Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

12-02-2003

Constitutional court chairman resigns

The Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Zdenek Kessler, has resigned due to illness. Due to the serious state of his health, Mr Kessler did not forward his resignation in person but sent it to the Speaker of Parliament Lubomir Zaoralek on Wednesday. Mr Kessler was appointed Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic by President Vaclav Havel on 15 July 1993. With the country currently without a head of state, it is now up to Mr Zaoralek to name a successor to Mr Kessler.

Huge demand in state bonds

Investors flooded the Czech Central Bank on Wednesday with orders for a record-high series of nine-year government bonds. The central bank, which acts as the state's agent in selling domestic debt, said that investors bid for 41.4 billion Czech crowns worth of the bond maturing in October 2011, which is more than three times the 14 billion on offer. The boost in the bond market confirmed that there was still plenty of cash on the Czech market despite zero or even negative spreads to euro benchmarks.

CSA: 2002 sees record number of passengers despite floods and September 11th scare

The Czech Republic's national airline, CSA, announced on Wednesday it raised passenger numbers to a record 3.06 million in 2002 and would end the year in profit. This, despite suffering a 300 million crown (10.1 million US dollars) decline in revenue after the devastating floods in August dramatically reduced the number of tourists visiting the country. It furthermore reverses a negative trend that has hit the global industry after the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. CSA, which offers flights to 61 destinations in 39 countries and operates a fleet of 31, mostly Boeing 737 planes, said its passenger figures rose by 6.5 percent from the previous year. The load factor, which measures how successfully an airline fills its planes, grew by half a percent to reach 71.3 percent.

Unions at nuclear power stations call strike alert

Unions at the Dukovany and Temelin nuclear power stations called a strike alert at noon on Wednesday in protest at planned lay-offs. Unions at Temelin came out in support of their colleagues at Dukovany after they announced their planned protest action on Tuesday. According to Dukovany trade union spokesman Jiri Jedlicka, several mayors of the towns in the region have already voiced their support of a possible strike. While specific plans for redundancies have been made at Dukovany, unions at Temelin have yet to obtain any concrete dates and figures. The unions are now waiting for the outcome of promised talks with the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Weather

Wednesday night has been forecast with partially clear skies and temperatures between -10 and -14 degrees Celsius. Thursday is expected to have early morning fog with temperatures reaching a maximum of zero degrees Celsius.

12-02-2003