Daily news summary News

19-03-2005

Christian Democrats again call for Gross's resignation

The Christian Democrats have passed a resolution at a party conference in Prague, saying they will leave the governing coalition and push for early elections if Prime Minister Stanislav Gross is not replaced as head of the Social Democrats at their conference next weekend. Christian Democrat leader Miroslav Kalousek has been calling for Mr Gross's resignation since the prime minister and his wife became involved in a financial scandal.

President Klaus compares EU to Comecon

President Vaclav Klaus has compared the European Union to the Communist-era international organization Comecon, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Speaking in the US magazine Time, Mr Klaus said the EU was structurally similar to the old Eastern bloc organisation, although ideologically different. He also reiterated his call for the EU to be widened rather than more deeply integrated, saying it should accept countries like Kazakhstan and Morocco as members.

Study: Czech forests third most damaged in Europe

The Czech Republic's forests are the third most damaged in Europe after those of Poland and Slovakia, says a report released by the German Statistical Office. The study found that a full 89 percent of Czech trees were damaged.

Sparta Prague cleared of corruption by police

Police have confirmed they have dropped an investigation into allegations of corruption by Sparta Prague football club. The Czech football association is now planning to examine the police's file on Sparta before deciding if there are any grounds for taking disciplinary action against the club.

Czech stars to face each other in Champions League

Meanwhile, Czech football stars are due to meet in the prestigious Champions League. Liverpool featuring Milan Baros and Vladimir Smicer will play Pavel Nedved's Juventus next month in the quarter-final of the lucrative competition.

Czechs taking less sleeping pills due to increased cost

The number of Czechs taking sleeping pills has halved over the last 15 years as they have increased in price, according to a report by the national institute for the control of medicines. A spokesman said the number of sleeping pills consumed by Czechs was now around the European average.

Flood alerts declared in many parts of the country

Flood alerts have been declared in many parts of the Czech Republic due to rain and the recent thawing of snow following a sharp rise in temperature. Roads and people's homes have been flooded, and residents were evacuated in two places.

However, weather forecasters say things should improve over the next couple of days when it is expected to be dry. Temperatures will reach up to 19 degrees Celsius in the middle of next week.

19-03-2005