Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

09-02-2003

Social Democrats divided over Sokol's nomination for presidential election

The ruling Social Democratic Party is divided over the possible nomination of former Education Minister and university Professor Jan Sokol as the party's candidate for the presidential office. Party leader and Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla asked Mr. Sokol to stand as his party's candidate on Friday. Some other political parties admitted they might support Mr. Sokol. However, the Social Democrat MPs are divided over his nomination. In the previous two unsuccessful election attempts, they were unable to agree on any of the candidates officially nominated by the party leadership. February 28th has been set as the official date for a third round of Czech presidential elections to try and elect a successor to former president Vaclav Havel, whose term in office ended last Sunday.

Interior Ministry uneconomical with budget

The Supreme Audit Authority has alleged that the Ministry of Interior was uneconomical with its budget and violated the law on public tenders. The Supreme Audit Authority said the ministry did not object to the findings. Between 1998 and 2001, the ministry reportedly donated property to private firms and than bought it back, awarded contracts for services without calling public tenders, and sold out more than three hundred cars, some of them relatively new, for cheap price while keeping old ones for the police. In some cases, the ministry had cars completely repaired before selling them for a price lower than the cost of the repairs.

Czech Republic promises to try to spend EU money

The Czech regional development minister, Pavel Nemec, assured European Commissioner Michel Barnier that the Czech Republic would try to spend money allocated for the country in EU's ISPA funds for regional development and environmental protection. There are 50 million euros remaining in the ISPA fund that the Czech Republic is required to spend by the end of this year or forfeit completely. The Czech Republic has had problems presenting feasible environmental projects, especially given the fact that financial support from EU funds is conditional on part of the budget being covered by the recipient country.

Post office robbery in Usti nad Labem

A masked and armed man robbed a post office in the Northern town of Usti nad Labem on Friday night. The CTK news agency reported that he stole some 14.000 crowns which is less than 500 USD. The police have been trying to track him down. The robber faces up to eight years prison.

Czechs end third in the Euro Hockey Tour.

Czechs lost 3-2 to Russia at the Swedish games on Sunday, ending in the last place in the tournament which was part of the unofficial Euro Hockey Tour championship. Overall, the Czechs ended third in the Euro Hockey Tour.

Football - Novotny and Cizek leave Sparta for Russian Kazan

Two players of the top Czech club Sparta Prague are joining Russian first division club Kazan. Tomas Cizek has already signed a contract with Kazan, and defender Jiri Novotny has agreed on the terms of the contract and will join the Russian club in a few days.

Weather forecast

We are expecting a mostly cloudy day with the highest daytime temperatures just below zero.

09-02-2003