Daily news summary News

16-10-2005

Opposition party representatives file complaint against PM, others, in Unipetrol scandal

The chairman of the right-of-centre Civic Democrats' deputy group, Vlastimil Tlusty, has revealed that he and several other members of his party have filed a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and two members of the cabinet, as well as a former aide, in connection with the privatisation of the Czech oil concern Unipetrol. According to the MPs the prime minister played a role in the privatisation at a time when he was still at City Hall. The prime minister has dismissed the move as "desperate".

Last year the Polish PKN Orlen bought 63 percent shares in the Czech oil giant - a deal which has since been dogged by allegations of corruption. On Friday Polish prosecutors investigating the purchase asked for permission to question over a dozen individuals in the Czech Republic including former prime minister Stanislav Gross. The new management of PKN Orlen has also said it has uncovered new evidence of secret payoffs to Czech politicians.

PM to decide between Rath and Koskuba for health minister post

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said he is considering two candidates for the post of health minister: the president of the Czech Doctor's Association, David Rath, and deputy health minister David Koskuba. Speaking on a Sunday TV discussion programme the prime minister said he had asked both men to put forward plans for the financial stabilisation of the health sector, including the deficit of the country's largest health insurer, VZP. The prime minister indicated a final decision would be taken next week.

Foreign Minister suggests Seychelles could face int'l pressure over Krejcir case

The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has said that the Czech Republic will ask international organisations like the OECD - the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - to put pressure on the Seychelles in connection with the case of fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir. Earlier this year the Czech-born Krejcir escaped to the Seychelles after facing charges of fraud and conspiracy to murder in the Czech Republic. Speaking on Czech TV on Sunday the foreign minister said he would push for the Seychelles being "blacklisted" by organisations like the OECD; earlier the Seychelles stated Mr Krejcir would not face extradition, having obtained Seychelles citizenship in 1996.

The foreign minister suggested an unfavourable listing of the country by the OECD would be a warning for investors, theoretically pressuring the Seychelles to re-evaluate Mr Krejcir's case.

Poll: minority of Czechs consider the Communist Party a "criminal" organisation

A new poll released by the STEM agency has suggested that only minority of Czechs share Christian Democrat leader Miloslav Kalousek's view that the Communist Party is a "criminal" organisation. Of more than 600 questioned, 46 percent agreed. The poll found that younger members of the population with higher educations remain sceptical of Communist Party intentions, while many older citizens believe the party will become more acceptable for voters under the party's new chairman Vojtech Filip.

Vaidisova wins third final in Asia

Sixteen-year-old Czech tennis sensation Nicole Vaidisova has won her third tournament in Asia in just two weeks, winning in Bangkok after taking titles in Tokyo, and Seoul. On Saturday Ms Vaidisova dispatched Russian opponent Nadezda Petrovova 6:1, 6:7, 7:5. Vaidisova has now won her last 15 games.

Weather

The beginning of the week is expected to see moderate weather, some cloudiness, with a daytime temperature of around 12 degrees Celsius.

16-10-2005