Daily news summary News

13-04-2005

Coalition parties still holding talks on new government without Gross

The three parties in the collapsed coalition are meeting once again to try to form a new government without Prime Minister Stanislav Gross. Mr Gross's Social Democrats have proposed forming a "pro-European" semi-technocrat government headed by career diplomat Jan Kohout; it would run the country until general elections in mid-2006.

Meanwhile, the Christian Democrats say they want nothing less than a new coalition agreement. They recently left the government in protest at Mr Gross's presence as prime minister, after he became involved in a financial scandal.

Topolanek proposes broad coalition until early elections

Earlier, the leader of the opposition Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, called for the formation of a coalition of all parties except the Communists, which would lead the country to early elections in November. Under this proposal, such elections would be held at the same time as a referendum on the European Union Constitution. None of the parties concerned have welcomed the plan.

Government approves one of Czech Army's biggest ever acquisitions

The government has approved the purchase of almost 250 armoured personnel carriers for the Czech Army. A tender is due to be announced at the end of this month for a military acquisition which - valued at around 20 billion crowns - is being described as the country's biggest ever. The Army's current personnel carriers have been in use for 40 years.

Health Minister wants health insurers to cease paying for some services, products

The minister of health, Milada Emmerova, wants the country's health insurers to save money by ceasing to pay for such things as contraceptive pills, spectacle frames or trips to the sea, the daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday. However, small insurance companies say this restriction would make them less able to compete for clients.

Russian arrested over Prague centre brothel bomb

Police have arrested a Russian brothel owner on suspicion of planting a bomb in a limousine owned by a rival brothel on Prague's Ve Smeckach Street, just off Wenceslas Square. He faces up to eight years in prison if found guilty. The number of brothels and prostitutes in the centre of the Czech capital has increased over the last decade.

McDonalds profits up

The fast food chain McDonalds saw a 3 percent increase in profits in the first quarter of this year, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. The company opened its first three restaurants in this country in 1992; it now has 71 outlets, employing over 3,500 people.

Slavia FC replace manager days ahead of Prague derby

Slavia Prague football club have sacked manager Josef Csaplar, after a run of poor results. Csaplar has been replaced by Karel Jarolim. His first game in charge will be the traditional Prague "S" derby against Sparta next weekend.

Weather

It should be partly cloudy over the next few days with temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius.

13-04-2005