Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) in the second half of February, also suggests that most Czechs know little about the content of the current version. Most Czechs would also like to see the European Constitution ratified in a referendum, which some 60% of Czechs polled say they would take part in. The poll surveyed just over one thousand Czech citizens above the age of fifteen.

Vodafone confirms Oskar Mobil takeover

The British mobile phone company, Vodafone Group, has confirmed that it will buy the majority stake of the Canadian company Telesystem International Wireless (TIW) in Oskar Mobil, the smallest of the three Czech cell phone operators. Vodafone, which will also buy TIW's shareholdings in Romania's MobiFon, will pay 3.5 billion US dollars for both operators. The purchase in Oskar, which has an estimated 17 percent share of the Czech market, will cost the British company around one billion dollars.

Weather

The next few days should see clear skies with day-time temperatures rising to highs of 16 degrees Celsius.

15-03-2005