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Havel: EU Constitution too complicated for ordinary citizens

The EU constitution in its draft form is too complicated for ordinary citizens to understand, former Czech president Vaclav Havel said on Monday. Mr Havel, who was in Brussels to take part in EU enlargement celebrations, welcomed steps to introduce a European constitution but noted it needed to be formulated in simple terms in order to assure citizens voting in referenda know exactly what they are voting for. Mr Havel added that he would like to see a constitution that one-tenth as long and uncomplicated enough for children to study it in schools.

Gap between women's and men's pay among widest in Europe, says study

The gap between women's and men's salaries in the Czech Republic is among the widest in Europe, according to a report quoted in Monday's edition of the newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes. Czech women earn 26 percent less than Czech men; the only EU countries in which the gap is wider are Austria and Slovakia, says the report, which was written by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Working and Living Conditions. On average, women earn 18.5 percent less than men across the EU.

Police re-investigate twenty-two suicides

Police investigators have begun examining cases of suspicious suicides following a series of murders committed by a Czech couple, who were recently sentenced to prison. Out of 552 cases, 27 are to be re-investigated to determine whether the original verdict of suicide was correct, police spokeswoman Blanka Kosinova said on Monday.

George Robertson visits Czech Republic on Tuesday

Former NATO secretary general George Robertson will visit the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Lord Robertson is scheduled to visit primary school children in Plzen who took part in a NATO competition in which they had to write a few lines on what they would do if they were NATO secretary general. The competition, which was launched in 2002 during the NATO summit in Prague, was organised by the Stonozka movement, which sells paintings and drawings made by children from all over the world and donates the proceeds to people in need. Later on Tuesday, Lord Robertson is expected to meet Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda.

Hlinka replaces Lener as Czech ice hockey coach

Ivan Hlinka, who guided the Czech Republic to Olympic ice hockey gold in 1998, will return as national coach, the Czech Ice Hockey Federation said on Monday. Mr Hlinka, who is 54, replaces Slavomir Lener, whose contract expired following the world championship games that ended on Sunday. The Federation said Mr Hlinka's contract would run until the end of May 2006, meaning he will coach the team at the Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Mr Hlinka was a player on the Czechoslovak team that won world titles in 1972, 1976 and 1977. He played several seasons in the NHL before retiring. Slavomir Lener, meanwhile, has signed a deal to coach the Czech league team Sparta Prague.


Tuesday is expected to have overcast skies with scattered showers and day-time temperatures between 17 and 19 degrees Celsius.