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Japanese Emperor asks Paroubek about Havel, culture

The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek who is on an official visit to East Asia, has met Japanese Emperor Akihito in Tokyo. After the meeting on Thursday, Mr Paroubek said they spoke about Prague, culture, music, issues related to global warming and also about the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Mr Havel was host to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko who visited Prague in July 2002. Prime Minister Paroubek started an eight-day visit to Asia in Tokyo on Wednesday, he is due to visit China next.

Social Democrat platform wants extraordinary conference, departure of Gross

A faction within the ruling Social Democrats, called the Platform for the Renaissance of the Social Democratic Party, has announced its plan to call an extraordinary party conference to deal with personnel changes at the party head, the election manifesto, next year's general election campaign and a change in the party statutes. The faction said on Thursday that the continued chairmanship of Stanislav Gross markedly decreased the party's chance for a good result in next year's elections. A spokesman for the platform said it supports Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, party deputy chairman, who since taking office last month has been able to reverse the plummeting voter support for the party.

Cesky Telecom CEO replaced after Telefonica takeover

The chief executive of Cesky Telecom, Gabriel Berdar, credited with transforming the company, has been replaced as Telefonica of Spain has acquired the business. An annual meeting of Cesky Telecom shareholders on Thursday replaced Mr Berdar with Jaime Smith Basterra, chief financial officer at Telefonica, as well as nine out of fifteen members on the company's supervisory board. Last week, Telefonica paid 82.6 billion crowns (3.36 billion dollars) for the government's 51.1-percent stake in the Czech Republic's dominant land line operator.

Independent Democrats party founded, MEP Zelezny behind programme

A new party, called the Independent Democrats, has been founded in Prague, former Social Democrat MP Jana Volfova announced on Thursday and said its manifesto was put together by MEP Vladimir Zelezny, the former CEO of the successful commercial TV Nova. Mr Zelezny who is not a member of the Independent Democrats said the manifesto will be released in late July or early August after it is approved by the party conference. Mr Zelezny also said the party will mainly focus on the defence of Czech national interests and it will also address EU-related issues.

New divorce statistics released

The Czech Statistics Office has released new statistics which show that the number of divorces in the Czech Republic has increased by a third over the 15 years since the fall of communism. According to statistics, marriages in the Czech Republic most often break up between their third and sixth year. Statisticians predict the Czech Republic's divorce rate should stabilise this year at just below 50 percent. In the first three months of 2005 almost 5,500 couples were married in the Czech Republic which is by 250 fewer than in the same period of last year.

IFPI: More than 50 percent of CDs sold in Czech Republic are counterfeits

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which represents the recording industry worldwide has included the Czech Republic among a group of 31 countries where more counterfeit CDs than original ones are sold. According to the federation the situation in the Czech Republic is getting worse. The IFPI did not disclose the source of its data.


The hot and sunny weather we're enjoying now should continue in the coming days with daytime temperatures just over 30 degrees Celsius in most of the country.