Daily news summary News

24-03-2005

President Klaus rules out minority government

Should the ruling coalition break up, Czech President Vaclav Klaus would want the parties of a new government to guarantee that they will have majority seats in parliament, Mr Klaus told Czech Radio on Thursday. The Czech President reacted to speculation that the main party in the fragile coalition, the Social Democrats, plans to form a minority government with the tacit support of the Communists in parliament.

According to Prime Minister Stanislav Gross, the president's remark is one of many others made by those who hope to influence decision-making at this weekend's Social Democratic Party's nationwide congress, at which the party's future role in government will be discussed and a new leadership is elected.

Group of academics sign petition for Prime Minister's resignation

Some eighty university professors and Academy of Science workers have signed a letter calling onto Prime Minister Stanislav Gross to resign. The petition was forwarded to his assistant on Thursday. The group of academics say they want Mr Gross to step down because recent events show that he lacks the qualities needed to lead the country as a competent prime minister.

Mr Gross has been criticised for failing to explain how he could afford a Prague flat in 1999. His wife, Sarka, was also involved in dubious business transactions. In the letter, the signatories write the economic activities of Mr Gross' family are a sad example of a lack of personal morale and are having a devastating effect on the social climate.

Young social worker stabbed by pensioner

A young health care worker at a retirement home close to the southern town of Jihlava has been killed by a pensioner. The twenty-two year old social worker was stabbed by the 55-year old man, who was living in the home. He died from his injuries soon after he was rushed to hospital. Police say the pensioner was under the influence of alcohol and psychologists are determining the motive behind the stabbing.

Vaclav Paces elected chairman of Academy of Sciences

The Czech Academy of Sciences has a new chairman. The 62-year old head of the Institute for Molecular Genetics, Vaclav Paces, was elected to head the country's most senior scientific research institute on Thursday. The scientist will be replacing the 67-year old biologist and academic Helena Illnerova, who was the first woman to chair the Academy. Mrs Illnerova, who chose not to stay on for another term, intends to spend more time with her family and do more laboratory research.

Weather

The next few days should stay warm but with overcast skies and occasional rain. Day-time temperatures will continue to reach highs of 17 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists expect temperatures to drop to 14 degrees Celsius by Easter Sunday and have forecast rain throughout the country.

24-03-2005