Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

31-07-2003

Vaclav Fischer in hot water as court orders seizure of personal assets

A Prague court has approved the seizure of assets belonging to Czech businessman and former senator Vaclav Fischer, as well as his company Fischer Limited, co-owners of the country's largest travel agency Fischer Air. According to a district judge a local court has also received three proposals for distraint against Fischer Air itself. Alleged debts there have been said to reach 100 million Czech crowns, raising questions about the future of the travel agency. Fischer Air runs three Boeing 737 aircraft, but they cannot be seized because the company has not paid the lease on them and hence does not own them.

Central bank cuts interest rates

The Czech Central bank has cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point, surprising the market which had not anticipated any change. The decision brought the key two week repo rate to an all time low of 2 percent. The surprise cut is another in a long string of monetary easings that began in November 2001. The cuts have aimed to fend off upward pressures on the crown. Prague economists predict the latest cut must have been made in connection with a significant lowering of the inflation forecast for 2004.

Techno party winds down amidst criticism

Hygiene officers have been unable to stop the techno party CzechTek, despite an official order for it to end on the grounds of excessive noise pollution. According to the CTK press agency hygiene officers were unable to locate the organizers to hand over an official ban. The techno party which started last weekend near Ledkov, north of Prague, has evoked numerous complaints from the locals who said they had had no sleep for five successive nights as a result of the excessive noise. 40,000 young people attended the techno party at its peak, now there are only several hundred people left. A clean up operation has already started. The techno party was allegedly held without approval from the local town hall, merely on the grounds of an agreement between the organizers and the owner of the respective property.

Klvana to seek career in diplomatic service

Tomas Klvana is giving up his post as presidential spokesman to Vaclav Klaus, in order to seek a career in the diplomatic service. The move comes just five months after Mr Klvana took up the position at Prague Castle, after Mr Klaus was elected in February. According to the spokesman the president had been informed in advance and had agreed with the possibility that Mr Klvana would give up the post if certain career opportunities arose. Recently, however, the French daily Le Figaro reported that Mr Klaus threatened to fire Mr Klvana last month after he had not been given questions for an interview in advance. In the interview the president was asked about parliamentary votes he allegedly received from the Communist Party to be able to clinch the Czech presidency. Until a new spokesman can be named, Tomas Klvana will be replaced by the head of the presidential office's press department Petr Hajek.

Weather:

Friday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers and day temperatures between 23 and 26 degrees Celsius.

31-07-2003