The concentration of cyanide in the river Labe has dropped below the permissible limit of 10 micrograms per litre. Experts from the river administration say that the present levels no longer present a threat to fish or river life. The concentration of cyanide is gradually declining due to the higher inflow of water from the Vltava river and the fact that river management has been increasing the flow from several reservoirs. The cyanide leak into the Labe from a chemical plant in central Bohemia on January 9th killed many tons of fish in the river and caused concern in neighbouring Germany where the Labe /Elbe/ river flows. Environmentalists say that the full extent of damage to river life will only become apparent in the spring. The chemical plant responsible faces a fine of up to 10 million crowns.
The South Korean car maker Hyundai has confirmed a major investment in the Czech Republic. According to the Czech internet daily Novinky, Hyuandai said in a letter to the Turkish industry minister, that it had decided to build its new car plant in Nosovice, north Moravia, mainly thanks to the lower tax burden. A Hyuindai spokesman later confirmed that the firm was sending a delegation to the Czech Republic to sign a contract worth 30 to 40 billion crowns. The new plant is expected to decrease unemployment in the region. Scheduled to begin operation in 2008 the plant will employ some 3,000 people and provide more jobs for people in supplier companies.
The fugitive Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir is said to have commissioned a false bill of exchange in order to discredit the ruling Social Democrats. Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan told the commercial TV station Nova that he had information that Krejcir commissioned several of his accomplices in the Czech Republic with the task of producing a false bill of exchange, which was to serve as proof that the billionaire had lent the ruling Social Democrats 60 million crowns for their election campaign. The mentioned accomplices were reportedly arrested before they could comply with the demand. Krejcir, who fled to the Seychelles last summer, has not so far been able to provide any evidence to support his claim.
The freezing cold weather has claimed another victim in the Czech Republic. A fifty year old homeless man was found dead under one of Prague's bridges, where he reportedly fell into a fire he made in an attempt to keep warm during the night. Police say the man most likely consumed some alcohol and fell into a deep sleep in front of the fire. The cold weather this winter has already claimed ten lives.
Monday is expected to be a bright and sunny, but exceptionally cold day with temperatures dropping to minus twelve degrees below zero.