Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

08-01-2004

Czech Republic's state debt reaches 493.2 billion crowns

The Finance Ministry has said the Czech Republic's state debt increased to 493.2 billion crowns at the end of last year. Although the state debt has not exceeded 500 billion crowns as predicted by some analysts, economists say they are worried about the amount and expect a continuing rising trend. The Czech Republic's state debt has been rising significantly since 1997.

Havel returns to Prague after cutting short Indian trip

Former President Vaclav Havel, who was forced to cut short a trip to Asia because of ill health, has returned to the Czech Republic. Mr Havel arrived in Prague on Thursday morning from the Indian capital of Delhi where he had received the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Price on Monday. Mr Havel developed breathing difficulties shortly after arriving in India, and it was decided he should return to Prague as a preventative measure.

Austrian anti-nuclear activists to stage blockades at border crossings

Austrian anti-nuclear activists have said they are planning to stage blockades at border crossings between the Czech Republic and Austria on January 17. They say the reason for the protest is a recent fault at the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. They say the Czech operator of the plant did not release enough information about the fault. The plant which is located close to the Austrian border has been a cause of controversy in recent years. Critics say it is unsafe as it combines Soviet design and western technology.

Czech Statistics Office: Czech Republic's population to decrease by 2050

The Czech Statistics Office has released an estimate suggesting that the population of the Czech Republic will decrease by 800,000 people by the year 2050, to slightly over 9.4 million. The office also said that unless the Czech Republic receives 25,000 migrants every year, its population will dwindle to 8.1 million in fifty years. The first half of the 21st century should be marked by a growing number of people over sixty years of age. According to the Czech Statistics Office, senior citizens should be the most numerous group in Czech population around 2050.

Electrocity retail network winds up in Czech Republic

The Electrocity retail network selling electrical appliances has announced it is winding up its business in the Czech Republic as the Europe Technic company running the network changed its line of business from retail to wholesale in consumer electronics. A year ago, Electrocity was one of the seven largest electronics retailers in the Czech Republic. Europe Technic opened the first Electrocity outlet in the Czech Republic in 1997. At the end of 2003 the company had 16 outlets employing about 400 staff in the Czech Republic. Many experts said it was the entry of a rival company Electro World into the Czech market in 2002 that triggered a price war on the Czech market.

Weather

Friday should be cloudy with occasional snow. Daytime temperatures are expected to range from plus 1 to plus 4 degrees Celsius.

08-01-2004