Daily news summary News

02-09-2005

Social Democrats: Unipetrol scandal campaign aimed at discrediting party

The governing Social Democrats have described the furore surrounding the privatisation of Unipetrol as a campaign aimed at discrediting the party. Chairman Stanislav Gross - who has been linked to alleged bribe-taking - has called for a full investigation of the affair, which began when TV Nova showed a meeting between a Polish lobbyist and Zdenek Dolezel. Mr Dolezel was sacked by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek as head of his office over the recording.

The state's stake in Unipetrol was bought by Poland's PKN Orlen, and there have been reports that Polish officials want to question Mr Gross, a former Czech prime minister, and the country's minister of finance, Bohumil Sobotka.

First phase of extension of Prague airport officially opened

The first phase of a new terminal at Prague's Ruzyne international airport has been officially opened, four months ahead of schedule. The main hall of the terminal, known as North-2, should be completed by the end of the year. Ruzyne is set to become the biggest airport among the ten countries which joined the European Union in 2004, and the first to handle more than ten million passengers a year.

Foreign trade surplus recorded in month of July for first time

The Czech Republic recorded a foreign trade surplus of 1.2 billion crowns in July, an improvement of over 8 billion compared to the same month last year. It is the first time there has been a surplus in July, when there is usually a downturn due to seasonal factors. The balance particularly improved in the field of machinery and transport machinery.

Friday's positive figures caused the Czech crown to rise in strength against the euro- it reached a three-year high of 29.21.

Police refusing to comment on shooting incident

Prague police are refusing to comment on the shooting dead of a 22-year-old man, believed to be from Ukraine, in the early hours of Friday morning. The CTK news agency reported that he was shot by the police, who were responding to a call from a woman who said men were "restricting her freedom" in her flat. A spokesperson said the police were continuing to investigate the incident.

Troja to be last Prague district to receive flood defences

The Prague district of Troja will be the last part of the city to receive flood defences; they are to be installed after the world kayaking championships are held there next August, deputy Prague mayor Jan Burgermeister said on Friday. Many areas of the city were damaged three years ago during the worst flooding in centuries.

Czech footballers in Romania for important game

The Czech football team have arrived in Romania, ahead of an important World Cup qualifying game on Saturday. They are currently second in their group, but a win against Romania could help them guarantee a place in the finals - the two second-placed teams with the best results go through without having to take part in playoffs. The Czechs last reached the World Cup in 1980.

Meanwhile, the national ice hockey team got off to a winning start under new coach Alois Hadamczik on Thursday, beating Finland 2:1 in Liberec in the Ceska pojistovna cup.

Weather

There should be sunny spells over the next few days with some rain in places. Temperatures will reach up to 27 degrees Celsius.

02-09-2005